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The FIU College of Law Trial Advocacy Program recently welcomed powerhouse trial lawyer Alex Alvarez to FIU College of Law for Great Legal Storytellers 8.

Regaling a packed ceremonial courtroom, Alvarez spoke on his extraordinary career trajectory, from hometown Cuban son, to homicide detective in the infamous Miami River Cops case, to law school standout, to nationally-recognized trial lawyer specializing in tobacco, mass tort, medical negligence — and a jury selection guru — with the theme, “Life on the Front Lines: Reinventing Yourself to Stay Relevant.”

View the GLS 8 program here.

Pictured (left to right): Southern District of Florida United States Attorney Markenzy Lapointe, Professor and Founding Director of the FIU Law Trial Advocacy Program H.T. Smith, Cicero, Alex Alvarez, and Dean and FIU Foundation Professor of Law Antony Page

Newly sworn in United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe introducing Alex Alvarez

Alex Alvarez delivering his GLS 8 presentation to the ceremonial courtroom crowd

The event also featured a welcome by COL Dean and FIU Foundation Professor of Law Antony Page, a heartwarming  introduction of Alvarez by newly sworn in United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe, the first Black person to serve as the top federal law enforcement lawyer in this region, and presentation of the 2023 Alex Alvarez Trial Advocacy Scholarship, with this year’s recipient COL Class of 2022 and FIU Trial Team Champion Christopher C. Chillingworth.

COL ’22 Christopher C. Chillingworth (far right), receiving the Alex Alvarez Scholarship in Trial Advocacy.  Also pictured (left to right): Professor Smith, U.S. Attorney Lapointe, FIU Trial Team President 3L Victoria Thacker, Trial Team Vice President 3L Evan Thomas, and Alex Alvarez

The FIU Trial Team was also recognized for its phenomenal performance this past year, resulting in its first-ever Top 20 national rankings.

At the close of the presentation, Professor H.T. Smith, Founding Director of the Trial Advocacy Program, presented Alvarez with the traditional FIU GLS recognition, a bust of the great legal storyteller himself, Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Alvarez concluded his visit moving into the small courtroom to conduct a very special Q-and-A session just for FIU Law Trial Team members and trial advocacy students.

GLS 8 featured presenter Alvarez, alongside Professor Smith, holding court in our small courtroom for a private audience with Trial Team members and trial advocacy students.

“Great Legal Storytellers is the signature event of our Trial Advocacy Program,” Professor Smith said.  “It allows our students to be present with and proximate to the best trial lawyers in America, and to instill in them a burning desire to strive for greatness to serve client and cause.”

GLS is the Trial Advocacy Program’s annual event introducing our students to the best trial lawyers and storytellers in the country.  Past programs have featured renowned Miami criminal defense lawyer Roy Black; nationally-recognized civil rights champion Ben Crump; Los Angeles’ Tom Mesereau, Michael Jackson’s trial counsel; Mark O’Mara, George Zimmerman defender for the killing of Trayvon Martin; “The Giant Killer,” trial lawyer Willie Gary; Bill Cosby defense counsel Monique Pressley; and FIU Law’s own Desmond Meade, Class of 2013, President and Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, author of Let My People Vote: My Battle so Restore the Civil Rights of Returning Citizens, and 2019 Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People in the World.

To find out more about Trial Advocacy at FIU Law and all that our program has to offer, call 305-348-8095 or visit