Miami Law Teams up for Annual Career Fair

The HOPE Public Interest Resource Center and the Office of Career and Professional Development recently hosted Miami Law's annual Public Interest Informational Career Fair.
Miami Law Teams up for Annual Career Fair
Miami Law students at the Public Interest Informational Career Fair.

Over 35 local, state, and federal nonprofit and government employers, including over 70 agency representatives, met with students on February 14 at the annual Public Interest Informational Career Fair hosted by the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center and the Office of Career and Professional Development.

Held on the Hilarie Bass Bricks and the Alma Jennings Foundation Student Lounge, employers discussed potential internships, externships, fellowships, and pro bono work with students. Students could ask questions and learn about public interest opportunities, focusing on everything from immigration and environmental law to criminal justice and child advocacy.

1L Miami Public Interest Scholar Natalie Gonzalez took part in the fair. "The most valuable and exciting part of the Public Interest Career Fair was learning about various public service opportunities throughout Florida, from diverse nonprofits to government agencies, all passionate about serving the community's needs," she said.

Several Miami Law alumni returned to campus for the event as representatives of their respective public sector agencies. They could share information about their law school experiences and career paths. These graduates have paid it forward by supervising Miami Law interns, externs, and fellows.

"I think it is incredibly valuable for students to gain hands-on experience in a public sector agency in addition to how the law is more traditionally presented in the classroom," said Elizabeth Fata Carpenter, J.D. '16, executive director of the Everglades Law Center. "We have had the pleasure of hosting a number of HOPE summer fellows and have enjoyed every summer with them because they bring an energy, a new perspective, and a curiosity to our practice that inspires us and really contributes to the culture and the substantive work that we do at the Everglades Law Center."

Fernando Wytrykusz, J.D. '12, a Catholic Charities Legal Services supervising attorney, echoed these sentiments. "I can't stress enough the importance of seeking out internships and fellowships, especially through the HOPE Office. Working at CCLS provides firsthand experience in immigration advocacy, dealing with clients, research, and preparing motions and reports," he said. "Taking advantage of opportunities during law school allows students to get their foot in the door of agencies where they might want to work in the future."

HOPE is the starting point on campus for students committed to advocacy and service. It is a dynamic center, building on topical and timely social justice issues to create opportunities for law students to provide legal services and support those most in need.

Alexis Philossaint, J.D. '13, a family law attorney with Dade Legal Aid, shared her thoughts on the crucial work of public interest attorneys, "The work we do allows lawyers and law students to help clients who are most in need and focuses on making sure that those who are less fortunate have an opportunity to receive equal legal representation."

3L Public Interest Leadership Board Co-Chair Ashton Greusel, who will work with the Broward Public Defender's Office after graduation, said, "The Public Interest Career Fair is invaluable for law students trying to find their path in public service work. Because of the connections I have made at the Public Interest Career Fair throughout law school, I received both summer and post-grad career opportunities. Bringing public sector professionals to the Miami Law campus creates a direct link between students and future employers."

Read more about Miami Law’s Office of Career and Professional Development.

Read more about the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center.