Directory

Florida International University College of Law

Florida International University College of Law
11200 SW 8th Street
Green Library Room 475
Miami, FL 33199
law.fiu.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Professor Phyllis Williams Kotey
Director of Externships and Pro Bono Program
E-mail
P: (305) 348-5433

Jessica Michelle Ciminero, J.D.
Pro Bono Program Coordinator, Student Development & Programming
Employment Coordinator, Abraham S. Ovadia Career Planning & Placement Office
E-mail
P: (305) 348-3157

Zoraya Ledesma
Administrative Assistant for the Clinical Program, Externship Program, Trial Advocacy Program, and Academic Enrichment Program
E-mail
P: (305) 348-7541

Category Type

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement Program

Description of Programs

Florida International University College of Law's Pro Bono Program is a manifestation of the commitment of FIU College of Law, its faculty and alumni to ensuring that our students learn about a lawyer's role in providing access to justice by assisting in providing legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems.

FIU College of Law defines pro bono service as "uncompensated legal services or legal education in conjunction with a lawyer, law firm, or legal organization to individuals, groups or organizations; seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights or work on behalf of individuals, groups or causes that may otherwise lack access to the legal system." Pro bono service may also include "participation in legal or educational activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession with a charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations. The legal activities must be in furtherance of the organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate."

All FIU College of Law students are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of qualifying pro bono legal service prior to their final semester before graduating.

Location of Programs

The program is located administratively within the Office of the Academic Dean who monitors the academic progress of students in completing the graduation requirements.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Director of the Pro Bono Program develops, manages and maintains the Pro Bono Program by evaluating and approving proposed pro bono projects; teaching and mentoring students and supervisors regarding appropriate pro bono projects and appropriate student work; directing, coordinating and maintaining an accurate record-keeping system to track student pro bono projects and hours; providing reports to be transmitted to the Registrar for certification of completion of graduation requirements for all students' work, under FIU College of Law's mandatory Pro Bono Program; and engages in university and public relations, including integration with the bench and bar, to maintain visibility of the program and support a general environment conducive to student development of new programs.

Funding

The FIU College of Law Pro Bono Program is funded by the FIU College of Law Center for Professionalism and Ethics.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects


Advancing Law and Technology (ALT)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Constitution Society
Black Law Student Association (BLSA)
Broward County Bar Association
Caribbean Student Bar Association (CSBA)
Christian Legal Society
Club for Mindful & Conscious Living (CFMCL)
Criminal Law Society
Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
Dade County Bar Association – FIU Student Chapter
Employment & Labor Law Society (ELLS)
Environmental Law Society (ELS)
Federal Bar Association – South FL Chapter
Federalist Society
FIU Law Democrats
FIU Law Maritime Law Society
Florida Bar's Young Lawyer's Division – FIU
Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA)
Immigration Law Society
Intellectual Property Student Association
International Law Student Association (ILSA)
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
Muslim Law Student Association (MLSA)
National Lawyers Guild
Phi Alpha Delta
Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Society (RPPTL)
Sports & Entertainment Law Society (SELS)
Stonewall Legal Alliance
Society of Legal Entrepreneurship
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Student Bar Association
Women's Law Society

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

Awards/Recognition

Awards and recognition have been given to students upon Commencement, including Community and Public Service Excellence Award, Pro Bono Service Award, and Excellence in Service to the Clinical Programs Award.

A Medal of Distinction in Pro Bono Service is awarded to recognize students who have completed at least 100 hours above the mandatory 30 pro bono hours.

Additionally, a reception is held for student organizational leaders and those students who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to community service and/or pro bono work.

Community Service

On-going community service projects include student involvement at multiple agencies in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, including Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., Catholic Charities Legal Services, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Legal Aid of Broward County, Church World Service, Put Something Back, The Self-Help Project of the 11th Circuit Court, the Public Defender's Office of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Human Services Coalition, and Lawyers for Literacy.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Dean Michelle Mason
Senior Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Student Development and Outreach, & Director of Center for Professionalism and Ethics
E-mail
P: (305) 348-2444

Ana Bierman
Assistant Dean of the Abraham S. Ovadia Career Planning & Placement Office
E-mail
P: (305) 348-8376

Professor Phyllis Williams Kotey
Director of Externships and Pro Bono Program
E-mail
P: (305) 348-5433

Professor Margaret (Peggy) Maisel
Director of Clinical Program
E-mail
P: (305) 348-7541

Zoraya Ledesma
Administrative Assistant for the Clinical Program, Externship Program, Trial Advocacy Program, and Academic Enrichment Program
E-mail
P: (305) 348-7541

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

None listed

Public Interest Clinics



Consumer Bankruptcy Clinic
Death Penalty Clinic
Environmental Law Clinic
Family & Education Law Clinic
Health Law & Policy (HELP) Clinic
Immigrant Children's Justice Clinic
Immigration & Human Rights Clinic
Investor Advocacy Clinic
Small Business Clinic

Externships/Internships

Florida International University College of Law's Legal Externship Program provides an opportunity for our students to increase their legal knowledge, gain exposure to a real work environment, and provide valuable support to a legal employer in the corporate, governmental or public sector.

Criminal Externship Placement
Civil Externship Placement
Judicial Externship Placement
Advanced Externship Placement

The Criminal, Civil and Judicial Externships are one semester, six-credit courses. These placements combine an academic classroom component for two graded credits with a clinical placement at an approved site for four pass/fail credits. Students work at the placement under the "field supervision" of a member of the Bar. The Advanced Externship Placement is an externship placement for variable credit hours for those students who have taken a previous externship and wish to continue in the same area or a different placement.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Community Law Teaching ("Street Law")

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

The Abraham S. Ovadia Career Planning & Placement Office holds an annual Public Interest and Government Law Resource Fair where representatives from numerous public interest organizations and government agencies come to campus to discuss available career opportunities with law students.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None listed

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Florida International University College of Law funds three Fellowships in the Clinical Program for Law Graduates. This is a one year position.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Florida International University College of Law funds a Florida Supreme Court Fellowships for law students and provides a stipend of $3,000.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

None listed

Student Public Interest Groups

None listed

August 7, 2018