Uplifting Law Students at Miami Law
The UPLIFT Program - Uplifting Professionalism, Leadership, and Inclusion among Future Lawyers through Teamwork, is designed to champion a proactive approach to student engagement and experiential leadership development. Through an innovative community-building approach the UPLIFT Program develops four core competencies among Future lawyers:
- Professionalism: Students are expected to engage actively in their education with integrity and uphold professional standards of character and fitness to practice law.
- Leadership: Students develop leadership skills through experiential learning and are leaders of their law school experience, professional identity formation, and future careers.
- Inclusion: Structured 1L “Communities” are woven into the fabric of the student experience throughout law school, supporting community-building, celebrating diversity, and fostering a culture of accessibility and inclusion.
- Teamwork: Virtual teaming among students, collaboration across Miami Law, and interaction with the legal community build critical skills for success in the increasingly interconnected, virtual world that is shaping the future of the legal profession.
How You’re Grouped – The Community Structure
To provide 1L students with small-group environments conducive to meaningful interaction and community-building, the 1L class is divided into “Communities” of 20-24 students and further divided into “Subcommunities” of 10-12 students. In addition, incoming transfer students participate in a 2L transfer Community.
Each 1L Section is led by a Faculty Section Leader. Within each 1L Section, each Community also has a dedicated “UPLIFT Community Leader,” one of a select group of 17 upper-level students who are responsible for fostering community-building and generating a supportive team dynamic within each Community. Community Leaders play an important role in communicating 1L student feedback, promoting well-being, and supporting 1L peers throughout the law school experience.
Participation in Your Three Years in Law School
1Ls – During Fall Orientation, UPLIFT Community Leaders lead introductory breakout sessions with their Subcommunities to foster community-building and successful online teaming. Thereafter, 1Ls are invited to attend UPLIFT programs that support professional development and continue to build community in collaboration with Miami Law Faculty, Administration, and UPLIFT Community Leaders.
Importantly, 1Ls can count on their UPLIFT Community Leader to be their trusted guide to the Miami Law student experience. UPLIFT Community Leaders conduct regular virtual meetings (typically weekly or bi-weekly as determined by each Community), lead virtual community-building activities, share Miami Law resources, answer common 1L questions, and facilitate connections between Miami Law students.
2Ls and 3Ls - Upper-level students can apply to participate in this experiential leadership development program as Community Leaders. In leading a Community, students develop leadership skills by practicing them. UPLIFT Community leaders also receive preparatory leadership training and guidance throughout the program, supervised by Vanessa Kuljis, Director of Professional Development and Leadership Initiatives. Community Leaders will be able to convey to potential employers the leadership skills developed and honed including team leadership, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and effective communication.
Please contact, Vanessa Kuljis, Director of Professional Development and Leadership Initiatives.