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JULY 2021

A Message from Acting Dean Stephen J. Schnably:
President Frenk asked me serve as Acting Dean until an Interim Dean is selected to lead Miami Law during the search for a successor to former Dean Anthony Varona. I am honored by the confidence the President and Provost have placed in me. I also want to thank former Dean Varona; Miami Law is a stronger institution for his accomplishments.
One of Miami Law’s greatest strengths is the passionate engagement of our alumni and friends. As we all know, the past month and a half has posed unexpected challenges and controversies. The May 28th letter from the Law Alumni Association leadership and the many other expressions of concern we have received are testimony to how deeply our alumni care about Miami Law.
During this transitional period, I will work to ensure that we are fully prepared for a smooth start to a successful academic year. The Fall entering class has impressive credentials, and we are confident that the class of 2024 will be vibrant, diverse, and engaged as its members prepare to be future leaders in the legal profession. We will also make sure our current students and recent graduates have our full support as they pursue their jobs, internships, or bar prep over the summer.
Of course, much of the work is done by our highly capable and experienced decanal leadership, which remains in place. We are in excellent hands with Vice Dean Andrew Dawson and Associate Deans Caroline Bradley, Raquel Matas, and Kele Stewart. I would also like to thank two former members of the leadership team. Professor Osamudia James, former Vice Dean, Acting Dean, and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Community, leaves us for UNC Law. Professor Lili Levi, former Vice Dean for Intellectual Life, has returned to her teaching and scholarship as a faculty member.
The transition in leadership has posed challenges, but Miami Law retains its inherent strengths. We are an integral part of a great research university in a global metropolis that is rapidly becoming a hub for innovation and growth. We have highly talented, diverse, and dedicated students training to be future leaders in private practice and public service. Our faculty members are outstanding educators and leaders in their scholarly fields, nationally and globally. We have a dedicated, energetic, and effective administration and staff who help put our mission into practice. We are so blessed to have the ongoing and generous support of our Law Alumni Association leadership and our more than 25,000 alumni throughout the US and the world.

From Law Alumni Association President, Julie Braman Kane, BA ’90, JD ’93

Dear Miami Law Alumni and Friends:

It certainly has been an eventful six weeks since I became president of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association. As always, I am extraordinarily proud of Miami Law and our phenomenal alumni. I took over from your dedicated past president, Timothy Kolaya, on June 1, in the throes of President Frenk asking Dean Varona to step down from his decanal role as Dean of the Law School. Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with and email many of you about this interruption of leadership. Along with Tim, your LAA President-Elect, Dan Newman, and Jaret Davis, I met with the University of Miami’s President, Provost, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees to express your concerns, advocate for the Law School, and to address how their decanal decisions will impact our students and alumni moving forward.

The University administration committed to us that the alumni voices will be heard throughout the search process for an interim Dean as well as for a permanent Dean. I have appointed our President-Elect, Dan Newman, to work with that team as the two decisions are considered. I’m pleased to report to you that Professor Stephen J. Schnably has since been appointed Acting Dean. Many of us know him well, as he has taught at the school since the late ’80s. He has begun to coordinate with our alumni boards, and we are very much looking forward to working with him as he moves our alma mater into this coming academic year.

Despite the upheaval, the future of our law school is incredibly bright. The Dean of Admissions and Student Recruitment advised that the law school has recruited and is preparing to welcome one of its strongest–credentialed classes in the last 30 years. The faculty and administration look forward to welcoming all the students to the campus once again this fall – as do we. We will continue our work documenting the history of the school through the Oral History Project and will seek out and recognize our “double-Cane” alumnae. Your alumni association board is planning a tremendous year of in-person programming and welcoming our alumni, friends, and colleagues back to campus and to the joys of in-person gatherings.  I am especially excited to ask you to save the date for Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, November 4th through 6th, and will detail the exciting planned activities in our next newsletter.  

So, while much is changing, our love for the law school and our commitment to its future burns brighter than ever. I welcome the engagement of every one of you with our alma mater during this time of transition, and I am grateful for your continuing support as we forge ahead. As always, should you have any questions, please reach out to me at any time at

Thank you for everything you do for our school.

