Dartmouth College Ethics Institute Visits Miami Law; Explores Issues on Legal Ethics and Community Service

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 Dartmouth students Terren Klein, Evelyn Weinstein, Sarah Zmarrou, Isabella Coleman, and Marine Shkuratov

Left to right (front row): Dartmouth Ethics Institute Director Aine Donovan, Dartmouth students Vungelia Glyptis, Erin Weldon, Sera Kwon, Michelle Li, Jake Bayer. (back row): Dartmouth students Terren Klein, Evelyn Weinstein, Sarah Zmarrou, Isabella Coleman, and Marine Shkuratov

For the second time, ten undergraduate students from the Dartmouth College Ethics Institute visited Miami Law for a week of intensive seminars and workshops exploring the issues of legal ethics, community service, and social justice. The visit was sponsored by Miami Law’s Center for Ethics and Public Service (CEPS).

This joint enterprise was developed in 2012 by Miami Law Professor Anthony V. Alfieri, a Dean’s Distinguished Scholar and Director of the Center, and Dartmouth Professor Aine Donovan, Director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth and a member of the faculty of the Tuck School of Business. During that year, eight Dartmouth students came to Miami Law to explore ethics and the law.

This year the venture was expanded by Catherine Kaiman, CEPS Lecturer/Practitioner-in-Residence, and Cindy McKenzie, CEPS Program Manager.

“Our continuing partnership with Dartmouth College’s Ethics Institute enables the next generation of civic and community leaders to learn about civil rights, environmental justice, legal ethics and professional responsibility, oral history and documentary film making, and inner-city poverty in Miami and across the nation. The partnership also allows us to display the enormous commitment and resources of the Law School in supporting public interest education and public service career pathways,” said Professor Alfieri.

Marina Shkuratov, a Dartmouth senior who plans on attending law school in the fall, said that the program was an incredible opportunity because it brought together accomplished speakers from across disciplines to teach law and public interest ethics in a hands-on way that integrated the richness of Miami’s history and community. “The chance to engage critically with topics I have always been interested in but had never been directly exposed to was eye-opening and extremely rewarding,” she said.

The Dartmouth group met with students and professors in the Center’s Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Projects to discuss current research, education, and policy projects in the West Grove and other low-income minority communities in South Florida. Students viewed the 2014 film, Old Smokey: A Community History, part of the Center’sOral History Documentary Film Project, and provided critical feedback for the upcoming extended edition of the film. Additionally, students enjoyed lunch at one of the historic black churches in the West Grove with members of the Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance and local community activists.

In addition to learning about Miami Law, the Dartmouth group heard from the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center and Miami Law professors about how the law can be used as a vehicle for social change. Participants included Clinical Professor Kele StewartProfessional Responsibility and Ethics Program Director Jan Jacobowitz, Professor Mary Anne FranksAssistant Dean Marni LennonProfessor of Legal Writing Jennifer HillProfessor Tamara LaveProfessor Osamudia James, and STREET LAW Director Jessi Tamayo.

Dartmouth sophomore, Isabella Coleman, said “The conference was an exceptional opportunity to explore ethics and law from top professionals in the field and simultaneously apply the concepts to current issues plaguing communities around the city.”

Additional speakers included, Rachel Silverstein, Executive Director of Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, Galen Truer, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Miami's Abess Center, Wifredo Fernandez, co-founder of The Lab Miami, and Nicholas Kallergis, an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami Beach.

“Because none of the Dartmouth students were from Miami, we wanted to ensure students would leave Miami Law with an awareness of our unique community,” said Kaiman.

The group also visited the Wynwood arts neighborhood and enjoyed a visit to The Lab Miami, a creative campus for social and tech entrepreneurs. Sarah Zmarrou, a Dartmouth junior, said, “This program was an incredible opportunity to interact with diverse educators and professionals in fields of public interest law. I especially enjoyed learning about the Lab Miami, as it is a great example of how one entrepreneurial project has provided a platform for several other projects that aim to promote positive social change in the greater Miami Dade area.”

At the conclusion of the program, Dartmouth sophomore, Vungelia Glyptis, said, “This week exceeded all of my already high expectations, while offering me the ability to appreciate the historically unique and artistic city of Miami. The Center team created the most informative yet enjoyable program in which I have ever participated. I cannot stop raving about my week at Miami Law, and I’d highly suggest the December program to others.”