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FAMU Law Moot Court Team

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L-R: Darryl Harris (2L), Amanda Hunter (3L), Alexander Reaves (2L), Professor Mark Dorosin, Zsa’Queria Martin (3L), Torvari Williams (3L), Jenifer (Rodriguez) White (4L).

FAMU Law’s Student Bar Association Announces First Mr. & Miss FAMU Law

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ORLANDO, Fla – For the first time, Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law has a royal court representing the law school.  Samuel Porter is serving as Mr. FAMU Law, along with Zsa’Queria Martin who is serving as Miss FAMU Law.

Porter is a first-year law student from northern Virginia. He graduated from Howard University, summa cum laude, with degrees in political science and geography. Porter plans to practice civil rights and constitutional law with an interest in appellate advocacy.

“It is a high honor to be nominated and selected as the first Mr. FAMU Law,” said Porter. “My colleagues are some of the most remarkable people in the world and I’m thankful for the chance to be able to represent us. I plan to do so to the best of my ability.” 

Porter is a retired US Navy airman, has created and helped maintain non-profit organizations in his hometown and the surrounding areas, and has gotten a critical referendum question placed on the ballot of his hometown, all while running a campaign as mayor for the town of Front Royal. His motto is Be Positive on Purpose Always.

“We’ve all heard the quote, “if you see something, say something”.  And it's a good one. But I'd like to submit, if you see something wrong, do something right. Service is important. I can't wait to work with our various campus organizations and individuals to see how we can continue to serve this community and those nearby.” 

Martin is from Greenville, South Carolina. Her goal is to practice civil rights law.  “As Miss FAMU Law, I plan to bring more public interest opportunities to the College of Law and continue serving the community by partnering with student organizations on community outreach." 

Martin has worked with many student organizations including the Black Law Students Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Stonewall LGBQ Law Association, Marshall Bell Law Society, Moot Court, and the Advocacy Mock Trial Team. Martin is a Wells Fargo Economic Justice Fellow, Phi Alpha Delta Gilbert-Wilson Scholarship recipient and is in the United States Army Reserves.

Martin also interned with a host of civil rights organizations including the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center. This past summer she interned with the American Civil Liberties Union where she worked directly on case preparation for challenging the STOP WOKE Act and the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The royal court will represent FAMU Law at public and private functions, promote school spirit and initiate and maintain community service projects.

“A part of my “Bridge the Gap” initiative is to implement more main campus traditions at the College of Law and this royal court is one of many traditions I plan to bring during my term,” said Student Bar Association President Tracy Guervil.  “We could not have picked a better Mr. and Miss FAMU Law. Mr. Porter and Ms. Martin's passion for service embodies what Mr. and Miss FAMU Law is all about.”

For more information about the FAMU College of Law, please visit law.famu.edu.


Tameila Mompoint receives 2022-2023 Rattlers for Justice Scholarship

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ORLANDO, Fla – Tameila Mompoint is the 2022-23 recipient of the Rattlers for Justice Scholarship provided by Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law.

“I feel extremely honored to be the recipient of the Rattlers for Justice Scholarship,” said Mompoint.  “Since I was 15 years old, I've always had a passion for helping my community. This scholarship is just proof that I am on the right path.” 

The Pompano Beach, Florida native is dedicated to community service. Mompoint’s commitment to public service began when she was a teenager growing up as the daughter of parents who immigrated from Jamaica and Haiti. While in law school, she worked with the Department of Children and Families to help ensure that youthful voices were heard, and with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigration Justice Project to advocate for immigrants.

This is an excerpt from Mompoint’s scholarship application: “I have this huge goal inside of me to change the world, I do not know how I will do it, but I know I will somehow make a difference. I recognize that my desire to save the world or help enormous numbers of people sounds unrealistic. However, my various community service endeavors and internships have taught me that although I may not be able to do it on such a grand scale, I can change what is within my reach.” 

FAMU Law established the Rattlers for Justice Scholarship about five years ago to recognize students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving the underserved while in law school. The scholarship provides full in-state tuition. 

A Rattler for Justice is someone who strives to shake up the status quo to encourage positive growth; someone who seeks to rattle a few cages to ensure justice is served; or someone who serves as a catalyst for change while assisting others in need.


Ankevia Taylor named Law Review Editor-in-Chief

 

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ORLANDO, Fla –  The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law announces the 2022-2023 Law Review Editorial Board. The team is led by third-year student Ankevia Taylor from Miami, Florida.

