Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Alumna Cassandra Jeffries Named Partner at Kelley Kronenberg

Cassandra Jeffries
St.Thomas Law is proud to announce that 2004 graduate Cassandra Jeffries has been named the newest partner at the South Florida office of Kelley Kronenberg Attorneys at Law.

Ms. Jeffries has years of experience representing insurance companies in First Party and Third Party matters. Prior to joining Kelley Kronenberg, she was a litigation attorney in Boca Raton representing financial institutions in contested foreclosure matters focusing on trials, depositions, and evidentiary hearings.

She has conducted depositions of party-opponents, medical providers and witnesses along with defending individual and corporate clients during depositions.

While earning her law degree, she served as a Research Assistant as well as a Legal Intern for the Honorable Stephen T. Brown, Southern District of Florida.   She also served as the Senior Articles Editor on the Board of Editors of the Law Review and was a member of the Moot Court team.

We salute Cassandra as she continues to forge new paths in her professional career while embodying the spirit of success fostered at St. Thomas Law.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Third-year Law Student Shares Experiences from United Nations Internship in New York

St. Thomas Law prides itself on the quality of experiential learning opportunities afforded to our students. Our clinical and externship programs are geared towards allowing our law students to serve the public, explore career possibilities in various areas of legal practice, gain first-hand insight into the strategic and ethical dimensions of the profession, and acquire valuable legal skills in a supportive educational environment. One of our most transformative programs is the Pax Romana United Nations Internship which aims to form global legal leaders by instilling in students the knowledge of multilateral international organizations, the importance of globalizing international relations, and a desire to use law to assist the world's most vulnerable.

Third-year student law student, Nabil Abu Nahlah, is currently in this New York-based internship and has begun to share his experiences. Below is a snapshot of his time so far.


By: Nabil Abu Nahlah 

My first few weeks as a Saint Thomas University School of Law Intern with the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (“Order of Malta”) Permanent Mission at the United Nations (“UN”) at the UN Headquarters in New York was an extraordinary experience. Being introduced the first day to the UN halls and conference rooms, you are then directed to attend meetings and conferences on behalf of the Mission. For instance, as I am writing this article the President of Yemen is speaking in front of me at the 71st General Assembly, next to me is the Australian Foreign Minister who leans over to me every now and then and asks me questions regarding the next speakers.

It is the most exciting time of my life, I have met President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Amal Clooney, George Clooney, Forest Whitaker, and numerous presidents, prime ministers and UN ambassadors including the Prime Minister of Bangladesh H.E. Sheikha Hasina, with whom I had a long and stimulating conversation at the Vienna Café in the UN building. This Internship at the UN has already allowed me to make high level contact with more than 30 countries and UN officials all holding prestigious positions. Please keep in mind that this is the very beginning of my UN Internship.

The 71st General Assembly of the UN is focused on Refugees and Migrants, it was the first time the General Assembly had called for a Summit with the Heads of State concerning large movements of refugees and migrants and was a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response to the ongoing humanitarian refugee crisis. The Summit was a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and a unique opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants. Given my interest in being an International Human Rights lawyer, this Summit is the pinnacle of my studies and will provide the opportunity to learn from international scholars and international leaders worldwide. This is the most unique and transformative experience of many in my lifetime. It also provides the opportunity to network at an international level, an opportunity that is impossible to replicate anywhere else in the World. Because of this exceptional opportunity and the guidance of Professor Mark J. Wolff, I believe that my professional future development is very bright and heading in the right direction.

Left to right: H.E. Ambassador Daniele Verga;  H.E. Ambassador and Permanent Observer Oscar R. De Rojas; H.E. Ambassador and Permanent Observer Ms. Rory McCarthy; H.E. Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel Grand Hospitaller;  H.E. Ambassador Stefano Ronca-Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs; 3L Nabil Abu Nahlah 

H.E. Sheikha Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh with Mr. Nabil Abu Nahlah 

Mr. Forest Whitaker-Actor and Activist and Mr. Nabil Abu Nahlah 

The Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations: H.E. Rafael Ramirez Carreño

Monday, October 24, 2016

Professor Patricia Moore's Article Ranked Top Ten All-Time for Downloads on SSRN

Professor Patricia Moore
Professor Patricia Moore's 2010 paper "The Tao of Pleading: Do Twombly and IQBAL Matter Empirically?", was recently listed on SSRN's (Social Science research Network) all-time, top ten download lists for the topic of Procedural Issues and sub-topic of Procedure (Private Law - Discrimination).

This is not the first time Professor Moore's articles has reached the SSRN  top ten list. Her article, The Anti-Plaintiff Pending Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Pro-Defendant Composition of the Federal Rulemaking Committees was listed on the SSRN Top Ten download list in ten separate categories.

Professor Moore has also been called on by journalists and editors from national publications for her expertise. Her scholarship on civil procedure is evidence of her important and ever-increasing public impact in the field.

