FIU alumna Mary Olszewska ’09 was featured in the Daily Business Review for her work as second chair trial counsel for a case that was bifurcated into liability and damage trials.
Matt Bernstein ’11 serves as legal advisor on the front lines in Afghanistan. Read the article here.
As part of FIU’s celebration of Panther Alumni Week (PAW) 2014, which will be held February 3-7, FIU Law will welcome back 10 of its alumni for an evening of open discussion on how to be job ready, how to balance work and life, and other topics related to the legal profession. Panelists include an appellate clerk, assistant public defenders, solo practitioners, an assistant state attorney, and attorneys in private practice. The panel takes place on Tuesday, February 4 at 6 p.m. in the large courtroom.
PAW 2014 is the first-ever alumni week of service which brings alumni back as guest speakers to inspire students as they start their academic career.
Two FIU Law alumni received the honor of being named Most Effective Lawyers 2013 by the Daily Business Review (“DBR”). Dustin Herman ‘10 and Adam Kara-Lopez ‘10 were among the list of who’s who in the legal profession to receive the award. Each year, the DBR recognizes the best work delivered by both private and public sector lawyers across the tri-county area. More than 80 attorneys in 12 different practice areas were recognized.
Adam Kara-Lopez, of the law firm Robert Pearce P.A., was a finalist in the Arbitration and Mediation category. Dustin Herman, with the Romano Law Group, was recognized for his work in a Personal Injury case. For details on their stories, visit the DBR’s Most Effective Lawyers 2013 publication.
In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, FIU Law alumni came out in full force to support Kristi House Child Advocacy Center during the Second Annual Toys & Toasts of Good Cheer event. With close to 100 alumni and guests in attendance, the event raised more than $500 and collected three giant sacks of toys for children whose holiday season will be made a little brighter. For Alumni Association President Robert Scavone Jr., it was a great way to kick-off the holiday season.
“The event was a huge success, and it was great to see so many friends and colleagues. We had a record turnout and were able to help the young women and children Kristi House supports,” he shared. “Community involvement and giving back is a big part of what FIU Law is all about, and I am proud the alumni continue to do their part for those among us. We hope to have an even bigger event next year.”
Toys & Toasts of Good Cheer strives to bring awareness to the efforts of Kristi House and serves as a way for alumni to celebrate with one another. For Maria Clara Rodriguez of Kristi House the evening was very special.
“We are grateful for this partnership and appreciate the support of FIU Law’s alumni,” Rodriguez commented. “It’s wonderful to know that despite their busy schedules this group of committed individuals took the time to give back to help put a smile on the faces of the children we serve.”
If you missed the event and/or want to support Kristi House please click here.
Congratulations to FIU Law Alumni Association Vice President Olivia C. Rodriguez ’10 on her recent election to the CABA Board of Directors.
FIU Law alumnus George Castrataro – a member of the inaugural class – was recognized for his work in helping to prevent bullying by the National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment Organization (NVEEE) during their Third Annual NVEEE ‘Not On My Watch’ Red Carpet event. NVEEE strives to prevent bullying, violence, and suicide among youth, families and communities through direct service, mentoring and prevention education.
Castrataro is the founder of the Law Offices of George Castrataro where his firm closely aligns itself with NVEEE’s mission on a number of issues and is committed to using the firm’s resources to positively impact the community. “I am thrilled to be amongst NVEEE’s honorees and to help call attention to an issue that affects all of us,” he commented.
Castrataro is being recognized for his volunteer work, which includes serving as board of director and pro bono counsel for Care Resource. He also serves as an appointed member of the Broward County Housing Council and volunteers as State co-chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
In addition to his pro bono work with NVEEE, his office has provided nearly a half of a million dollars through the support of clients, colleagues and friends. He has contributed nearly $100,000 in direct contributions, almost $350,000 in pro bono services and indirect contributions and almost 1,300 pro bono hours.
When the Florida Legislature established FIU Law in 2000, it did so based on the ideal that the law school would provide a high-quality legal education that was affordable and accessible. In 2002, men and women of the inaugural class took a gamble on FIU Law, which had yet to be accredited. Their risk paid off. “I count myself lucky to have been a part of the FIU Law inaugural class,” said Christy Lopez. “I had complete confidence that I would be prepared to pass the bar and be practice ready. FIU Law provided me with all of that and more.”
To celebrate this group of trailblazers, the FIU Law Alumni Association, with the assistance of host committee chairs Alejandro “Alex” Raul Alvarez, Natalie Inchaustegui-Duenas, Jennifer Remy-Estornio and Mauricio Damian Rivero held a special event: Honoring our Beginning. For co-chair, Natalie Inchaustegui-Duenas, it was a time to reconnect with colleagues and reaffirm her commitment to FIU Law. “Being at the reception reminded me of how proud I am to be an FIU Law alumna and how important my class was in laying the foundation for the law school and future graduates,” she said.
Throughout the evening, professors and alumni reminisced about all the growing pains and ‘firsts’ they experienced during those early years. It was an opportunity to marvel at how far they had come as lawyers and to see what their alma mater has become.
The celebration was marked with the unveiling of a plaque which lists the names of the men and women from the inaugural class. The plaque was generously donated by the FIU Law Alumni Association. For Alumni President Robert Scavone Jr., it was a time to recognize the class of 2002 as “pioneers and risk takers.” “The graduates who followed you and those who will follow owe you a debt of gratitude for proving that with a law degree from FIU Law there is nothing you cannot do,” said Scavone Jr.
In May of 2014, FIU Law will graduate its 10th class. Since opening its doors in 2002, FIU Law was accredited in record time, rose more than 40 spots in the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, graduated more than 1100 practice-ready attorneys.
Alumna Rosann Speigel (’04) has earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and was recently inducted as Vice President of the Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists. More on her story here.
Kimberlee Martin (’13), Oscar Fernandez (2L), and Michelle Nahmias (2L) represented Team FIU Law during the Dolphins Cycling Challenge which raises awareness and funds for cancer research. Finding a cure for the disease is personal for each of them and in honor of their loved ones who have been impacted by the disease they each dedicated their rides to them. ”Through the DCC, the community can come together to raise funds and awareness for cancer research which directly benefits local people in need,” said Fernandez.
The team of riders trained hard to meet the physical demands of the challenge and reached into their own pockets to register and donate to the cause. ”To see so many riders put forth their own time, resources, and to submit themselves to such a physically demanding event all in the hope of one day finding a cure for cancer was incredibly heartwarming,” said Martin.
Martin and Nahmias started their 30 mile journey from Sun Life Stadium to South Beach at 7 am on Saturday,November 2. ”It’s been by far one of the most enjoyable athletic and philanthropic activities I have ever taken part in. Being able to ride while being greeted by so many different people in different neighborhoods and being able to take in the scenic beauty was amazing,” said Nahmias. On Sunday, November 3, Martin and Fernandez took on the Dolphins 13 ride which started at the Dolphins Training Camp in Davie and ended on the 50 yard line at the Sun Life Stadium.
There is still time to support the cause.
Be a part of the team, even if you don’t ride, bymaking a donation to Team FIU Law!