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The University of Miami School of Law offers some of the most progressive and innovative public interest and clinical programs in the country. Whether a student’s ultimate goal is a career in the public sector, or integrating pro bono work as a component of private practice, Miami Law helps students to identify the ideal match with projects, clinics, fellowships, externships and relevant courses.

Situated in an exceptionally diverse and vibrant community, Miami Law provides unique opportunities for students to engage in outreach, empowerment and the delivery of legal services, while acquiring handson, transferable lawyering skills. In addition to our outstanding public interest and legal ethics centers, faculty and alumni provide extraordinary guidance and instruction, bringing a passion for interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving and advocacy. Through various initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally, Miami Law students are leading the way in promoting access to justice.


HOPE PUBLIC INTEREST RESOURCE CENTER The HOPE Public Interest Resource Center is the hub for public interest and civic engagement for Miami Law students. HOPE is a nationally-recognized dynamic center, focused on addressing critical social justice issues by creating opportunities for all law students to provide support to public interest agencies and pro bono efforts locally, nationally and internationally. HOPE trainings and advocacy programs engage students in building transferrable skills while giving back to communities in need.


The HOPE Fellows Program allows students to create their summer dream jobs in the public interest arena and work across the globe to effectuate change. HOPE Fellows receive a stipend to spend a summer working at a nonprofit or governmental agency and serve as an integral part of campus culture, returning to school to develop advocacy projects and bring the lessons of their experiences to their peers. “The HOPE Fellowship allowed me to pursue my dream summer position in international human rights. HOPE sets its fellows up for success by providing a support system and ensuring that students use their summer placements to engage and enrich the Miami Law community.” Gita Howard, Class of 2021 HOPE Fellow, Tibetan Legal Association, Dharamshala, India

Summer Public Interest Fellowship

The Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program (SPIF) is designed for rising 2Ls who have a genuine passion for public interest work. This highly competitive program includes an eight week, full-time internship at a public interest organization, a public interest law seminar, and a legal research and writing project. Students receive a stipend and academic credit. “The Summer Public Interest Fellowship program offers a multifaceted opportunity for students like me who are hoping to explore public interest law. I can get better acquainted with like-minded students and learn about diverse opportunities for lawyers in the public interest sphere. I am so grateful for the opportunity and the experience.” Talia Lewis, Class of 2021


SPIF Fellow, Office of the Miami-Dade Public Defender


Miami Law seeks to instill a pro bono ethic in all members of the student body. Students who complete the HOPE Pro Bono Challenge by performing 75 hours of pro bono service during law school are recognized at graduation and on their transcripts. Our Public Interest Leadership Board is comprised of students who promote pro bono awareness and engagement across our campus and in the community. These students are at the forefront of building bridges from Miami Law to agencies and communities through education and advocacy initiatives. Through the Public Interest Lecture Series students are exposed to progressive social justice lawyers and activists. Various presentations and hands-on trainings are hosted throughout the year. Our Advocacy programs and trainings provide all students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful pro bono projects locally, nationally, and internationally. Our Pro Bono Legal Research Project teams students with attorneys to work on pro bono and public interest legal matters. From translation, client intake, investigation, research, and writing, to oral advocacy in court and mediations, Miami Law students are an integral part of the legal team. “HOPE’s cutting-edge initiatives never cease to amaze me—all of the internships, innovative programs, and community service projects prepare law students for serving the most disenfranchised populations both locally and abroad.” Evian White DeLeon, J.D. ’10 Program & Policy Director Miami Homes for All


“Miami Law students are engaged, determined and innovative. They advocate for clients and communities locally, nationally and internationally. Their passion and drive to make a difference and ensure access to justice sets them apart.� Marni Lennon, J.D. ’95

Assistant Dean for Public Interest & Pro Bono Lecturer in law


Miami Law invests in students with a demonstrated commitment to Public Interest Law. Prospective and continuing students are eligible to apply for scholarships to defray student debt and support their passion to work in the public sector.


