Adrienne Harreveld, J.D. '19 and Amanda Suarez, 3L
University of Miami School of Law is known for students’ commitment to social justice and public interest, and the prestigious firm of Squire Patton Boggs has recognized this dedication. Through its Foundation, the firm recently honored former Miami Scholar Adrienne Harreveld, J.D. ’19, as one of two the recipients of its Foundation’s 2020 Distinguished Fellows Award and chose current 3L and former HOPE Fellow Amanda Suarez as a 2020 Public Policy Fellow.
The cornerstone of the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation is its Public Policy Fellowship Program which awards fellowships to exceptional first- and second-year law students who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to public service and public policy. These law students, like Harreveld who was a fellow in 2017 and Suarez in 2020, commit their summers to public service and to advancing public policy by working at nonprofit institutions, government agencies and international legal organizations.
Harreveld worked on public policy research related to racial equity prior to law school. Harreveld came to Miami Law with the desire to challenge the legacy of Jim Crow that can still be seen in many existing government systems. She interned with the Florida Justice Institute, where she gained experience with civil rights litigation and worked on issues of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. She was first exposed to discriminatory practices in jury selection during her internship with the MacArthur Justice Center in New Orleans.
Harreveld is now a lawyer at the Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana, focusing on fair jury selection issues. While working on a death penalty trial, she discovered a “computer glitch” that prevented the East Baton Rouge Parish’s jury database from updating properly, and therefore, inadvertently leaving off thousands born after 1993 off the jury rolls. Her work was featured in a front-page article of the New York Times.
“I cannot express my gratitude to the Foundation for not only financial support, but on a professional level as well,” said Harreveld. “Having the opportunity to intern as a 1L at one of the country’s leading organizations for prisoners’ rights meant that I was able to start my law school career embedded and enmeshed with people who are dedicated to criminal justice reform. I deeply value the long-standing friendships and relationships I have developed with lawyers at Squire Patton Boggs, who continue to play a fundamental role in my development and quest for criminal justice.”
Third-year student Suarez spent her summer interning at the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. As a Human Rights Clinic fellow, Suarez worked on an amicus brief that was filed in the Southern District of Florida, supporting a lawsuit by the City of South Miami alongside civil and immigrants’ rights groups that seeks the repeal of a draconian state law that harms immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She also made a presentation to the U.S. Human Rights Network on immigration survivors of gender-based violence.
The Foundation is rooted in a history of civil rights advocacy, originally funded with lawyers’ fees from a pro bono employment discrimination case. Since 2004, the Foundation has awarded over 270 fellowships to exceptional law students who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to public service. Fellows commit their summers to public service and to advancing public policy by working at nonprofit institutions, government agencies and international legal organizations, such as the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel, Campaign for Youth Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights and USAID.