Miriam Soler Ramos

Alumna elected to lead Cuban American Bar Association

By Barbara Gutierrez

Alumna elected to lead Cuban American Bar Association

By Barbara Gutierrez
Miriam Soler Ramos, the city attorney for Coral Gables, who earned both her bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from the University of Miami, will head the largest minority bar association in Florida.

Miriam Soler Ramos sees a law degree as one of the most empowering degrees anyone can obtain.

“There are very few problems you can’t solve with a law degree,” she said. “It makes you so capable. It teaches you to think in a procedural, precise, and intentional way that allows you to deconstruct something and put it together in a way to solve the problem. It helps you help so many people.”

Helping people is a staple for Ramos, who has devoted her professional life to public service. She is now the city attorney for Coral Gables where she oversees all legal aspects of the City Beautiful, including drafting legislation, advising the commission, all of the city’s boards, the city manager, and staff. Her office also oversees litigation involving the city.

Her dedication and hard work with the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) recently resulted in her selection as its president-elect designate.

“I was thrilled at the news that Miriam Soler Ramos is the next CABA president,” Anthony E. Varona, dean of the University of Miami School of Law, said of the alumna. “Miriam is an extraordinary leader and lawyer, a wonderful role model to our students, and a superb supporter of Miami Law.”

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Cuban parents, Ramos moved to Miami when she was four years old. She studied at Coral Park High School and was drawn to the University of Miami because her mother had worked at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

As an undergraduate, she settled for a double major in communication and political science after trying out a few other disciplines.

“I knew that my ultimate goal was to go to law school,” she said. The law school was rigorous, but it set her on the path that she desired. Her first job was as a prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of Katherine Fernandez Rundle, whom she considers a mentor.

While there, she chose to work in domestic violence court because she felt she could make a real difference to victims who were undergoing extremely difficult circumstances.

“I was a 25-year-old kid facing these very serious life issues that people are going through,” she said. “The dynamics of a battered spouse are not simple. I could have chosen to represent someone whose car was stolen. But you don’t get the same heart-wrenching, pit-in-your-stomach, want-to-fight feeling that you get when someone is abusing the person that they are supposed to love.”

After three years at the State Attorney’s Office, she moved to the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, where she prosecuted violations of the county ethics code. This gave her a “great introduction” to local government law, which led her to her present position.

During her career, Ramos, who has strong ties to her Cuban American identity, worked for CABA contributing to the pro-bono efforts of the organization by fundraising and planning events such as the annual 5K race, CABA Marlins Night, Art in the Tropics, and a yearly gala. The funds raised at the events go to the CABA Pro Bono Project, which offers representation to those who could not otherwise afford it—including unaccompanied minors, victims of domestic abuse, and a veteran’s affairs program.

“I always worked on projects that benefited the pro-bono programs because I felt it was so important,” she remarked. She will take over as CABA president in January 2022. She said that she hopes to continue to grow CABA’s membership and to expand the reach of the organization beyond the tri-county area to other cities in Florida.

In her role as Coral Gables’ city attorney, Ramos has dealt with the University of Miami in different capacities.

“The University of Miami and the City of Coral Gables have a long-standing partnership,” said Rudy Fernandez, senior vice president for public affairs and communications and chief of staff to the president. “Miriam has helped to strengthen our bonds with the city. She will do the same leading CABA.”

Ramos also continues to work with the School of Law, and she was instrumental in establishing a CABA chapter at the school. She also is a member of the Miami Law Alumni Association Board of Directors.

In her personal life, Ramos is married to Ozzy, a Miami Beach police officer, to whom she is grateful for his incredible support and for being her “biggest cheerleader.” She is also the proud mother of Andres and Isabella.

Ramos noted that she tries hard to balance her work life with her duties as a parent, wife, and daughter. “But thankfully, I have lots of energy,” she added. “I am the energizer bunny.”