Julie Braman Kane, BA '90, JD '93
President, Law Alumni Association
Remember to connect and keep up with the latest from your Law Alumni Association on the web, and on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter. If you have any accomplishments you would like to share, Submit a Class Note and we will update the Class Notes page with your story!


Miami Law’s new student organization, the First-Generation Law Association (FGLA) is looking for first-gen law alumni to support its mentoring and networking initiatives. This includes alumni who were the first in their families to attend college or law school and become lawyers. The Law Alumni Association encourages you to support this worthwhile new initiative. Email us to sign up for communications from Miami Law’s FGLA.

The Law Alumni Association is open for business and available to you. Please reach out to us at 305.284.3470 or by email at
Contribute to the School of Law Scholarship Fund


Laurie S. Silvers, AB '74, JD '77, assumed her role as Chair of the University of Miami's Board of Trustees on June 1, 2021. The ceremony was marked by a historic first - the passing of the gavel from woman to woman. Laurie succeeds Hilarie Bass, JD '81.

We congratulate the following alumni who were installed as members of the BOG and YLD during The Florida Bar 2021 Annual Convention and the award recipients:

Brandon Briggs, JD '15
Paige Comparato, JD '17
Marianne Curtis, JD '11
Jordan Dresnick, JD '08
Gary S. Lesser, JD ‘92
Michael E. Levine, JD '13
Laird Andrew Lile, LL.M ‘87
Haley Moss, JD '18

Masimba Mutamba, JD '13
Nikki Lewis Simon, JD ‘99
Ronald Peter Ponzoli Jr. JD ‘97
Diana Santa Maria, JD ‘84

Steven W. Davis, JD ‘ 82, the Florida Bar Foundation President’s Award for Excellence.

Ronald P. "Ron" Ponzoli, Jr., JD ’97, the Florida Bar’s Tony Boggs Excellence in Discipline Award. 

Abbigail Price-Williams, JD ’84, the Florida Bar’s Claude Pepper Award.
Miami Law in Top 15 of All U.S. Law Schools for Alumni Recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine. We congratulate all of our Miami Law alumni who have been recognized as a Super Lawyer or Rising Star.
Christopher Mark Macneill, LLMCL '08, published a piece on the governance of Canada's north in the Seattle University School of Law's American Indian Law Journal. 


Curtis Osceola, JD '18, the Miccosukee tribe's first law school graduate, joined the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office as an assistant public defender.

John P. Farris, JD '18, joined Trenam Law's St. Petersburg, FL office as an Associate.
Catch up with other Alumni News on the web and on Facebook.
Do you have news you'd like to share? We're all ears! Send a note to or post a comment in the Miami Law LinkedIn Community & we will help you spread the good news!




1957 – 1961
Dean James A. Burnes joined the Miami Law faculty in 1948.  He was officially appointed as dean in 1958 and served until 1961. The School’s main foci in the post-Rasco years were developing a law school faculty along with adjuncts teaching in special areas of the law and upgrading the curriculum to adapt to the changing needs of the profession. During this time, the School of Law began to have a national reach. The G.I. Bill continued to draw students from across the country and enrollment reached almost 1,200 students. Under Dean Burnes’ leadership, the law school developed a Master’s Degree in Comparative Law, an Interamerican Legal Studies Program, and a Program for Foreign Students in American and Comparative Law. A highly accomplished academic, Dean Burnes was also the fourth U.S. educator to receive a Ph.D. in law from Oxford University in 1958.

1961 – 1962
Dean Wesley A. Sturges served as the law school’s dean beginning in 1961. Prior to coming to Miami, he taught at Yale Law School and served as its dean from 1945-1954. Even before he became Miami Law’s dean, then-professor Sturges began teaching at Miami Law in the mid-1950s. Although his tenure was brief, he brought new status to the deanship. As dean of the University of Miami School of Law, he contributed greatly to the building of the law school’s scholarship program. Dean Sturges served until his death in 1962.

In the immediate aftermath of Fidel Castro’s imposition of a communist Cuban government, the influx of Cuban immigrants to the State of Florida included a substantial number of Cuban lawyers. In 1961, the University of Miami created a ten-month program geared specifically towards Cuban refugee lawyers. The program was administered collaboratively by Cuban lawyers, Miami practitioners, and School of Law students and professors. A second highly successful Cuban Lawyers Program was also established in 1973 at the University of Miami School of Law in response to an order from the Florida Supreme Court allowing Cuban lawyers to take the Florida bar examination after attending a special program at an accredited Florida law school. The University of Miami School of Law hosted this second highly effective and rigorous Cuban Lawyers Program from 1973-1975, which enabled graduates to sit for and successfully pass the Florida Bar Exam.

