Miami Law’s Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program conducted ethics training via Zoom with both the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute. The conference topics highlighted the pandemic’s impact on the practice of law and covered topics such as the ethical implications of using technology and social media as well as best practices for working remotely and lawyer well-being. PREP students’ incredible work ethic once again resulted in the delivery of the high-quality and timely content for which PREP is renowned.
PREP Director Jan Jacobowitz was joined by PREP interns Rebecca Lester, Karina Oms, Tessa Mears, and Anne Marie McLaughlin as they hosted a virtual Zoom meeting with FAWL to discuss hot topics.
“Having done several CLE presentations for PREP, I was used to the in-person interactions that come with them; however, Professor Jacobowitz greatly helped my colleagues and I transition to using Zoom for our presentations," said Oms. "It was a great experience teaching FAWL about the cultural implications of COVID-19 and how using Zoom or virtual video affects modern-day lawyering.”
“This year with PREP has been a valuable experience that taught me a lot about legal ethics, while giving me the opportunity to hone my public speaking skills in an exciting new way,” said Mears. “The transition to Zoom in the spring semester went surprisingly smooth, and I'm grateful that I can say I've given a presentation in a completely audiovisual format before I graduate law school.”
This summer, at the SEALI Annual Seminar, PREP fellows Camila Rivero-Fernández, Fahim Gulamali, Karina Oms, , and John Vazquez joined Jacobowitz to present “Legal Ethics, Technology, and Well-Being, Oh My! A Pandemic’s Impact on the Practice of Law.”
“With over 200 registered participants, kicking off SEALI’s Annual Seminar was an amazing opportunity. Although we were the only student-presenters, it was very empowering to know that our team had the most live-webinar presentation experience,” said Rivero-Fernández.
“Having been part of the PREP program for the 2019-2020 academic year, SEALI’s Zoom CLE training was by far one of the most animated and engaging - proving ethics can be taught remotely just as effectively as it can be taught face-to-face," said Oms.
Vasquez agreed and added, “I was very impressed with the level of participation from the SEALI participants. Most notable was the group’s use of the chat function in Zoom to provide constant feedback and ask questions; all of which contributed to a lively discussion.”
“PREP’s ability to adapt to rapidly changing times was clearly apparent in this week’s SEALI Zoom CLE training,” said Gulamali. “While our platform may have changed, our ability to engage effectively with practitioners did not. This presentation was just another example of why PREP is vital to the Miami Law community.”
PREP is an award-winning program that develops continuing legal education ethics training for the legal community. The program combines the attributes of an ethics institute and an ethics clinic, has dedicated hundreds of student hours to public service and has educated thousands of members of the Bench & Bar. During training, students are often able to make a positive impact on attendees by prompting them to consider and reconsider their approaches to some of the toughest ethical dilemmas that may arise in the practice of law.
In 2012, PREP was recognized by the ABA with its E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, the leading national award recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers and judges. In addition to presenting ethics training, throughout the semester PREP students publish blog posts regarding the nation’s newest ethics opinions.
The program’s blog, Legal Ethics in Motion, can be found here.