As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Anika studied Government with a focus on Latin America and received a secondary concentration in Portuguese Language and Literature. She volunteered as a U.S. Citizenship tutor, English as a Second Language tutor, and co-chaired an immigration policy group. Anika was awarded the Weissman Fellowship to work with Justica Global, a Brazilian non-governmental organization committed to protecting human rights. While in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Anika researched petitions to be presented before the Inter-American Human Rights System. After graduation, she worked at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Anika looks forward to studying international law and continuing her work in Latin America.
Pauline's drive to become a well-trained advocate for children stems from her AmeriCorps teaching position at the Holy Names of Mary Catholic School (HNM) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon joining the HNM faculty, Pauline saw firsthand the chaos and botched federal initiatives present in the Post-Katrina New Orleans school. Though she was offered reassignment to a more stable teaching position at a more established school, Pauline chose to stay where she was. She soon developed Project Aspire, a tutoring program for HNM students in coordination with local law students, medical students, artists and business professionals. Pauline has shared these experiences with her law school classmates in Education and Youth Literacy projects at Miami Law. In addition, she served as a HOPE Fellow in Haiti, working on systems reform.
Holly used her undergraduate education as an opportunity to pursue her passion for learning language. Though she wasn't sure where her study of French, Spanish, and Ancient Greek would take her, she knew that being multilingual was key to her desire to be involved in multicultural and international situations. While working as a legal assistant for a bankruptcy firm in Fort Myers, Florida, Holly saw firsthand how working in the legal field has the power to change lives for the better. Holly became interested in public advocacy, especially for immigrants and those who are limited by language barriers, and as used her law school education as a springboard for helping others.
The Valedictorian of his high school, Zachary went on to Augustana College where he majored in Government and International Affairs, Economics, and History, and minored in Business Administration and Northern Plains Studies. Beginning his collegiate studies with the hope of becoming a doctor, Zachary soon realized that he would rather focus on Government. His aspirations of attending law school were cemented after working for the United States Attorney's Office in South Dakota. There, he gained invaluable experience working closely with the support staff and prosecutors to prepare cases for trial. Between his undergraduate course-load and the valuable insight he learned about the federal judicial system at the United States Attorney's Office, Zachary is focused on pursuing a career in Criminal Law.
Immediately after graduating from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville in 2001 with a degree in Finance, Charles worked as an Investment Representative at Edward Jones, where he managed the day to day trading of mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. Charles has been active with the Human Rights Campaign and served on the inaugural board of directors for Lambda Palm Beach, a group he helped launch. Lambda Palm Beach is committed to serving the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) communities in need of a safe space for 12 step meetings to overcome addiction. At Miami Law, Charles continues to be deeply involved with public interest projects. He has participated in human-rights groups and continues to work with addiction recovery programs.
Matthew has had a successful career as an architect in both Italy and the Florida Keys. As an undergraduate at Columbia University, Matthew took advantage of study abroad programs in Italy and France. Matthew returned to the states to complete his graduate studies at Princeton University, and he began his career working on urban design and master planning projects for Fortune 500 companies. His decision to then work in the Florida Keys gave him a unique perspective on the land. He constantly dealt with constraints concerning historic preservation and the need to be sensitive to the existing landscape and environment. At Miami Law, Matthew continues to work towards combating ongoing issues concerning protection of the natural environment, preservation of historic structures, and related land-use and planning issues.
Marielle chose to major in both French and Computer Science at Wellesley College and feels that the two disciplines complemented each other well and prepared her for law school. After graduating from Wellesley, Marielle headed to Dunkerque, France to work for Education Nationale, where she planned and conducted English foreign language courses for more than 60 French students. Her work, and ultimately her success at a poorly-funded school, drove her to want to advocate for children and families. Upon returning from France, Marielle went to work as a paralegal where she was introduced to organizations that provide telecommunications services in areas devastated by natural disasters.
Sarah graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with degrees in biology and political science. She helped UMBC initiate a partnership with Health Leads, a nonprofit organization which places undergraduate volunteers in health clinics to provide low-income families with access to socioeconomic resources. After graduation, Sarah interned at the US State Department's Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science where she worked on the President's polio eradication initiative and the White House Council on Environmental Quality where she worked on a range of environmental issues. As a law student, Sarah wants to study and understand human rights problems at home and abroad.
As a physics major at the University of Pennsylvania, Brittany found herself intrigued by a class in punishment, politics and culture. This course served as a springboard to exploring the intersection of educational opportunities and the lack of access to resources by some distinct populations in her community. As a member of Teach for America, Brittany taught students in an immigrant-rich town in Arizona and she soon realized that in order to truly help the kids and the community as a whole, she would have to delve into the study of law. She realized that many of the obstacles facing her students and their families stemmed from issues within the legal system, whether in the form of unfair housing practices, matters of citizenship, access to insurance or ethnically biased standardized testing. Brittany has dedicated her time at Miami Law to pursuing a career in public interest law and hopes to ultimately open a legal aid clinic for immigrants.
