Tag Archive | "school of law"


Professor Osamudia James Named to Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 List

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 7, 2014)—School of Law Professor Osamudia James has been named to Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 list, published in the April 7 “Law School Diversity” issue. The listing is a comprehensive catalog of minority law professors who are making an impact in legal education.

“It is a privilege to be recognized as an influential minority law professor under 50,” said James. “Academia has given me opportunities to participate in important dialogues about how identity and the law interact in the United States, and it is affirming to know that my contributions to those conversations are valued.”

James writes and teaches in the areas of education law, race and the law, administrative law, and torts. Her more recent work includes “White Like Me: The Diversity Rationale’s Negative Impact on White Identity Formation,” which will be published in the New York University Law Review; “Opt-Out Education: School Choice as Racial Subordination,” to be published in the Iowa Law Review; “Predatory Ed: The Conflict Between Public Good and For-Profit Higher Education;” and “Dog Wags Tail: The Continuing Viability of Minority-Targeted Aid in Higher Education.”

“Osamudia James is a truly gifted teacher and scholar whose leadership in the national conversation about education and race is really important,” said UM School of Law Dean Patricia D. White.

In January, the American Association of Law Schools’ Minority Groups Section named James co-recipient of the 2014 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award, which recognizes a junior faculty member who, through activism, mentoring, colleagueship, teaching, and scholarship, has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. The award is named in honor of the first tenured African American law professor at Harvard Law School, who co-founded Critical Race Theory.

“Teaching is an awesome responsibility, as it means I play an important part in shaping the way my students understand both the law and their role in our legal system,” said James. “Being an educator, however, is also a joy—nothing matches the delight of witnessing students transform into attorneys, knowing that I was able to help them realize their potential as lawyers.”


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School of Law Students Win Prestigious Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court Championship

From left are the School of Law's third-year student, Joseph Matthews, Coach Andrew Riccio, second-year student Benjamin Keime and third-year student Abirami Ananthasingam.

From left are School of Law third-year student Joseph Matthews, coach Andrew Riccio, second-year student Benjamin Keime, and third-year student Abirami Ananthasingam.

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 19, 2014)— For the second time, the University of Miami School of Law’s moot court team won the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court, which ended in a tie. UM Law’s team, second-year student Benjamin Keime and third-year students Abirami Ananthasingam and Joseph Matthews, shares the top prize—including scholarships to The Hague Academy of International Law—with the distinguished Sciences Po Law School in Paris.

The competition, considered one of the most prestigious international student competitions with a focus on investment protection, was hosted by Goethe-University Frankfurt in Germany.

Throughout the week of March 10-14, the UM School of Law team competed against 41 law school teams from countries around the world, including Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, and the United Kingdom.

“The highlight of the competition was arguing in front of some of the most prestigious practitioners in the field of international law and competing against some of the most elite schools in the world,” said Ananthasingam, vice president of UM’s International Moot Court and president of the International Law Society. “As the rounds became more and more difficult, the more the depth of Miami Law’s knowledge and advocacy skills shone through.”

The Frankfurt Moot Court serves as a platform for students who want to compete on an international level and have a passion for investment protection. Teams present their arguments orally before tribunals of arbitration composed of investment treaty specialists.

“I have worked with Abirami and Joseph for two years already,” said Paula Arias, director of the International Moot Court Program. “They competed last year on a different moot, and we won best oralist and best memorial. The students wanted to compete again because they enjoyed it so much. This year, I decided to give them the opportunity, and I selected them, along with Benjamin, to compete in Frankfurt. I knew they would work hard and do everything necessary to succeed in Germany. And I was not wrong.”

Investment protection has increasingly become a hot topic in the international community and has been recognized as one of the more intellectually challenging branches of international law.

“The Frankfurt Moot is an amazing opportunity, as it attracts such a diverse pool of international schools,” said Matthews, who is president of UM’s International Moot Court.

