Second-year law student Chauncey Dean has been awarded the Carlton Fields HOPE Fellow Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a rising second-year law student based on the student's dedication to public service. Carlton Fields is a strong supporter of pro bono and public service and has generously funded this scholarship since it was established in 2007.
Chauncey Dean, 2L
Dean has a long-standing commitment to public service. After graduating from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Political Science in 2013, he moved to Miami to work for City Year, an AmeriCorps program. In this position, he worked as an interventionist, teaching children who placed academically in the lower 25 percent of their class. He not only worked to improve outcomes for his students during the school day but also developed before and after-school programs that focused on ensuring that the students had the tools to succeed academically.
After completing his service year, he took a position with Habitat for Humanity where he built homes in Liberty City and South Miami. Overseeing volunteers, he helped to construct homes, increasing the affordable housing in Miami. He also was an academic tutor with Sunshine Florida Tutoring, continuing his passion for helping children to succeed academically. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with City Year and Habitat for Humanity. Knowing that your hard work and efforts will have an immediate impact on those you are serving is immensely rewarding,” said Dean.
Dean knew that Miami Law was the next step for him. “I wanted to go to law school ever since I was a child. The thought of being in a position where I could help someone out of their predicament always excited me. I chose to go to Miami Law because I fell in love with Miami a few years ago and I am still enamored with it,” said Dean.
Since joining the Miami Law community, Dean has become an active member of the Black Law Students Association. He also participated in the Summer Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF) program this summer. Through the SPIF program, he worked as an intern at the Miami-Dade Office of the Public Defender. He primarily worked in the jail traffic division, where he assisted three supervising attorneys on all aspects of their cases. He interviewed clients both in and out of jail, interviewed police officers, drafted legal memorandum, and observed court proceedings.
“Jail traffic division has the highest volume of cases and it was a pleasure assisting my supervising attorneys in dealing with these cases,” said Dean. “I really liked coming to work every day knowing that I was there to assist someone in their legal troubles. It was amazing to realize that being a public defender is what I want to do when I graduate.”
As a Carlton Fields HOPE Fellow, Dean will have the opportunity to collaborate with the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center to advance public service initiatives at Miami Law. Dean anticipates the scholarship will allow him to continue working in criminal justice by developing a project where students will observe misdemeanor criminal proceedings to ensure that constitutional protections for defendants are upheld.
“It is an honor to be selected as the Carlton Fields HOPE Fellow,” said Dean. “I only hope that I can continue to do public service work that reflects positively on the fellowship and Miami Law. I want to thank the Hope Public Interest Resource Center for putting me in a position where I am able to help others in the first place.”