1962 – 1965
Professor M. Minnette Massey joined the law faculty in the 1950s as one of the “first wave” of fourteen female law professors in the nation. In 1961, Professor Massey became assistant dean of the law school. A year later, she became the first woman to serve as the law school’s acting dean and served in this role for three years. Professor Massey retired from UM in 2015 after over 50 years of service. In 2015, the M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law was established in her honor through the generosity of a consortium of Miami Law alumni and friends.



Ana E. VeigaMilton, BSEE '87, JD '93

Ana VeigaMilton was born in Cuba and emigrated with her family to Spain when she was a year old. While in Spain, her father met a CIA agent who encouraged him to come to U.S. where his engineering expertise was in great demand. Ana grew up in Miami, and followed in her father's footsteps, earning her engineering degree at the University of Miami. After working for a few years as an engineer, Ana decided to take her career to the next level by pursuing a graduate degree. She chose Miami Law and convinced the administration to award her a full scholarship. Ana shares her story and thoughts in this video.
Enjoy the memories shared in these videos by Miami Law Alumni who attended during these years:
Dear Friends,
I hope you and your families are well. I am honored and excited to take on the role of Chair of the Dean’s Circle Committee, and I hope you join us this year. 
Membership in the Dean's Circle is open to supporters who make a gift of $1,000 or more during the University of Miami's fiscal year (June 1 - May 31).  Members of the judiciary and those working in the public and non-profit sectors may join for a minimum gift of $500. Young Alumni may join at lower thresholds. Members receive complimentary invitations to Dean's Circle and School of Law events and activities, bringing them closer in touch with the Dean, faculty, and special guests.
The support of the Dean’s Circle members has played and will continue to play a vital role in our alma mater’s success. These contributions make it possible for us to attract the highest caliber students and faculty and to raise the prominence of this great institution. In these challenging times, the need for your support is more urgent than ever, and our student body is depending on it. 
Consider supporting student scholarships or any of our clinics and programs today. Any amount is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to a wonderful year and planning exclusive Dean’s Circle events for you.
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Go ’Canes!
Stephanie L. Carman, JD '01

Shareholder, GrayRobinson


Professor Rebecca Sharpless, director of Miami Law’s Immigration Clinic, received the Excellence in Experiential Teaching Award.
Real Estate Expertise: Miami Law Responds to Surfside Disaster, Condo Expert Weighs In and Leads Taskforce


The Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board finished the 2020-2021 academic year ranked as the top #21 program in the nation by the Blakely Advocacy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. The Moot Court Board now stands as the second-highest ranked moot court team in the state of Florida. The Board moved up nine spots in what probably has been the most challenging year in the history of the program. Not only did the members had to adjust to the challenges that the pandemic brought, but they had to learn a new style of arguing and competing – virtually. Amidst the challenges, the students amassed several team and individual victories and strong competition results throughout the season.


Children and Youth Law Clinic Interns Work with Crossover Youth Inspires Them to Change Criminal Justice Law

Support Our Clinics


SAVE THESE DATES: November 4-6, 2021

Homecoming and Class Reunion Weekend - Registration Opening Soon

Promote your firm or business at our events. Sponsorship opportunities available!

Contact the office of Law Development and Alumni Relations for details and or (305) 284-3470.


31st Annual Bankruptcy Skills Workshop

NEWS FROM OTHER AREAS OF MIAMI LAW - Here are some other communications that may interest you:

Miami Law Explainer
Robert Traurig-Greenberg Traurig LL.M. in Real Property Development
Career Development Office
Clinic News - Spring 2021 Issue


Our thoughts are with the family of Margarita “Maggie” Vazquez-Bello, donor and widow of alumnus Clemente Vazquez-Bello, JD '74 and Nicole Langesfeld, JD '19, who are among those lost in the Surfside condo collapse.
Hon. Dave L. Brannon, JD '80
Hon. Daniel R. Monaco, JD '67
William L. Summers, JD '85
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