“I am honored to fill the role of Law Review Editor-in-Chief,” said Taylor. “As Editor-in-Chief, I am working with a team of phenomenal editors to create a journal that will inspire this nation to be better and do better.”

The FAMU Law Review Editorial Board also consists of Executive Editor, Tiana Loving, from Los Angeles, California, Executive Articles Editor, Brandon José, from Lake Mary, Florida, Notes & Comments Editor, Laura Krivickas, from Deltona, Florida and Business Managing Editor, Castillana Duvernay, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Law Review is a student-run organization at FAMU Law. Its main purpose is to publish journals of legal scholarship for use by practitioners, judges, professors and students. Law Review is functionally independent from FAMU Law, with the student editors making all editorial, organizational, and daily operational decisions. 

 

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FAMU Law’s Rachel Smith Receives Joel Stern DEI Pipeline Scholarship

 

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 ORLANDO, Fla – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law second-year student Rachel Smith is the recipient of the Joel Stern Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Pipeline Scholarship.  

"I am extremely grateful to have received this scholarship,” said Smith. “It has been a challenging year for me. This award is special because it will allow me to focus on my education, and will grant me the opportunity to continue to be a part of a plan to foster diversity in the legal field. I am beyond grateful."  

The Plant City, Florida native attended the George Floyd memorial service in Minnesota and was inspired to pursue a career in law. After experiencing major health challenges within her family, Smith considered pursuing a legal career to focus on inequities in social justice and healthcare.  

The $10,000 award is sponsored by the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). The Joel Stern Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Pipeline Scholarship provides financial support to students who contribute to the diversity of their law school student body as they pursue their legal career.  

“Meeting lawyers at the George Floyd memorial service taught Rachel that each lawyer was a storyteller for their community when they advocated for the needs of their clients,” said Marie Maurice, scholarship committee chair. “She strives to tell someone’s story through advocacy work. Rachel’s sincerity and openness about her struggles and goals was inspiring. We are happy to support Rachel on her journey with the NAMWOLF Joel Stern Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Pipeline Scholarship.” 

The scholarship program is open to second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBT and female students. Any other second and third-year law students who come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender, are eligible to apply.  


 

Ray Benson and Sydny Arneaud are both working at the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel

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Ray Benson and Sydny Arneaud (both Class of 22) are crusading Rattlers 4 Justice, exemplifying the College of Law’s commitment to provide legal advocacy to underserved individuals and communities. Both are working at the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel, which provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal matters, dependency cases, civil commitment proceedings, appeals and post-conviction motions.


 

FAMU Law students Nicolle Londoño-Rosado and Amari Roberts receive LexisNexis Fellowship

Focus is on eliminating systemic racism in legal systems

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ORLANDO, Fla – Two Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law students are recipients of the LexisNexis Fellowship. The third-year law students selected for this opportunity Nicolle Londoño-Rosado and Amari Roberts.

“I am excited about being named a LexisNexis Fellow,” said Londoño-Rosado. “I want to be a lawyer because I’ve seen first-hand how inadequate legal representation can cause severe emotional and physical injustice. I want to make a difference by providing the legal representation my family was deprived of when they needed help.”

The LexisNexis Fellowship focuses on eliminating systemic racism in the legal system. Each Fellow has been awarded $10,000 and is spending nine months engaging in a unique experience designed to accelerate their career, develop their leadership skills, and create opportunities to make a difference. 

“It’s an honor to be selected as a LexisNexis Fellow,” said Roberts. “This opportunity allows me to gain hands-on experience as I work with major players in the fight for equality under the law.”                                            

According to LexisNexis, the unique Fellowship program was launched in 2021 by the African Ancestry Network and LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation as a part of LexisNexis’ commitment to eliminate systemic racism in legal systems and build a culture of inclusion and diversity at the company. The program was created in partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law School Consortium, and this year’s 18 exceptional fellows were selected from a large and competitive applicant pool representing all six HBCU law schools.

Student News

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Congratulations to Seth Hernandez for receiving a writing scholarship from the George C. Young American Inn.

The Inn presented a $1500.00 scholarship award to Hernandez for his writing on the "Word Is My Bond" as part of the George C. Young Scholarship. 

 

 

Four FAMU Law Students Awarded the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship

2022 Stevens Public Interest Fellows

Rattlers for Justice are passionate about using legal profession to help others

ORLANDO, Fla – Four Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law students are recipients of the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship. Alba Manuela Suarez, Jai’Ehir Jackson-Hawkins, Derrick Gaiter and Seana-Jahan La Coa received the monetary awards.

