Professor Tamara Lave to Take the Reins of Prized Litigation Skills Program


Professor Lave

Professor Tamara Lave

Dean Anthony E. Varona recently announced the appointment of Professor Tamara Rice Lave to faculty director of the litigation skills program at the University of Miami School of Law.

The litigation skills program invites students to engage in rigorous, hands-on training providing them with the practical skills necessary for competent professional legal service.

“Professor Lave is a devoted and award-winning teacher, a gifted and nationally renowned scholar, and an experienced and talented litigator with a passion for trial and appellate advocacy,” said Varona. “I am thrilled that Tamara is our next litigation skills faculty director and that I get to partner with her and with our associate dean for experiential learning, Kele Stewart, in making the program even stronger and more nationally prominent.”

Professor Emeritus Laurence M. Lonny Rose and litigation skills program senior manager Lydia Sanchez have built the litigation skills program over the course of more than three decades into one of the pillars of Miami Law.

“I am pleased and proud to have been a part of the litigation skills program for the last 31 years,” said Rose. “With our wonderful faculty, both present and past, and our fantastic staff (especially both Lydia Sanchez and the late Hazel Nicholson), we have tried to give our law students the skills necessary for a successful career in whichever path they chose. I look forward to taking some time off to write and lecture, and wish the program well under its new leadership.”

Taught by a faculty of experienced trial lawyers and judges, almost 75 percent of second and third year law students enroll in the six-credit course. Full-time faculty members direct the program, and a superb adjunct faculty of more than 65 highly experienced trial attorneys and judges, from both state and federal courts, assist with the lectures, demonstrations, trial and pre-trial courses.

“The litigation skills program, under the leadership of Lonny Rose, has been one of the outstanding gems that the law school offers,” said nationally renowned litigator Harley S. Tropin, J.D. ’77, president of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton and a longtime supporter and adjunct professor in the program. “Professor Lave has the combination of skill, experience, and drive to take the litigation skills program to even new heights. I am delighted and excited by her appointment and look forward to seeing the program thrive under Professor Lave’s able leadership.”

Lave is the ideal colleague to assume the faculty director responsibilities, said Stewart. “Under the excellent leadership of Lonny Rose, the program has produced generations of South Florida litigators,” she said. “My colleague Tamara Lave is a fitting choice to take over the helm of this important program. Even before this appointment, Professor Lave adopted a practice-oriented approach in her courses and has been a staunch advocate for enhancing the experiential components of our curriculum. I look forward to collaborating with her to achieve continued excellence and prominence for the program.”

Lave served as a celebrated deputy public defender in San Diego, California, for 10 years and holds a J.D. from Stanford and a Ph.D. from Berkeley, where her dissertation was titled “Constructing and Controlling the Sexually Violent Predator: An American Obsession.”

“It is a tremendous and weighty privilege to assume the leadership of this storied program,” said Lave. “I am both excited and honored and look forward to moving a truly great program to even greater heights.”

A brilliant scholar and teacher, Lave’s students rave about her teaching and her dedication to their success. The criminal law experts’ scholarship has appeared in the American Criminal Law Review, and law reviews/journals associated with the Universities of Cincinnati, Kansas, Miami, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania; Arizona State and Stanford Universities, among others; as well as non-academic sources like the Chronicle of Higher Education and Persuasion.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook on Policing in the United States, published by Cambridge University Press in 2019, and she is under contract with Cambridge to write a book on Title IX adjudication of campus sexual misconduct. She is currently involved in two major interdisciplinary research projects: studying facial recognition technology under a University of Miami ULINK Social Equity Challenge grant, and working with faculty at UCLA to study pathways to, and the impact of, the sex offender registry on LGBTQ registrants. Lave is also part of a legal team challenging Florida’s sex offender registry.

She has served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Empirical Law Studies, Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, and the Yale Law Journal. She received the Hausler Golden Apple Award in 2018 and in 2016 was honored by Miami Law Women with the Mary E. Doyle Leadership Award.

“Finding a suitable successor to Professor Rose, who for 31 years has grown the litigation skills program to be the powerhouse it is today, was not easy,” said Varona. “It was a national search, we considered hundreds of candidates, and took our time – fourteen months in fact. We had to get it right. And we did. Although we were considering applicants from as far away as California, the ideal candidate was already on the Miami Law faculty.”

Read more about Miami Law's Litigation Skills Program.