Alumni to Receive Awards at Annual Miami-Dade County Judicial Reception


Four eminent Miami Law alumni will be honored by the Law Alumni Association on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the annual Miami-Dade County Judicial Reception.

Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, JD '91, will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award and Olaniko A. Abebayo, JD '97, Victoria Mendez, JD ’99, and William Simonitsch, JD ’00, will each be given the Alumni Leadership Award.

A judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Judge Rosenbaum has served as an adjunct faculty member at Miami Law since 2009. She served as a United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of Florida, a position she held since 2012. From 2007 until her confirmation to the district court, Judge Rosenbaum served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida. From 1998 to 2007, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the same district, where she served as Chief of the Economic Crimes Section in the Fort Lauderdale office beginning in 2002.

Adebayo, a native of Chicago who graduated from Miami Law in 1997, served as president of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association in 2012. Adebayo began her legal career as an assistant state attorney in Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit, where she successfully prosecuted and tried a number of felonies and misdemeanors, including juvenile and domestic violence cases. After eight years in the State Attorney's office, she left to become a legal advisor to the Miami-Dade Police Department. Now, Adebayo is back in the Office of the State Attorney, working for Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

Miami City Attorney Victoria Mendez graduated from Miami Law in 1999. She has worked for the city since 2004 and was appointed as its new City Attorney in 2013. She served as president of the Cuban American Bar Association and has been honored with several Top Government Attorney awards in South Florida.

Simonitsch is a commercial litigation partner at the global firm K&L Gates. He is president and active member of the National Asian Pacific Bar Association and recently was named to the 2014 Lawyers of Color’s Third Annual Power List.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to a distinguished alumnus/ae for bringing honor and recognition to the University of Miami School of Law for outstanding personal or professional achievement. The Alumni Leadership Award recognizes excellence, specifically in the area of leadership. The award often recognizes Bar leaders or directors and presidents of service organizations.