For the 19th consecutive year, incoming Miami Law students spent their first day of law school orientation giving back to the local community through HOPE Day of Service, organized by Miami Law’s HOPE Public Resource Center. Over 375 1Ls and upper-division site leaders spent the morning at 20 agencies throughout Miami-Dade County, including Overtown Youth Center, Tropical Audubon Society, Kristi House, and Virginia Key Beach State Park. Students organized school supplies, fed the homeless, and restored beaches and parks damaged by Hurricane Irma, among many other activities.
Thomas Voracek, a 3L who served as a site leader at Shake-a-Leg Miami, a non-profit that provides recreational activities for disabled individuals, said that “it was fantastic giving back to the greater Miami community as the new Miami Law students started their journey to becoming attorneys by helping others.”
HOPE Day of Service provides students with a unique opportunity to contribute to the South Florida community while getting to know their new classmates and learning about public service opportunities at Miami Law.
“My HOPE Day of Service experience was extremely gratifying,” said 3L site leader and planning committee member Maria Rodriguez. “Since my 1L year, I’ve loved participating in HOPE Day. While at the Miami Rescue Mission this year, our team learned about the extensive homelessness issue in the city, and we were able to spread cheer to the community by writing letters to the residents. It’s refreshing to get out of our law bubble and truly connect with the communities we aim to serve as lawyers.”
Students at the Montgomery Botanical Center
Brittany Frizzelle, a 1L who volunteered with a Miami-Dade Public Schools program that provides clothing and school supplies to children who cannot afford them, said that she appreciated the opportunity to see the law school’s dedication to service in action and looks forward to continuing her commitment to public service.
Julie Hochzstein, a 2L who helped lead Frizzelle’s HOPE Day team and also served on the planning committee, shared that “HOPE Day is an amazing way to start the law school experience. By introducing students to their new home through service, it serves as an important reminder of the impact we have on the world around us. I hope the experience inspired 1Ls to continue to volunteer during law school or consider work in the public interest.”