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Student Ambassadors

Meet Our Student Ambassadors

FIU Law Ambassadors are available to help prospective students, their families and the FIU community get an inside view of what FIU Law is really about. Student Ambassadors are leaders and come from different backgrounds, with varying undergraduate degrees from universities around the country. They serve as the link between the current law school community and the future student body.
John Balloveras

John Balloveras

Undergraduate Institution: University of Florida
Emailjball064@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, FL

Legal Affiliation: FIU Law Student Body Association—Secretary; International Law Student Association—President; FIU Law Moot Court Member; Negotiation and Arbitration Team

Why FIU Law?

I am interested in international law, and Miami is a growing hub for international law, especially with Latin America. I wanted to attend an excellent school that could launch me into a career in international law, and I was very lucky that it was in my hometown!

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The community. I could not have asked for a more supportive environment for my law school career, especially during the pandemic. My classmates, professors, friends, and faculty here at FIU Law have pushed me to excel in ways I never would have imagined.

Justin Coffie

Justin Coffie

Undergraduate Institution: Hillsborough Community College, Florida International University
Email: jcoff009@fiu.edu
Hometown: Tampa, FL

Legal Affiliation: BLSA, SEFA, MLES, IPSA, ACLU of Miami

Why FIU Law?

I chose FIU Law because of my strong interest in civil rights and social justice. FIU Law’s Advanced Trial Advocacy Program is among the best programs in the nation. I hope to join the trial team to learn the art of legal storytelling. I would like to acquire this skill to better advocate for underrepresented individuals.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

My favorite thing about FIU Law is the college’s dedication in ensuring each students’ success. I would like to give a special shoutout to Dean Schulze and Professor Lorenzo for their support throughout my law school journey.

Victoria Dias

Undergraduate Institution: Florida State University
Email:  vdias003@fiu.edu
Hometown: Wellington, FL

Legal Affiliation: Student Bar Association - Secretary, Criminal Law Society - Secretary, Lexis Nexis Representative, Peer Mentor

Why FIU Law?

Obviously, the bar passage rate played a role but a student at the time told me about the community that FIU Law fosters. He told me all about how students really try to help each other whenever they can and that the administration truly cares for all of their students. When I toured FIU Law, my tour guide immediately made me feel at home and I was able to see the collaborative community FIU Law offers firsthand.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The people, the professors, how easy it is to get involved, and how incredible Dean Schulze is at teaching us “how to law school.”

Kamila Fernandez

Kamila Fernandez

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email:  kfern108@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, FL
Legal Affiliation: Student Bar Association: SGA Representative, Criminal Law Society: Event Coordinator, Teaching Assistant: LSV I, Peer Mentor

Why FIU Law? FIU Law is a very diverse institution that values inclusiveness. As a first-generation law student, the unique academic culture that exists at FIU Law instills confidence in me to achieve my utmost potential in this special environment.

My favorite thing about FIU Law? My favorite thing about FIU Law is how supportive the faculty is. The professors are very passionate about their students' success!

Leslie Gonzalez

Leslie Gonzalez

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email: lgonz499@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami Beach, FL
Legal Affiliation: CABA, HLSA, The Federalist Society, Lexis Nexis, Law Review

Why FIU Law?

 The community at FIU is truly phenomenal and the support from all of your classmates and professors is amazing and unlike at any other institution. FIU Law also provides so many wonderful opportunities to all of its students and the staff is always willing to help students with whatever they might need.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The people that have become like family.

Victoria Gonzalez

Victoria Gonzalez

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email: vgonz206@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, FL
Legal Affiliation: SBA Student Org Support Committee, Barristers Ball Committee, SBA Social Committee

Why FIU Law? I chose to attend FIU Law because of its #1 bar passage rate, its Intellectual Property Certificate, and because of the caring and welcoming nature of all those who work  at and attend FIU Law

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The environment. There are so many opportunities at FIU Law to get involved in so many different things. The people are also very caring. To be part of FIU Law is to be a part of a family.