“The fact that it is free to participate in allows an intense depth of global perspective, which creates a truly remarkable atmosphere,” he continued. “Our quarterfinals against Gujarat University India was intense; they ultimately won best Asian regional team and really tested our ability to adjust our arguments to their unique style and answers. Our semifinals against Norman Manley Jamaica was also a nail-biter. Not only were they our biggest threat going into this competition, but our round against them was a rematch from 2011, when Miami also went head-to-head against Jamaica in the semifinals. The Jamaicans proved to be formidable adversaries, as they won best team for a Non-OECD country and also best team from the Caribbean region. But ultimately Miami mustered through with a win and moved onto the finals.”

The team was coached by L Andrew S. Riccio, J.D. ’11, an associate with Assouline & Berlowe, where he practices international arbitration and litigation. He was a member of the UM team that competed and won in Frankfurt in 2011, the last time UM Law clinched the competition.

“It was an honor and a pleasure for me to return to Frankfurt,” Riccio said. “Coaching this talented team was a fantastic experience, and I am, of course, so thrilled with the outcome.”

Arias said that Riccio started working with the team over the summer. “It was the first time Andrew was leading the team as coach, which makes me extremely happy because I can see how much the students can learn from former students,” Arias said. “I have only words of appreciation for all the dedication Andrew put into this year’s team.”

Arbitrators Charles Brower of 20 Essex Street, Abby Cohen-Smutney of White & Case, and Judge Awn Al-Khasaweh of the International Court of Justice judged the UM School of Law team.

“We were shocked when Science Po France beat George Washington University in their own semifinal match,” Matthews said. “Miami and George Washington both tied in the Washington, D.C. pre-moot, and we as a team were really impressed by how well-versed GW was in the case.”

Each member of UM’s moot team receives a three-week placement at The Hague Academy of International Law.

“The International Moot Court Program prepares our students to be great lawyers and gives UM recognition as a great school in international law,” Arias said.


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With Generous Gift, Alumna Hilarie Bass Hopes to Inspire Future Law Students

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With Generous Gift, Alumna Hilarie Bass Hopes to Inspire Future Law Students

Hilarie Bass

Hilarie Bass

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 20, 2014) —  As a lawyer in training at the University of Miami, Hilarie Bass grew to love the area in the School of Law quadrangle known as The Bricks. Now, thanks to a generous $1 million gift to the School of Law from the UM alumna and trustee, the hub of student life at Miami Law is getting a new name: “The Bass Bricks.”

“It was important to me to give back to this institution that played such a crucial role in my development as an attorney and shaping the person I am today,” said Bass, co-president of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig and a member of the School of Law’s Visiting Committee and Momentum2 Campaign Committee. “I chose the Bricks because it’s the center of campus life at the School of Law, and I have fond memories of the time I spent there. I hope that future students who gather there will leave inspired to fulfill their own dreams and go on to great success within the legal community.”

Bass’s contribution, which is part of UM’s Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, will also honor the value of practical experience and the training that one can receive as a student at Miami Law.

“The law school taught me to solve people’s problems,” she said. “Being a good lawyer is more than just being able to write a great 20-page memo. While detailed legal analysis is the foundation on which everything else is based, clients want a straightforward, two-sentence answer about how you can solve their problems. I have to credit Miami Law with teaching me those important skills.”

Bass is a passionate supporter of the University of Miami. In addition to gifts to the School of Law, her generous contributions have included support for the School of Education and Human Development, the College of Arts and Sciences, and UM Athletics.

“Hilarie Bass’s contributions to this law school community are deep and varied,” said UM School of Law Dean Patricia D. White. “She is a source of wisdom and innovative ideas, she mentors students and makes connections for them and for the institution, she is a wonderfully articulate and committed advocate for the school, and she is unfailingly generous with her time. She is a wonderful role model for lawyers everywhere and it is appropriate that the central gathering space at the school will become ‘The Bass Bricks.’ ”

A ceremony will be held in the fall to officially dedicate “The Bass Bricks” in her honor and to recognize her philanthropy.


