Miami Law Goes to Big Law – Big Law Comes to Miami

The Big Law trend has always been a part of Miami Law. While it is well known that big law firms have flocked to Miami and South Florida over the past five years, graduates of Miami Law have always secured jobs in these top firms.
Miami Law Goes to Big Law – Big Law Comes to Miami
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‘Big Law’ firms are the largest of the large law firms, usually employing 100 or more lawyers and maintaining a national and often international presence across several offices. In’s 2022 Go-To Law School Report, 86 (25% of) Miami Law graduates in class of 2021 went to law firms that have 100+ lawyers, and the same publication ranked Miami Law 25th in promotions to partner. It is not surprising when Big Law firm Sidley Austin opened a Miami office last year, it filled its office with Miami Law grads and faculty

From an expansive curriculum with 18 areas of study, to vast hands-on learning opportunities, to programs in transactional and litigation skills that prepare our students every day, graduates come out of Miami Law equipped to work in leading firms.

Meet Recent Grads Working in Big Law

Keelin Bielski profile

Keelin Bielski, J.D. ‘19, Leydig, Chicago, IL
As an associate, Keelin Bielski practices IP law at Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd. - a firm renowned for its focus on intellectual property law. While at Miami Law, Bielski served as an Executive Editor on the University of Miami Law Review as well as a Dean’s Fellow and Research Assistant. She also got hands-on experience in IP serving as an intern in the Startup Clinic where she helped advise startup businesses on their intellectual property needs. She combined her undergraduate major at UM in neuroscience and coupled it with her experiences and studies at law school to now focus her practice on patent prosecution and litigation in the biotechnology and chemical arts fields.

Anna Dellapa portrait

Anna Dellapa, J.D. ‘21, Squire Patton Boggs, Dubai, UAE
Anna Dellapa is an associate in the United Arab Emirates in the International Dispute Resolution Practice Group at Squire Patton Boggs – a firm known for advising diverse clients, from Fortune 100 and FTSE 100 corporations to emerging companies, individuals, and governments. Miami Law fostered Dellapa’s passion for international law. As a student she took international arbitration classes and served as a research assistant for an international human rights course with Professor Caroline Bettinger-Lopez. She was also an intern at the Innocence Clinic, staff editor at the University of Miami Law Review, and recipient of Dean's Certificate of Achievement Awards in Evidence and Legal Writing. It was an internship she secured in law school with Squire Patton that led to her current job where she advises on litigation and international commercial arbitration disputes.

Erika Jensen

Erika Jensen, J.D./LL.M. ‘18 in Tax, Linklaters, New York, NY
Erika Jensen works in the tax group in NYC at Linklaters, one of the most international firms with 30 offices around the globe. Jensen forged a strong path in business and tax law while a law student. She participated in the Investor Rights Clinic and did a joint degree in law and tax. She also focused on international business and did the Leipzig Exchange Program and was a member of the International & Comparative Law Review. In her practice, she works on the U.S. federal income tax aspects of a variety of domestic and cross-border transactions, including debt and equity offerings, financings, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and structuring.

Michael Tejada

Michael Tejada, J.D. ‘21 - Ropes & Gray, Boston, MA
Michael Tejada joined Ropes & Gray’s Boston office in its private capital transactions group. During law school, he served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and participated as a certified legal intern with the Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic. Tejada also was a member of the Editorial Board of University of Miami Law Review and received a CALI award for the student with the highest grade for his Civil Procedure course. Tejada’s business law background was a good fit for his firm known for serving organizations, investors and individuals at all stages of the business life cycle, from start-ups to establishment as industry leaders.

Jordan Rhodes

Jordan Rhodes, J.D. ‘21, Pillsbury, Los Angeles, CA
Jordan Rhodes is a Litigation Associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP – considered one of the most innovative law firms in the world. While at Miami Law she was the student trustee of the UM’s Board of Trustees, SBA President, Treasurer of the Black Law Students Association, National LGBT Bar Liaison for Out-Law, and 2021 student commencement speaker. During law school Rhodes worked with Professor Marcia Weldon on sustainability reporting and received numerous awards including The Society of Bar and Gavel’s 2021 Roger Sorino Award; The University of Miami’s LGBTQ Student Center Award for Outstanding Graduate Student; and The University of Miami’s Multicultural Student Affairs Senior Anchor Award. In her 2L summer, she worked for Pillsbury, an experience that led to her current, permanent position. In her law practice Rhodes assists in all aspects of complex commercial litigation matters, including white collar defense, government investigations, employment law, and insurance recovery disputes.

Luiz Miranda

Luiz Miranda, J.D./LL.M. ‘17 in International Law, Mayer Brown, Chicago, IL
Luiz Miranda is an Intellectual Property Litigation Associate at Mayer Brown – a global firm known for leading companies and financial institutions on their most complex deals and disputes. At Miami Law, Miranda received a joint J.D./LL.M. degree in international law with a focus on arbitration to prepare to serve global clients. He gained real-world experience in the Health Rights Clinic and represented more than a dozen Spanish-speaking clients, developing strategies and serving them in immigration and Social Security hearings. He spent his 1L summer at the Hispanic National Bar Association/Microsoft Intellectual Property Institute in a coveted opportunity for 25 Latino law students from across the country interested in IP law. He also was an Editor of the Inter-American Law Review. Ultimately, after he attended the largest IP job fair in the U.S. in Chicago, he landed a highly coveted summer slot at Mayer Brown, the firm that would eventually lead to his current position.

Mackenzie Zales

Mackenzie Zales, J.D.’21 Holland & Knight, Washington, D.C.
Mackenzie Zales is an associate and member of Holland & Knight’s International Trade Group. She honed her interest in international law during law school. In her 1L summer she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Jennifer Choe-Groves at the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York City. As a 3L she competed for the International Moot Court Team, and was president of the International Moot Court Board. Zales was also Executive Editor of the University of Miami Law Review and won the 2020 Stuart A. Markus Award for her outstanding work as a member of the Innocence Clinic. She also worked as a Research Assistant to Professors Kathleen Claussen, Martha Mahoney, and Craig Trocino. At Holland & Knight, Zales focuses her practice on international regulatory and compliance matters as well as a broad range of corporate issues, including foreign direct investment, industrial security, export control, sanctions, and customs matters.

Camila Pedraza

Camila Pedraza, J.D./LL.M. ‘19 in Entertainment, Arts, Sports Law, NFL, New York, NY
Right out of law school Camila Pedraza worked in Big Law at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Los Angeles, CA as a Media and Entertainment Associate. She prepared for a career in entertainment law at Miami Law working as a Legal & Business Affairs Intern for the Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program and taking courses such as ‘Negotiation and Drafting for the Business of Entertainment,’ ‘Legal Aspects of Content Production in Latin America,’ ‘Union Organizing and Collective Bargaining in the Entertainment Industry,’ and ‘Media Distribution.’ The Big Law experience was a key professional stepping stone for Pedraza to take her career trajectory from there to NBC Universal, to Twitter, and into her current position as Assistant Counsel for the National Football League (NFL). 

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