Second-year Student Brings Unique Perspective

First generation student optimizes career and student resources to reach goal to create "real results for real people."
Picture of 2L Nicholas Pierre-Paul

2L Nicholas Pierre-Paul

Second-year law student Nicholas Pierre-Paul describes his experience at Miami Law as “incredible.” The Dean’s Merit Scholar, born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida, has been impressed with the course offerings that teach numerous legal practice areas and with the services offered by the Career Development Office.

At Miami Law, Pierre-Paul is a student editor for the University of Miami Inter-American Law Review, serves as the alumni relations chair of the Black Law Students Association, and has earned two Dean’s Certificate of Achievement Awards. When he is not studying in the classroom, or interning for Judge Jacqueline Becerra, a magistrate judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, his is often found hiking, wakeboarding, or collecting vinyl records.

Pierre-Paul developed a desire to pursue a legal education after interning for Judge Spencer Eig during his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida where he majored in general business with a specialization in pre-law. During this experience, he observed disparities in the legal system where people of minority groups tended to lack legal representation and struggled as a result.

“I increasingly felt frustrated as I saw how this inherent predisposition affected numerous cases and led to unfavorable outcomes for both parties involved, essentially making it so the law would not truly fulfill its purpose,” he said. Pierre-Paul plans on using his Miami Law education and his unique perspective on the law to help people navigate some of their “lowest moments” and create “real results for real people.”

After graduating from Miami Law, Pierre-Paul intends to proudly join the approximate 5% of American lawyers who identify as Black, Pierre-Paul himself being first-generation Haitian American. While he is currently unsure what area of law he will specialize in, he is interested in commercial, real estate, regulatory, and compliance law.

Pierre-Paul also plans to do “substantial” pro bono work. “Creating a pipeline for future diverse attorneys is critical to me,” he said, “so I hope to continue paying it forward to those who face the same boundaries that I am attempting to break through.”

Read about Miami Law's many student organizations