She teaches Civil Procedure, Evidence, Pre-Trial Litigation, and Complex Litigation. Her major publications have been cited in dozens of judicial opinions and she has testified before US Congress on matters involving civil litigation; in particular, class action cases.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Human Trafficking Academy Hosts Human Rights Workshop for Middle School Students

On October 14, 2016,  26 seventh and eighth grade students from  H.I.V.E. Preparatory School visited St. Thomas Law.  Hosted by the Human Trafficking Academy & the LL.M./J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights the goal of the visit was to have the middle school students learn about universal human rights, the protections of human rights and freedoms in domestic and international law.

Professor Pati Shares her expertise with the students

The students engaged in a lively discussion with Professor Roza Pati on the universality of human rights and the importance of human rights education. LL.M. students Pryscilla Nicolau, Tiffany Caldwell, and Ty’jah Hill led small group activities and discussions about various current issues on human rights including children’s rights, human trafficking of children, and the child refugee crisis in Syria. 

St. Thomas Law LL.M. students led educational group activities 

Coordinated by Ms. Karla Garcia, Executive Assistant of the Human Trafficking Academy, students had the opportunity to tour the law school campus and visit different departments such as the Office for Career Development, Immigration Clinic, and the LL.M./J.S.D. Program. 

These students are part of a special legal-oriented program at H.I.V.E. and their visit to St. Thomas aimed at encouraging their interest in the legal profession and human rights advocacy.  

St. Thomas University School of Law is a law school committed to human rights and social justice—committed to teaching, training, and empowering the next generation of human rights advocates and decision makers through our globally unique LL.M. Program; and, committed to original research in the field through our J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights. Through programs like our Human Trafficking Academy, we address the cutting edge of global issues of concern and train students to solve these problems responsibly.

Professor Roza Pati Presents at International Conference on Human Rights

Professor Roza Pati
Professor Roza Pati recently presented at an international conference on Human Rights in the 21st Century, organized by the University of Saskatchewan School of Law, in Canada. Her presentation was titled Slavery Then and Now: An Eternal Human Rights Problem.

The conference, held from September 29 - October 1, 2016, brought together internationally prominent speakers, educators and human rights advocates to discuss and share theories and solutions to global human tights issues.

Professor Pati shared the panel with Professor Paul Finkelman, Ariel F. Sallows Chair of Human Rights at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan and Professor Raymond T. Diamond, Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Louisiana State University.

Other panelists at the conference included Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, Bunji Sawanobori, Dean of the Law School, Nanzan University, Japan, The Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Dr. John Young, President and CEO, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Professor Pati teaches International Law, Human Rights Law and Human Trafficking Law. She is a former Member of Parliament and a Cabinet Member serving as the Secretary of State for Youth and Women of Albania, Dr. Pati has a rich experience in public service and academia. In August 2012, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Professor Pati to be a Member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, at the Vatican. She is the only Council member representing the United States.

St. Thomas Law Student Secures Prestigious White House Internship

Ricky Marc
This past Spring, third-year St. Thomas Law student, Ricky Marc, began a once-in-a-lifetime experience having been accepted into the prestigious White House Internship program.

White House internships provide a unique opportunity for students to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills.

The selection process is highly competitive and Ricky was one of only two South Floridian law students selected. Selection as a White House Intern is based on commitment to public service, demonstrated leadership in the community, and a commitment to the mission of the Obama Administration.

As an intern, Ricky became a part of the White House team, with  daily assignments including conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, writing memos, and staffing events.

Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, among others.

We were excited to get the following insight from Ricky following his experience:

What drew you to the White House internship program?

Just the thought of being able to say that I not only served in the Obama Administration, but more importantly my country and its people during such a critical time in American history was enough to draw me to the White House Internship Program. The application process was quite simple, actually: I went to the White House's website and filled out the application form! 

What did you hope to get out of the experience?

There isn't much time left before the next administration takes the reins, but there remains so much left to be done to help the American public. I want to continue to grow as a human being and as a public servant, and to make lifelong connections with some good people while I am here. Most importantly, I want to continue to develop the public service bug within me, as I know that my role within my community back home will change forever because of this experience.

What and where were your key assignments?

Since I started my internship in the Office of Public Engagement, I've worked on various projects, like events during Black History Month, outreach to the Asian American Pacific Islanders community, and even Veterans issues from time to time. I help wherever I am needed because it feels good to be able to help the machine run well. My policy is that I am here to help in any way that I can, and it gives me great joy to be able to do that while working with everyone here.

What was your first day like?  What is a typical day like?

In many ways, my first day was very much of a blur. Our second day was the State of the Union, so the first day was a whirlwind of activity throughout the White House. With everyone getting ready for the speech, time just flew by. It was a numbing feeling, realizing where I was after all of the waiting and work leading up to this.