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Immigration Clinic Challenges Detainee’s Mandatory Detention and Wins in Untested Argument

Third-year Miami Law student Ross Militello was abe to give his client's mother good news: Her daughter was released from natatory detention.

Third-year Miami Law student Ross Militello was able to give his client’s mother good news: Her daughter was released from mantatory detention.

Special to UM News

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 13, 2014) School of Law Immigration Clinic students Ian Shaw, Lindsay Adkin, and Ross Militello petitioned for and won the release of a Haitian woman who had been held in immigration detention for more than a year. In granting the students’ petition, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga ordered their client eligible for a bond hearing. The bond hearing was held in immigration court, and the judge ordered the client released.

“The case was especially challenging because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has not yet ruled on the legal challenge we raised,” said third-year law student Shaw, who worked on the case over the summer.

Under immigration law, certain immigrants are held without bond while their immigration cases are pending. The Immigration Clinic students challenged this mandatory detention provision, arguing that prolonged detention without bond violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of due process.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has filed an appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Second-year student Adkin and third-year Militello wrote the response to the federal government’s opposition to the petition. “When the petition was granted, I was excited to see that our constitutional argument had resonated with the judge but quickly realized that we still had another hurdle,” said Adkin. “Our client was not released from detention until a successful bond hearing. The real victory only came when our client was released in time to be with her family for the holidays.”

“I am thrilled for the client and proud to have had the opportunity to work on stopping indefinite pre-removal order detention,” said Militello, who represented the client in immigration court for the bond hearing in late December.

“To our knowledge, this is the first case in Florida in which a district court judge has ruled that the detention statute must be read in line with the U.S. Constitution to limit detention to a reasonable period of time,” said Rebecca Sharpless, director of the Immigration Clinic. “I’m impressed with how effectively our students were able to brief the issues in this case. I look forward to working with students to defend the district court’s opinion on appeal.”

The Immigration Clinic is part of UM Law’s Clinical Program in which second- and third-year students represent clients and work on advocacy projects.  Applications are now being accepted for enrollment in a clinic over the summer or next year (fall and spring). The online application is available on the Clinical Program’s website.


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Dean White Ranks Among the Most Influential Legal Educators in the U.S.


Dean White Ranks Among the Most Influential Legal Educators in the U.S.

School of Law Dean Patricia A. White

School of Law Dean Patricia D. White

Patricia D. White, dean of the University of Miami School of Law, remains a “formidable force in the world of legal education,” says the National Jurist, which ranked her 15th most influential in legal education in the United States based on a poll of her peers.

White’s top ranking appears in the January 2014 issue of the magazine, which noted she and the others listed are “involved in the discussions and efforts” about the state of legal education at a time when applications to many law schools are trending downward and layoffs are occurring. The authors of the article cite Legal Corps and LawWithoutWalls as two of White’s accomplishments since joining UM in 2009.

“Trish White is one of very few incumbent law school deans regularly putting forward usefully provocative new approaches to the substantial challenges currently facing legal education,” said Vice Dean and Professor of Law Patrick O. Gudridge. “She is rightly recognized again this year — and likely will continue to be — for taking on this difficult and necessary task.”

LawWithoutWalls draws on the talents of students and faculty from 20 academic institutions around the world to discover innovations in legal education and practice; Legal Corps is a unique fellowship program that places Miami Law graduates in non-profit and public sector organizations nationwide and overseas. National Jurist also notes that White was named by legal blogger Brian Leiter as one of nine transformative law deans in the first decade of this century.

White spent a decade at the helm of the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law before moving to Florida to become Miami Law’s eleventh dean.

The magazine asked 350 people in legal education, including many law school deans, to rate legal educators and advocates based on how much he or she had influenced them in the preceding 12 months.

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