Briana Harris

Briana Harris

Undergraduate Institution: Vanderbilt University
Email: bharr081@fiu.edu
Hometown: Pembroke Pines, FL
Legal Affiliation: Federal Bar Association - Networking Director

Why FIU Law?

I am a South Florida girl, born and raised, and knew that I wanted to come back home after I finished undergrad to begin my professional career. I didn't always know that I wanted to go to law school, but once I discovered my path, FIU was my immediate first choice. Of course the incredible bar passage rate was a major factor in making my choice, but I was also drawn to the Academic Excellence Program. As a first-generation law student it was nice to know that there were courses that would help teach me "how to do law school."

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

Despite the inherently competitive nature of law school, there is such a great sense of community and camaraderie among the students!

Paul Haynicz

Graduate Institution: Harvard University
Undergraduate Institution: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Email: phayn004@fiu.edu
Hometown: Monroeville, New Jersey

Legal Affiliation:Student Bar Association: Wellness Committee Co-Chair, Peer Mentor

Why FIU Law?

Choosing a law school is a daunting endeavor; however its unparalleled bar passage rate, trial and mediation teams leading the national rankings, and proximity to the diverse metropolis that is Miami, made FIU Law an easy decision.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The brilliant professors and staff have carefully curated a vibrant environment conducive to quality learning and professional growth. As corny as it may sound, my first year felt like I was in Hogwarts.

Krista Hoffman

Krista Hoffman

Undergraduate Institution: University of Florida, Masters from Trinity College Dublin
Email: khoff020@fiu.edu
Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
Legal Affiliation: Peer Mentor Program - Secretary/Treasurer, SBA - Alumni Relations Committee, Mindfulness Association

Why FIU Law?

I always tell people I chose FIU for three reasons: (1) the location, (2) the bar passage rate, and (3) the culture. I wanted to tap into the largest legal market in Florida and live in an international, metropolitan area. The bar passage rate is hard to beat - it’s comforting to know that I’m going to receive all the education and training I need to succeed on possibly the most important hurdle to becoming a lawyer. I heard from a lot of schools about fostering community and collaboration, but I really felt it when I visited FIU Law and talked to FIU Law students.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

Even though I did 1L on Zoom, didn’t meet any of my classmates in person until the first year was over, and barely even walked on campus, I still experienced the sense of community at FIU Law! My classmates wanted to connect, support each other, and help each other to succeed. Upperclassmen were always available to share study tips, job advice, and encouragement. Faculty were so understanding, and even through Zoom showed how they genuinely care about their students. 

Lynden James

Lynden James

Undergraduate Institution: FIU
Email:  ljame024@fiu.edu
Hometown: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Legal Affiliation: Student Bar Association, Vice-President, Law Review, H.T. Smith Black Law Student Association, Reaching Out Director, Caribbean Law Student Association, Secretary, Peer Mentor

Why FIU Law? I went FIU for undergrad and made it home, so I wanted to go to law school in the place where I call my home and FIU Law is exactly that.

My favorite thing about FIU Law? My favorite thing about FIU Law is that it operates like a family, as opposed to a law school. The faculty go above and beyond to ensure that the needs of the students are met, just as a family should and the student body is really close knit, even though law school forces you to compete with your peers for grades.

Sarika Lajlie

Sarika Lajlie

Undergraduate Institution:
Email:
Hometown:
Legal Affiliation:

Why FIU Law?

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

Marcus Leonard

Marcus Leonard

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email:  mleon157@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, Fl
Legal Affiliation: H.T. Smith Black Law Student Association - Vice President, Caribbean Student Bar Association – Treasurer, Haitian American Law Student Association – Treasurer

Why FIU Law? I'm a Panther through and through. From my time as an undergrad on campus, I knew I wanted to attend the college of law here at FIU. The faculty and staff have surpassed all expectations. All the professors are extremely knowledgeable, resourceful, and push their students to succeed. Did I forget to mention the bar passage rate?

My favorite thing about FIU Law? The sense of community is truly authentic. Everyone including students, alumni, and professors are willing to lend a helping hand as you pursue your academic and career goals. FIU Law is more than a school it’s a family.