Abe attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his degree in Religious Studies. Following graduation, Abe joined the Mississippi Teacher Corps where he was awarded a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi as part of his two year commitment to teach in a critical needs district. In addition to teaching, Abe led a group of students in creating the Striving for Justice Club, which provided students the opportunity to discuss youth and poverty issues. After completing his service with the Mississippi Teacher Corps, Abe worked at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, working closely with attorneys on death penalty appeals. As a law student, Abe has been involved with many initiatives including the formation of a student chapter of National Lawyers Guild, work with the Southern Poverty Law Center and independent research on prison conditions.
Throughout his time at Washington University in St. Louis, Joshua was extremely involved in political and legal outlets. As Editor-In-Chief of the Washington University Political Review, he was responsible for final edits of all content. Joshua volunteered with an on-campus group called Juvenile Detention Center, where he mentored incarcerated children of St. Louis. Joshua also worked with the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, D.C., an organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of Latinos in the US. Joshua has dedicated himself to an exploration of legal process and access to justice through his community work, clinical work and internships.
As a teenager, Paulina moved with her family from Chile to the United States. Faced with the challenge of not knowing the language of her peers, Paulina rose to the occasion and within two years was taking an Advanced Placement English Class. Her study and love of language brought her to the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Spanish and Portuguese major and a minor in French. Paulina felt that choosing to study foreign languages was the most direct way to learn about other cultures, appreciate their rich literature, and be provided with the means to communicate with a broad spectrum of people. Paulina is motivated to serve as an advocate in Immigration and Human Rights issues. She has already started down this path having served as the only undergraduate intern at the University of Texas Immigration Law Clinic. In her time at Miami Law, she has been working towards a career with non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting immigrants.
Attending the University of Miami for her undergraduate studies, Leah interned at the City of Miami Beach Office of the City Attorney, where she was exposed for the first time to a legal career in the public sector. Leah believes that participating in clinics, such as the Federal Appellate Clinic, has afforded her the opportunity to excel at serious public interest work during her time in law school. She currently is involved in Amnesty International, safe cycling initiatives, and pro bono work through the Workplace Justice Project. Leah hopes to continue working for those causes and to find other areas of interest in the public sector.
Alexi is passionate about pursuing a career in environmental law with a focus on clean energy. By earning a major in history and a minor in ecosystem science and policy from the University of Miami, Alexi delved deep into environmental science while grasping the writing and communication skills needed to study history. Her environmental advocacy led her to an internship and ultimately a full-time job with Lennar Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the country. Working at Lennar provided Alexi with a unique perspective regarding energy-efficient luxury homes. In 2008, Alexi had the opportunity to work with Former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Climate Initiative. Working with policy makers and leaders in the international environmental field, Alexi gained a valuable understanding of the environmental issues and governmental policies facing our world today and these experiences have given her a unique perspective in her law school career.
Logan was a political science major at Saint Mary's College Of Maryland, who dedicated himself to teaching reading and writing to children in Washington DC after his graduation. He then moved to Tenryu, a remote mountain village in Japan with a population of 1,800 people. During his two-year stay in Japan, Logan became an integral faculty member and a vital part of his community. Upon returning home to the US, Logan worked as a paralegal at Jackson & Campbell, a 50-attorney general practice firm. As a law student, Logan has stayed committed to studying both domestic and international service, in addition to serving as a judicial intern and viewing justice from the bench. He serves as an officer on the Public Interest Leadership Board (PILB).
As Charlotte began her undergraduate education at Barnard College, she initially set upon the pre-medical path. As her interests lie in the field of women's health, she is most interested in the systemic barriers to care. Her coursework has included Health Policy, Reproductive Advocacy, and Health Economics. Her work has taken her to the public affairs department of Planned Parenthood of New York City, where she further concretized her goal of becoming a public interest lawyer. At Miami Law, she has worked with the Human Rights Clinic and has stayed motivated in pursuing a career in women's health.
Mitch has served as a legal intern at the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney, the Miami Department of Veterans Affairs, and Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. Mitch also volunteered at Miami Rescue Missions and served as a legal intern at the UM Law Health and Elder Clinic from June to December of 2009. Mitch, a veteran himself, has spent his time at Miami Law further developing his advocacy skills. He hopes to make a career out of addressing the myriad of legal issues related to homelessness and the experience of veterans seeking services and support when they return from active duty.
Lauren Pettiette graduated with majors in English and Creative Writing and minors in Business and Political Science. After graduating, Lauren participated in the Teach for America program where she taught underprivileged children in Baker, LA. Being a part of Teach for America greatly impacted Lauren and made her realize the importance of education for the youth of America. As a law student, she has concentrated on children's rights, especially in the area of improving educational resources and opportunities in the United States and abroad. She serves as a student leader on the Public Interest Leadership Board (PILB).
Lauren Lee Pettiette
For more specifics on and to apply to the Miami Scholars program, visit the Miami Scholars' page in the Financial Aid Scholarships section of our site.
Miami Law Miami Scholars 2012 Brochure