The program provides grants allowing students at participating law schools to work in unpaid public interest law positions during the summer.  As Rattlers for Justice, the FAMU Law recipients are deeply passionate about practicing law and making a difference.

 This opportunity is extra special for Alba Manuela Suarez who is from San Cristobal, Venezuela. The third-year law student has memories of how challenging the immigration system was for her family and friends. Suarez is dedicated to pursuing a career in law to make a difference in the public interest field.

 “I desire to become a lawyer because I want to assist those individuals that continue to be suppressed by our legal system,” said Suarez.  “I am determined to use my legal skills to fight for important matters and help those who would otherwise have little chance of succeeding in our judicial system due to lack of compassionate representation.” 

With the John Paul Stevens Fellowship, Suarez works with the Department of Children and Families where her passion for public interest law continues to grow.

The dream to become a lawyer started in the third grade for Jai’Ehir Jackson-Hawkins. The Wheeling, West Virginia native credits her teacher Barbara Brooks for igniting her passion for law.

“We had a career week where we researched careers and had a mock job fair where we were able to speak to different professionals about their careers,” said Jackson-Hawkins.  “During our silent reading time, my teacher provided me with books geared towards history and law. She also helped me research the steps necessary to become an attorney and motivated me to keep my grades up to do so.”

As a John Paul Stevens Fellow, Jackson-Hawkins is assigned to FAMU Law’s Legal Clinic where she works with the Virgil Hawkins Fellowship. “We are providing services to indigent clients in the areas of housing, family, and domestic violence. The program is designed to ensure access to the justice system for the underprivileged and disadvantaged,” said Jackson-Hawkins. “I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and appreciate the John Paul Stevens Foundation for providing the funding for me to complete this experience.” 

Derrick Gaiter is a third-year law student from Clearwater, Florida who also appreciates the opportunity to be a John Paul Stevens Fellow.

“Earning the John Paul Stevens Fellowship is a phenomenal investment in my legal career. I am beaming with Rattler pride,” said Gaiter.  “As a legal intern at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Southern District of Florida, I am receiving hands-on experience in the preparation of criminal cases in both state and federal court while being able to attend pre-file conferences, court hearings, jury and bench trials, and depositions.” Gaiter recalls always wanting to become a lawyer to ask the tough questions and help the underserved.

 Seana-Jahan La Coa is a third-year student from Palm Beach, Florida. “I am currently participating in the Guardian Ad Litem Legal Clinic, facilitated by College of Law professors,” said La Coa. “The John Paul Stevens Fellowship allows me to participate fully in the benefits of the legal clinic, specifically working closely with professors as I explore my passion for public interest work.”

FAMU Law students have embraced the label Rattlers for Justice because of their dedication to shaking up the status quo. “Our Rattlers for Justice are perfect for the John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship because they are using their legal skills to address institutional inequities and serve those too often excluded from or ignored by the legal system,” said FAMU Law Clinic Director Mark Dorosin.

In 2021, the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation expanded the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship program in partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with law schools. The partnership includes Florida A&M University College of Law, Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Southern University Law Center, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. 

These law schools are among the nation’s most diverse in terms of faculty and students. They are well-known for their commitment to public interest and preparing a diverse group of law students for leadership. 

The Paul Stevens Fellows from the HBCUs are committed, talented individuals who are working at a wide range of public interest organizations in both the public and nonprofit sectors this summer, and they join a national cohort of Stevens Fellows.

 

 

FAMU Law’s Michelle Wanamaker receives prestigious Holland & Knight Scholarship


Michelle Wanamaker

Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law student Michelle Wanamaker is the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Holland & Knight Scholarship and Internship. As the 2022-2023 Holland & Knight Scholar, Wanamaker will receive full in-state tuition and a summer associate position with the law firm.

“It is an honor to be named the Holland & Knight Scholar for 2022,” said Wanamaker, who will work out of the law firm’s Orlando office. “I am extremely grateful for this amazing opportunity.”

The Willingboro, New Jersey native is a mother and non-traditional student who is eager to advance in the legal field. “Holland & Knight is an international powerhouse. To gain experience under their tutelage is invaluable. It is incredibly affirming to have a firm like Holland & Knight see value in you. I can’t wait to show them and the world what I have to offer!”

The Holland & Knight Summer Associate Program is an opportunity for a select number of law students from across the nation to gain real-world law firm experience, where associates work with experienced lawyers on complex matters for their clients. Holland & Knight Scholars have strong academic records at their law schools.