Incoming students with an exceptional academic record and demonstrated commitment to public service are encouraged to apply for this prestigious program. The program offers a full-tuition scholarship, a stipend for public interest work that is performed during the first-or second-year summer, mentoring by upper-division Scholars and public interest lawyers, and individualized curriculum and career advising. In addition, Miami Scholars participate in a series of exclusive presentations, site visits and workshops. Miami Scholars lead various Miami Law initiatives and have the opportunity to serve on HOPE’s Public Interest Leadership Board. Miami Scholars are a core component of Miami Law’s commitment to inculcating the next generation of lawyers with a pro bono ethic.



Founded in 1996, the Center for Ethics and Public Service is a law school-housed interdisciplinary ethics education, skills training, and community engagement program devoted to the values of ethical judgment, professional responsibility, and public service in law and society. Our goal is to educate law students to serve their communities as citizen lawyers. CEPS operates two projects staffed by law student fellows and interns: the Historic Black Church Program and the Community Equity, Innovation, and Resource Lab. Both projects train students to collaborate with civic and faith-based groups, legal services and nonprofit organizations, and private and public entities in providing rights education, policy research, and technical assistance to low-income communities across the fields of civil rights, economic development, and poverty law.

Historic Black Church Program

The Historic Black Church Program provides rights education, interdisciplinary research, and policy resources to low- and moderate-income communities in partnership with inner-city, churches and other faith-based and nonprofit groups.

Community Equity, Innovation, and Resource Lab

The Community Equity, Innovation, and Resource Lab trains students to collaborate with civic and faith-based groups, legal services and nonprofit organizations, and private and public entities in providing rights education, policy research, and technical assistance to low-income communities across the fields of civil rights, economic development, and poverty law.

Oral History and Documentary Film Project

The Oral History and Documentary Film Project compiles oral history archives and produces film documentaries to preserve the cultural and social history of low-income communities of color in South Florida. Since 2010, the project has produced five films documenting the history of Coconut Grove Village West, public school segregation in Miami-Dade County, and environmental discrimination in the City of Miami.


“Yours is among the finest array of law school clinics in the nation.� Laurence Tribe

Harvard Law Professor and former Senior Counselor for Access to Justice in the Department of Justice, University of Miami Commencement address


The Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program (PREP) develops and presents customized, cutting edge legal ethics and technology continuing legal education programing for the legal community. PREP also offers the community timely ethics updates on its ABA registered blog, Legal Ethics In Motion. The program works closely with local nonprofits, bar associations, government agencies, and other legal service organizations to provide hundreds of hours of student public service and education for thousands of members of the Bench and Bar. 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. “Every student should participate in a program like PREP while in law school. I was not only able to refine my research, writing, and public speaking skills, but I was also able to network with professionals in the South Florida legal community and learn about the realities of practice through the lens of professional responsibility and legal ethics.” Dalisi Otero, J.D. ’16



Miami STREET Law is an educational outreach program that trains current law students to teach law, public policy, and ethics at schools throughout Miami-Dade County. The Program serves the community by inspiring critical thinking and social awareness at the high school, undergraduate, and law school levels.

Startup Practicum

The Startup Practicum connects students with new ventures in need of legal assistance. Students in the Startup Practicum help clients with organizing, financing, talent, intellectual property, risk, regulation and other legal issues that arise for entrepreneurs as they launch their new businesses and organizations. Other Practica Include: ƒƒ Affordable Housing ƒƒ Civil Rights ƒƒ Criminal Justice Policy Reform ƒƒ Cyber Civil Rights Initiative ƒƒ Death Penalty ƒƒ Social Impact Advocacy


Miami Law’s Externship Program provides students, who have completed their first year of law school, with the opportunity to secure placements for academic credit with local, national, and international government and public interest organizations, and the judiciary. As a result, the program provides students with their first opportunity to apply the skills they have gained in the classroom in a professional legal setting.


