Hands-on Externship in Alcohol Law and Startup Clinic Leads Alumnus to Secure Position

Hands-on Externship in Alcohol Law and Startup Clinic Leads Alumnus to Secure Position

Rocky Vazquez, J.D. '21
By Sam Hinds

Rocky Vazquez, J.D. '21

Hands-on Externship in Alcohol Law and Startup Clinic Leads Alumnus to Secure Position

By Sam Hinds

Miami School of Law alumnus Rocky Vazquez credits much of his current success to his time at the University of Miami. Vazquez has a “sincere appreciation” for the Miami Law faculty, staff, and administration, who provided him with a high-quality education that set him up for success while navigating the many unknowns of a pandemic.

After graduating in 2021, Vazquez passed the Florida Bar Exam and began working as associate counsel for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. He learned about the opportunity through his supervisor while completing an externship at Bacardi-Martini during his time at Miami Law. Taking course offerings about alcohol law provided Vazquez with the necessary knowledge to be a viable and competitive candidate for both positions.

At Bacardi, Vasquez was a part of the global operations legal team and worked in investment strategy, brand acquisition, supply chain management, and international litigation. “The externship program provided incredible and diverse industry experience on major legal issues and the opportunity to work directly with executives at the company,” he said.

Vazquez acknowledged that it was because of his Miami Law externship that he even heard about this opportunity at DISCUS, noting the rarity of this specific position being open, especially to new attorneys. Because of Miami Law, he was in the right place at the right time.

During the interview process for his current position at DISCUS, his interviewers were impressed by not only the hands-on experiences Vazquez received during his externship at Bacardi but also impressed by his time at the Miami Law Startup Clinic. At the clinic, Vazquez helped entrepreneurs with legal issues on launching a new business or organization.

Vazquez has also served as a law clerk in civil litigation, as a legal intern for a corporate Latin America practice of a South Floridian law firm, and as a judicial intern with Judge Jacqueline Becerra of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Along with receiving his J.D. from Miami Law, Vazquez has a master’s degree in management from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in political science from Villanova University.

“My career path is unique and only possible because I attended Miami Law,” Vazquez said. Opportunities at Miami Law have made Vazquez a competitive candidate in his field, and he certainly has a successful legal career ahead of him.

Read more about the many hands-on opportunities available at Miami Law

Read more about the Startup Clinic