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When the FIU Law Alumni Association’s Executive Committee met last summer to strategize about the 2014-2015 term, they decided to break new ground and host an event that would impact the community, benefit students and give alumni an opportunity to give back to their alma mater.

So, when Jeffrey Molinaro ’10, vice president of the Association, suggested hosting a casino night—the planning began!

The Association will host a Casino Night fundraiser to support the FIU Law Legal Clinics and the Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership’s Legal Up! Program on Friday, February 27th at the Coral Gables Museum.

“We were determined to host a successful event and recognized early on that to do so we needed a presenting sponsor,” said Robert Scavone Jr., president of the FIU Law Alumni Association. The Association initially found it tough to secure a presenting sponsor, but that changed once Victoria Sica ’07, a member of the Association’s Board of Directors and an associate at Wicker Smith, P.A., approached the firm’s managing partner, Nicholas E. Christin, about becoming a sponsor. “Victoria was instrumental in arranging a meeting between Mr. Christin and me and after we spoke, Wicker Smith agreed to make a significant contribution.”

Mr. Christin shared the firm’s reasons for supporting the event.

“Wicker Smith has hired several FIU Law graduates whom have proven to be excellent lawyers, and thus we are happy to give back to the institution. As for Legal Up!, Judge Ursula Ungaro’s vision of improving civic and legal education for those most in need, is a profound effort and one that the firm is glad to support.”

For the Association, helping the Legal Clinic and Legal Up! “made perfect sense,” Scavone Jr. explained.

“FIU Law stresses community service as part of its curriculum, and the FIU Law’s Legal Clinics have a direct and meaningful impact on the community,” Scavone Jr. shared. “Last year, more than 100 students provided more than 26,000 hours of free legal services to more than 540 individuals, groups, and organizations through the Legal Clinics. Many alumni have a deep affinity for the clinics and have carried the desire to serve the community into their carries.”

The Association’s Board was equally eager to support Legal Up!. “After hearing about the Program’s impact on so many young people, we decided to help support Legal Up! and to facilitate alumni participation in the Program,” shared Scavone Jr.

In addition to supporting the Legal Clinics and Legal Up!, two outstanding individuals will be honored at the event. Alumnus Jordan Dollar ’07, who serves as an adjunct clinical professor at FIU Law, will be recognized for his work with the Legal Clinics, and Brian F. Spector will be recognized for his commitment to and work on behalf of the Legal Up! Program.

The event has energized the alumni, many of whom are sponsoring the event.

“The alumni are very excited about the event, and so far, we have raised more than $30,000 in sponsorships and silent auction items,” Scavone Jr. said. “We could not have done this without the support of our alumni sponsors. In fact, more than half of the sponsors are alumni-run firms. We are grateful for all of our sponsors, and particularly for Wicker Smith’s support. We hope alumni-hosted fundraisers become an annual tradition.”

You can purchase tickets and learn more about the Casino Night
’s sponsors and beneficiaries here.