Miami Law’s Litigation Skills Program is unique among law schools in that it provides comprehensive, rigorous, and hands-on experiential education and skill development, necessary for professional litigators, in both the pre-trial and trial phases of the litigation. Taught by Miami’s most experienced trial lawyers and judges, it is available to all Miami Law students. Students who complete the Litigation Skills course can enroll in the Litigation Skills Externship Program, and be placed in public sector agencies as Certified Legal Interns, authorized by the Florida Supreme Court to speak in court.


“Students who complete the Litigation Skills Program will be able to achieve the experience level of a second- or third-year lawyer in private practice. Our graduates are actively recruited by litigation boutiques and corporate litigation departments as a result of the national reputation of the Program.� Laurence M. Rose

Professor Emeritus and Director, Litigation Skills Program University of Miami School of Law

CLINICS Miami Law’s award-winning legal clinics are exceptional training grounds that give students practical, hands-on lawyering skills, while also providing critically-needed services to underrepresented individuals in Miami. Our clinics provide students with the unparalleled opportunity to earn credit while working side-by-side with faculty and clients.





The Eleanor R. Cristol and Judge A. Jay Cristol Bankruptcy Pro Bono Assistance Clinic pairs students with local bankruptcy attorneys who mentor students in representing low-income individuals in federal bankruptcy proceedings.

The Children & Youth Law Clinic represents children in foster care and former foster youth in dependency and other proceedings to secure safe homes, appropriate health, disability and education services, and improved well-being.


The Environmental Justice Clinic advocates for and empowers marginalized communities by combining civil rights, environmental, poverty, and public health law with community lawyering principles. This clinic addresses practices stemming from systemic inequality and promote policy solutions to achieve structural change.

In the Immigration Clinic, students directly represent immigrants in a wide variety of complex immigration proceedings. Students also work on collaborative projects aimed at advancing the cause of justice for immigrants of all nationalities.


The Innocence Clinic is dedicated to identifying and rectifying wrongful convictions and is committed to exonerating innocent individuals and combating injustice.


The Federal Appellate Clinic provides students with the opportunity to plan, research, and draft federal appeals for indigent criminal defendants referred by the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida.

The Investor Rights Clinic serves low and modest income investors who have suffered financial loss due to broker misconduct. Under the supervision of experienced former government attorneys, students handle securities arbitration claims against their brokers before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).




The Health Rights Clinic is a Medical-Legal Partnership with the Miller School of Medicine in which students assist low-income healthimpaired clients under the supervision of clinical professors. This “teaching hospital” collaborative model integrates legal assistance as a vital part of addressing the health problems of vulnerable populations.


The Human Rights Clinic exposes students to the practice of law in the international and cross-cultural context of human rights litigation and advocacy at the local, national, and international levels.

The Tenants’ Rights Clinic enables students to represent clients, who are primarily tenants, from being evicted from public and subsidized housing, receiving Section 8 terminations, and having their affordable housing applications denied.

“All of our clinics are united by the belief that people on the margins of society have difficulty being heard and can benefit by what we do. But we’re also teaching students not to practice law in a cookie-cutter way.” Bernard Perlmutter

Professor of Clinical Legal Education Director, Children & Youth Law Clinic University of Miami School Law

Student from the Health Rights Clinic with clients.



CONTACT INFORMATION Marni Lennon, Esq. Assistant Dean for Public Interest & Pro Bono Lecturer in Law University of Miami School of Law HOPE Public Interest Resource Center 1311 Miller Drive, B446 Coral Gables, FL 33146 305.284.2599 umhope@law.miami.edu www.law.miami.edu/hope

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Miami Law Public Interest Brochure 2019  

Miami Law features a wide range of public interest opportunities which enable students to serve the public while at the same time, acquire v...

Miami Law Public Interest Brochure 2019  

Miami Law features a wide range of public interest opportunities which enable students to serve the public while at the same time, acquire v...

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