Miami Law Establishes Endowed Scholarship in Memory of Surfside Victim Nicky Langesfeld, J.D. ’19

Picture at graduation of Nicky Langesfeld, J.D. '19

Nicky Langesfeld, J.D. '19

Miami Law is establishing an endowed scholarship in memory of Nicole “Nicky” Langesfeld, J.D. ’19, thanks to a generous $100,000 donation from her law firm, Reed Smith LLP. Langesfeld and her husband Luis Sadovnic lost their lives in the June 24, 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

“We spent a lot of time with Nicky’s family thinking about the best way to remember her spirit and accomplishments,” said Hugh Lumpkin, J.D. ’80, a partner in Reed Smith’s Insurance Recovery Group. “We felt an endowed scholarship for a first-generation law student would be a fitting legacy for our community.”

Lumpkin and his wife Carol, J.D. ’88, a partner at K&L Gates, have enjoyed a strong relationship with Miami Law for many years. “Now, the scholarship will provide financial assistance to a student who reflects Nicky’s positive spirit and commitment to excellence,” said Lumpkin.

Langesfeld’s tragic death also prompted an outpouring of support from the Miami Law community, including additional scholarship gifts from a campaign led by the class of 2019. “Nicky was a light in law school, a time that can often feel overwhelming,” said classmate Katie Mitchell, J.D. ’19, a complex commercial litigation associate at Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton in Miami. “I am glad that the University of Miami, in collaboration with Nicky’s family, friends, and law firm, are doing their part to honor that light by funding the scholarship in Nicky’s name.”

Known for her positive spirit

Langesfeld earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida where she met her future husband. They married in January 2021, just four months before the Surfside condo collapse. She is remembered for her strong work ethic, humor, and constant smile – as well as a deep love of animals, said Lumpkin.

“Nicky’s exceptional talents, compassion and positive energy will be greatly missed by all of us at Reed Smith,” said Doug Cameron, managing partner Americas for Reed Smith. “We offer her family and friends our most heartfelt condolences, as well as everyone involved in, or affected by, this tragic event.”

At Miami Law, Langesfeld was known as a diligent student who served on the Business Law Review. After completing her 2L year in 2018, she became Reed Smith’s first summer associate in the Miami office. She joined the firm the following year as an associate in the firm’s Insurance Recovery Group after completing a clerkship.

For the next two years, Langesfeld’s practice focused on litigating and settling insurance coverage disputes on behalf of U.S. policyholders. As a bilingual lawyer with Argentinian roots, she also worked on international litigation matters.

“Nicky had a very bright future at our firm,” said Lumpkin. “She was extremely hard working and was able to capture issues and analyze them in a way that advanced the interests of our clients.”

In fact, Langesfeld was working on a Reed Smith case the night of the condo collapse. “She had just gotten off the phone on a call with another associate, when the building came down,” Lumpkin said. “We were very concerned and immediately contacted family members.”

After hearing of the Surfside disaster, Reed Smith partners, associates and staffers throughout the country contacted the Miami office offering their support. “After reaching out to the senior management team, we decided to centralize those efforts by setting up an endowed scholarship in her name,” said Lumpkin. “I applaud our firm for making such a significant gesture from the heart.”

Click here to make a gift to the Nicole “Nicky” Langesfeld, J.D. ’19 Memorial Law Scholarship