LAW CLERKS AT Legal Services
Legal Services relies on assistance from law students to fulfill its mission to serve the low-income community of Miami-Dade County. Working at Legal Services during law school gives you immediate, hands-on experience with the clients we serve and the cases we handle. You will not be limited to doing legal research.
Law student positions can be paid or volunteer, part-time or full-time. Law students frequently complete externships at Legal Services for school credit. Law clerk positions are available in all of our projects. Visit What We Do for more information about our projects.
For all law clerk positions, Legal Services seeks students with a commitment to and passion for the rights of low-income clients. Bilingual capability (Spanish or Haitian Creole) is desired but not required. If you are interested in a law clerk position, please click here for an application.
Law clerks will assist our attorneys practice who practice in state and federal court, in administrative proceedings, and in appellate courts. A law clerk’s duties may include any combination of the following:
- interviewing clients in person and by telephone;
- conducting factual investigations including visiting apartments and taking photographs;
- performing legal research;
- writing legal memoranda;
- drafting pleadings and discovery motions;
- reviewing documents;
- preparing for and observing administrative and court hearings;
- participating in after-hours legal clinics; and
- participating in after-hours community education events.
“I appreciate all the help and wisdom everyone has given me while I have worked here. I have thoroughly enjoyed working here and helping everyone who comes here in need of help. I truly learned what it means to serve others and I learned I can make a huge difference in people’s lives. I never thought about a career in public service before working at Legal Services, but now I think it is a major possibility for me.” – David Kaye, 2012
“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend this semester learning from all of you. Your tireless efforts to help low income members of our community has left an indelible impression on me, and made me realize that I can take what I gained from this experience to help others.”– Maria Carmona, 2014
“Working with you at Legal Services was truly a pleasure and I wanted to thank you again for the great work that you do. The clinic prepared me for what real practice would be like; while I was really nervous yesterday I was glad to have my experiences at Legal Services to draw on. Those times that I was able to argue before an administrative law judges at the housing authority are experiences that I will remember for a lifetime.” -Alexis Ruiz, 2012
FELLOWSHIPS AT Legal Services
Our generous donors have established law student fellowships at Legal Services. These fellowships provide students with the opportunity to develop practical legal skills and substantive knowledge in practice areas unique to the low income community, and foster a life-long commitment to public interest legal advocacy and pro bono. They also help Legal Services meet the growing demand from vulnerable individuals and families for help resolving critical legal problems. Click here for information on establishing a fellowship.
The criteria used by Legal Services to select the Fellows includes a demonstrated commitment to public interest work and a strong academic background. During their placement Fellows work on assignments including research, writing, client interviews, community education and outreach. Fellows receive guidance and mentoring from experienced Legal Services staff attorneys. Click here to apply for a Fellowship at Legal Services.
- The Stearns Weaver Miller Summer Fellows Program funds a law student fellow to work in areas of highest need.
- The Jacqueline and Chesterfield Smith Fellows Program funds a law student fellow to work on systemic issues affecting the poverty community. Please click here for an application.
- The Harry and Irving Cypen Fellows Program was established by Stephen H. Cypen in memory of his father Judge Irving Cypen and his uncle Harry L. Cypen, and funds a law student fellow in the Legal Services Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
- Gwen S. Cherry was a pioneer attorney at Legal Services when it was founded in 1966. To honor her, the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA) established a Law Student Fellowship in her name so that the law student can continue Gwen S. Cherry’s Legacy of Equal Justice.
- H.T. Smith was one of the first attorneys at Legal Services. To honor Mr. Smith’s commitment to social justice, the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association established a Law Student Fellowship in his name. The Fellowship makes it possible for Legal Services to help more vulnerable individuals and families resolve critical legal problems.
- The Tobias Simon Law Student Fellowship was established by Roger Schindler in memory of Tobias Simon, a civil rights attorney who was the first President of the Legal Services Board of Directors. The fellowship provides a law student with the opportunity to continue Mr. Simon’s legacy as a public interest advocate.
- To honor Judge Sandy Karlan, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers Miami-Dade Chapter and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce established a Law Student Fellowship in her name at Legal Services where 70% of the households are headed by women and one third of household members are children. The Fellowship provides the opportunity for a rising young law student to continue Judge Karlan’s Legacy as a Pioneer of Women and Children’s Rights and, at the same time, make it possible for Legal Services to help more vulnerable women and children resolve critical legal problems.
The University of Miami Legal Corps program, a postgraduate fellowship program, places recent law graduates in public sector organizations, including Legal Services. UM Fellows will have the opportunity to have client interaction almost immediately. Fellows can expect to complete legal research, draft pleadings, including discovery, and attend and possibly argue motions before tribunals. The Fellows will also be exposed to federal practice. This is an exciting opportunity for a UM graduate who wants a challenging, educational and rewarding experience. For more information visit University of Miami Legal Corps at http://www.law.miami.edu/cdo/legal_corps.php.
Legal Services has also partnered with other law schools to serve as a sponsoring employer for graduating law students. To see if your school offers a fellowship, we urge you to contact your law school.“Clients come to Legal Services when they think all hope is lost, when they are desperate for our help to save their affordable housing. It is an amazing feeling to know that at Legal Services, I get hands on legal experience and, at the same time, help save our clients’ homes which makes their lives a little bit easier.”Stephanie Koether“From my first day, being at Legal Services gave me the opportunity to work alongside a talented and committed group of people dedicated to meeting the civil legal needs of some of our community’s least fortunate. At the same time, this experience allowed me the chance for personal growth toward my goal of becoming a lawyer. I was able to begin to develop the skills necessary for real-world lawyering under the direct guidance of a responsive supervising attorney.”Chris Fraga
Attorneys interested in volunteering at Legal Services by doing on or off site intake, disability case preparation, drafting naturalization applications or helping in a clinic should click here for an application.
Law students interested in volunteering at Legal Services to fulfill their school’s pro bono requirement should click here for an application.
The University of Miami Legal Corps program, a postgraduate fellowship program, places recent law graduates in public sector organizations, including Legal Services. UM Fellows will have the opportunity to have client interaction almost immediately. Fellows can expect to complete legal research, draft pleadings, including discovery, and attend and possibly argue motions before tribunals. The Fellows will also be exposed to federal practice. This is an exciting opportunity for a UM graduate who wants a challenging, educational and rewarding experience. For more information visit University of Miami Legal Corps here
Legal Services has also partnered with other law schools, including the George Washington University Law School, to serve as a sponsoring employer for graduating law students. To see if your school offers a fellowship, we urge you to contact your law school.
For more information on our Post-Graduate Fellowship procedure, please Click Here
The Kaufman Rossin Accounting Fellowship is open to students enrolled in Bachelors or Masters in Accounting degree programs at local universities and graduates preparing to take the CPA exam. This Summer fellowship affords a wonderful opportunity for an ambitious accounting student who is interested in mentoring opportunities, gaining public accounting experience, and social justice. The Kaufman Rossin Group, one of the top 100 firms in the U.S., provides professional services to businesses and their leaders, from inception to succession. As part of its rich tradition of social responsibility, the Kaufman Rossin Group established the Accounting Fellowship at LSGMI to provide future accountants the opportunity to work in the field of public accounting while also supporting the local community.
“My fellowship at Legal Services has allowed me to put my skills to the test. I have gained a lot of insight into the effectiveness of internal controls, and the importance of well-structured and thoughtfully-organized procedures. I am very happy to work here, and look forward to continue contributing to the firm’s mission.” Gabriel Hernandez, 2015