Holland & Knight Scholars will be exposed to a wide range of legal experience such as attending client meetings, building relationships with attorneys, working with peers, meeting top leaders of the firm, improving substantive and practical legal skills through customized training programs and more. Many law students are offered employment at the end of the Holland & Knight Summer Associate Program.

 

Four FAMU Law Students Receive William Holland Program Bar Prep Scholarships

 

Lavant, Noziere, Ryles and Janvier

 

The following students received scholarships:

Edward Lavant, Lindjee Noziere, Richard Ryles, Jr & Suwana Janvier received the William Holland Scholarship.

Suwana Janvier received the Shannoya C. Robinson Memorial Scholarship.

The F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association hosted the 21st Annual Holland Bar Prep Scholarship Program. The awards were announced during a virtual ceremony on Friday, February 18, 2022. The scholarships are for well-deserving African American law students scheduled to take the bar exam in July 2022. The scholarships offset the bar examination preparation expenses for students who demonstrate a commitment to excellence.

“I admire the mission of the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association which is to promote the personal and professional development of Blacks within the legal profession and to promote improvement in the law and in the method of its administration,” said Lindjee Noziere, scholarship recipient. “I am humbled, grateful and honored to be one of the recipients of this award.”

Suwana Janvier received the Shannoya C. Robinson Scholarship for overcoming adversity. The third-year student from Lake City is the mother of three, the President of the Student Bar Association and is actively involved in multiple activities. “I am pleased and honored to be a recipient of this scholarship and appreciate the Cunningham Bar Association’s forethought to consider the path of becoming a practicing attorney and reaching back to help bring others along,” said Janvier.

 

 

Shanice Cameron Named Law Review Editor-in-Chief

Shanice Cameron

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law has announced its 2021-2022 Law Review Editorial Board. The team is led by Law Review Editor-in-Chief Shanice Cameron, a third-year student from the Bronx, New York.

Being a member of Law Review is one of the most prestigious accolades that a student can achieve,” Cameron said. “Law Review helps to further the legal profession through publishing scholarly works. Students benefit immensely from reviewing and editing articles.”


In addition to
 Cameron, the 2021-2022 Law Review Editorial Board includes:

Executive Editor: Benjamin Kaufman, 3L, West Palm Beach, Florida

Executive Articles Editor: Valerie Chant David, 3L, Orlando, Florida

Notes & Comments Editor:  Sara Jensen, 3L, Sparta, New Jersey

Business Managing Editor: Olivia Garcia, 3L, Orlando, Florida

Faculty Advisor: Professor Omar Saleem

 

 

Lacresha Pierre Receives UMG Internship

Lacresha Pierre

Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law student Lacresha Pierre is one of 50 interns selected for the Universal Music Group’s Summer Internship Program. Pierre is assigned to East Coast Shared Services in the Business & Legal Affairs Department.

“I am ecstatic about beginning this position with Universal Music Group with support from FAMU Law and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which provided this summer employment opportunity,” said Lacresha Pierre. “I know this opportunity will make a huge difference in getting me a step closer to my goal of employment in the Sports, Media and Entertainment field.”

 

Destiny Hibbler and Sara Jensen Receive Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship

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Two Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law students are recipients of the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship.

Destiny Hibbler is working this summer with the Southern District of Florida Federal Public Defender’s Office in Miami. The Fort Worth, Texas, native aspires to become a federal public defender after law school. “I am blessed to have been selected for the Summer Fellowship because it shows someone’s generous support in my future endeavors,” Hibbler said.

Sara Jensen landed a spot with the office of the public defender in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orlando. The Sparta, New Jersey, native is excited to be part of the program, named for the former U.S. Supreme Court justice.

“I am thrilled to be selected for a 2021 Stevens Fellowship and grateful for the support of the foundation in pursuing a career in public service,” Jensen said.

 

Amanda Hunter interns at the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office this past Summer

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This summer, Amanda interned at the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office in Mays Landing, New Jersey. She worked under the supervision of Assistant Prosecutor Erika Halayko and Marisa McGarvey. She was assigned to the Special Litigation and Screening Unit. As a legal intern, Ms. Hunter drafted pretrial motions to detain defendants, motions to suppress evidence brief, and memorandums of law for the Appellate Unit and Special Victims Unit. She also conducted research and observed grand jury hearings, sentencing hearings, and status conferences.

Amanda Hunter truly learned the daily responsibilities of a member of the prosecutor's office. My time at the prosecutor's office has enhanced my writing and research skills. This opportunity also further solidifies my goal of becoming a prosecutor.