Melissa Lima

Melissa Lima

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email:  mlima021@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, FL
Legal Affiliation: Student Bar Association, Peer Mentor, LexisNexis Representative

Why FIU Law? If you couldn't already tell by my undergrad school of choice, I love FIU. Having been in Miami pretty much my entire life, I couldn't see myself anywhere else but here. When I started my undergrad at FIU, I immediately felt welcomed. I loved the atmosphere, the people, the culture and the inclusivity that FIU promotes. Law school is no easy feat and it could really take a toll on you. I knew that in choosing where I went to law school, I had to make sure it would be somewhere that I felt supported and understood. FIU Law was the perfect match and luckily, it chose me, too.

My favorite thing about FIU Law? I'll probably be the 100th person to say this, but FIU Law, in my opinion, is the best because of its people. From the students all across, to the faculty and administration, they are truly special individuals. Law is a profession that is very big on networking, and FIU Law has created an environment that enables the creation of strong bonds between one another, with people who truly care about you and want you to succeed. It's easy to get lost in the motions of law school, so it's great to have people surrounding you that will help you find your way back to yourself.

Khaleel Martin

Khaleel Martin

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email: kmart203@fiu.edu
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Legal Affiliation: Vice President of Sports and Entertainment of the Sport, Entertainment, Fashion, and Art Law Society (SEFA); Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

Why FIU Law?

I chose to attend FIU Law because of the diverse population here in South Florida. I aspire to be in-house counsel for a professional sports organization, and South Florida is the perfect market for professional sports.  Also as a Jamaican, I need warm weather, so I really have all I need here in South Florida.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The familial environment. Teachers care about my well-being and students constantly check in and keep up with one another.

Natalia Morales

Natalia Morales

Undergraduate Institution: University of Miami
Emailnmora0472fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, FL.
Legal Affiliation: Hispanic Law Student Association – Secretary, Federal Bar Association - Networking Director, Student Bar Association – Treasurer, Peer Mentor

Why FIU Law? Choosing a law school that was both close to home and would prepare me for a successful legal career was of upmost importance to me. I chose FIU Law because of its bar passage rate and reputation in the Miami legal community.

My favorite thing about FIU Law? By far, my favorite thing about FIU Law is the people. The sense of community and camaraderie amongst the students and faculty is unparalleled. I have met some of my greatest friends at FIU Law.

Krista Schmidt

Krista Schmidt

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University
Email: Kschm023@fiu.edu
Hometown: Miami, FL
Legal Affiliation: Student Bar Association - Vice President, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division - 2L Liaison

Why FIU Law?

I chose FIU Law because of the individualized care we receive as students. I knew the administrators at FIU Law are very dedicated to the success of their students, so I had no doubt that my education would be in good hands. FIU Law is a young law school, but has exceeded expectations in regard to Bar passage and work-force readiness. I felt that FIU Law would challenge me while providing the support I need to venture into the dynamic field of law.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

My favorite thing about FIU Law is the focus on well-being. We have a welling-being initiative where resources are shared to help you deal with stress. FIU Law is also located at the perfect spot on campus right next to the Health Center and FIU Gym!

Jessica Viquiera-Rodriguez

Jessica Viquiera-Rodriguez

Undergraduate Institution: University of South Florida
Email:
Hometown: Orlando, FL

Legal Affiliation:FIU Hispanic Law Student Society (VP), FIU International Law Students Association (VP), FIU Mindfulness Association (Secretary), National Hispanic Bar Association (student member), Florida Association for Women Lawyers (student member)

Why FIU Law?

From the moment I stepped on FIU Law's campus, I knew in my gut I would grow here. I chose my undergrad the same way and I had a wonderful time. So I knew I would prosper and achieve anything I wanted at FIU Law. The staff and teachers were open and honest about the school. The student ambassadors I met were friendly. It was a friendly and open community that I wanted to contribute to. I felt at home.

My favorite thing about FIU Law?

The amazing people I have met along the way that want me to grow and that I want to help in any way possible.