Belkenia Candelario took her hands-on learning to the highest levels participating in the International Moot Court Program, the Tenants’ Rights Clinic and the J.D./LL.M. in Tax program at Miami Law. She was also part of the Inter-American Law Review.
As a member of the International Moot Court Program, she argued in the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 20th Annual Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition in 2015 as well as the Competencia Internacional de Arbitraje – held at the Universidad Pontificia Catolica del Peru in 2014.
“During my two competitions, I…dramatically improved my advocacy and writing abilities.” She adds about her moot court experience, “I appreciated this real-life aspect of working in a group and dealing with each other’s strengths and weaknesses to make the team better as a whole.”
Her preparation for competitions developed and improved her advocacy and writing skills in English and Spanish. Paula Arias, Director of the International Moot Court Program praised the hard work Candelario and her teammates put into improving their language skills. “The students…went from barely understanding the readings or articulating proper legal arguments in Spanish to expressing perfect ideas and persuasive arguments in front of the judges from all over Latin America.”
For competitions Candelario emphasizes, “You can never prepare enough, you can only get better. You have to propel yourself 100% to the end. The competitions can seem like a lot of work at the moment, but when you look back…they are worth it.”
Aside from the benefit of honing her legal skills, the moots also enabled her to network with prominent practitioners. As result, she expanded her vision about the opportunities her legal degree offered her.
Candelario also sharpened her hands-on skills domestically participating in the Tenants’ Rights Clinic. Arguing at an informal hearing before the housing authority she represented an elderly and physically challenged man who was denied public housing because of prior criminal charges. After listening to her claims, the hearing officer ruled that the client’s application for housing would be approved.
Earning her J.D. in 2015 and her LL.M in Taxation in 2017, Candelario graduated cum laude. One of her tax professors, Dana Trier who had her in his Taxation of Property Transactions and Advanced Corporate Taxation course, notes “It is always a pleasure to have a student who is both intelligent and willing to put in the effort to learn complex material.”
Currently, she is an Associate at Nelson Mullins LLP focusing her practice on international and domestic tax matters. She advises high net worth individuals and families from around the world on a diverse range of matters, including trust and estate planning, cross-border investments, pre-immigration planning, real estate investments, income and transfer tax planning, complex voluntary disclosures, tax controversies, and family office matters. She also develops and implements various structures for the preservation and transfer of wealth and business succession for international clients.