A typical day involved arriving at the office in the morning and checking in with a few staffers on the day's events. I would print out my schedule, attach it to my clipboard, and review what needs to be done for the day. On occasion, there was an event somewhere on the premises that interns helped to manage. Due to the changing nature of events and the likelihood of unexpected developments, roles never turned out to be exactly what they were on paper. That's the exciting part of those events. Afterwards, it was mostly checking in with staffers and making sure projects that I was assigned were done by deadline.

What was the high point of the internship?

That's an easy one. The whole internship was an emotional high for me. It's where I've always wanted to be since I was a six-year old watching President Bill Clinton debate Senator Bob Dole on television during the 1996 election season, so you could imagine how glazed-over my eyes must have been approaching the iconic building for the first time. President Barack Obama is the only public figure I have ever been star-struck by.

Do you want to have a career in public service or as an elected official? If not, what are your career aspirations?

Absolutely. A career in public service as an elected official has always been something I've been drawn to do. It is something I often dream about. My home state of Florida needs someone that speaks on behalf of a new generation. I attribute this desire to the experiences I've gained here as well as my time working with Florida State Representative Bobby Powell during (and after) my undergraduate years. I look forward to the opportunity to represent my family, neighborhood, community, city, county, state, and country in elected office.

It would be an honor to be an active part of the governing process someday; but first, I need to finish my legal education. I plan on returning to St. Thomas University in fall 2016 to continue my studies and to finish my J.D./M.B.A. in Sports Administration. I look forward to one day becoming either a sports agent or a league executive in the National Basketball Association. The idea of being a professional franchise's general counsel excites me, as it would bring together two of my loves (the law and sports). Entertainment and Sports Law essentially creates an umbrella of varying practices, such as business law, immigration law, corporate law, some tax law, and various other concentrations I have a strong interest in.

But I need to pass the Florida Bar first. Once I do that, I will be able to fulfill my desire to serve as an advocate for those that cannot speak for themselves in the legal system. This is also why I hope to represent my community's voice in elected office in the years to come. It's my hope that my work here in Washington, D.C. makes my family, my community, and my school proud.

How has your time at St. Thomas Law prepared you for this experience?

In addition to the unconditional love and support of my mother, father, siblings, and extended family, this transition to Washington D.C. wouldn't have been possible without the help, wisdom, and guidance of some good people down there along the way - Deans Alfredo Garcia, Cecile Dykas, and John Hernandez, Andres Marrero, Jiovanna Bryant, Delores Hollis-Hall, and Rudy Jacir, just to name a few. There is no doubt that my education and overall experiences at St. Thomas University have helped me out big time while I was at the White House. They, along with many others throughout this experience, have truly been invaluable.

Being a student at St. Thomas Law has helped me become a much more analytical and objective thinker in all aspects of my life, making certain tasks here at work a lot easier than they otherwise would have been. As someone that has taken courses taught by world-class professors such as Jennifer Martin, John and June-Mary Makdisi, Tamara Lawson, Nadia Soree, and Barbara Singer, I feel like I can take on the world. I am thankful to have had these professors thus far.

Being on the executive board of multiple on-campus organizations since my first year (such as the Student Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Law Society, Jewish Law Students Association, and the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity) made it possible for me to easily transfer those acquired to skills to the various events and projects I faced as an intern at The White House.

The St. Thomas Law community is proud of the drive and determination displayed by Ricky in securing this opportunity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

St. Thomas Law Student Selected for KMMF Summer Fellowship and Scholarship

Daniel Joseph (2L)
St. Thomas Law extends our congratulations to second-year law student, Daniel Joseph.  Daniel has been accepted into the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation (KMMF) Summer Fellowship - a first for a St. Thomas Law student. The KMMF provides summer fellowships to academically and professionally driven first or second year law students.

The Fellowship Committee's selection criteria includes evidence of performance indicative of likely future success in the field of law. The Fellowship Committee considers, among other things, academic excellence, financial need, commitment to community service, commitment to diversity, and leadership skills.

Daniel was elected as a 1L Student Governor for the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, where he assisted in furthering the goals of the Florida Bar. He is a candidate for the St. Thomas Law Review and has made the Dean's List each semester while at St. Thomas Law. He also serves as Treasurer for the Black Law Student Association.

"It is an honor to be recognized by such an established and respectable organization for the hard work and diligence I exhibited," stated Daniel upon learning of his selection. "This is an immeasurable opportunity for law students to network with practitioners and judges."

Daniel's passions include mentoring and motivating young people. He considers it an honor to serve as a mentor in the Honorable Peter Palermo Program, which is a community partnership that involves regular visits by St. Thomas Law students to the Law Magnet Program at Miami Carol City Senior High School. Daniel and his classmates teach topics ranging from Constitutional Law to U.S. Government and History. This past summer, Daniel interned with the Honorable Alan Forst at the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal. 

Daniel is a dedicated father of two, and resides in Palm Beach County.