16401 N.W. 37TH AVENUE


Telephone: (305) 623-2321


ABA Approved Since 1988

St. Thomas University School of Law is a highly-diverse, student-centered law school where the Catholic heritage of ethical behavior and public service flourishes. Founded in 1984, the School of Law is the only ABA-accredited Catholic law school in the Southeastern United States. St. Thomas has received national attention for it’s commitment to student and faculty diversity, and has had a special commitment to training lawyers who are members of South Florida’s Hispanic and Black communities which have been traditionally underserved by the legal profession. The School of Law offers the traditional J.D. degree program, as well as four joint degree programs, one LL.M. degree program, and a J.S.D. degree program.


Law School is located in Miami Gardens, on the main campus of St. Thomas University. The School of Law complex includes a multi-level library, Moot Court amphitheater, a cafe, faculty and administrative offices, and classrooms equipped with wireless networking capabilities, distance learning technology, and plasma screen televisions for the broadcasting of campus information. The stylish architecture, with its combination of indoor and outdoor study spaces, provides a comfortable setting for the study of law.


St. Thomas is proud of its Law Library. Its facility houses over 330,000 volumes and volume equivalents, with seating for 450, and is open more than 100 hours per week. Constantly increasing in size, the collection combines traditional hard copy and microform publications with on-line and Internet-publications. Since its inception, the Law Library has integrated the use of digital sources into its legal section in addition to its traditional printed materials, and our students have many opportunities to receive extensive training in both types of materials. For students without their own personal computer, the law library has a computer lab and provides computers in convenient areas outside the lab.


The exceptional faculty at St. Thomas University School of Law have earned their law degrees, and, in many cases, their advanced law degrees, from some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Georgetown, and New York University. Their record of publication in the leading law reviews is outstanding, and their practical experience is vast. A hallmark of St. Thomas is the faculty and administration’s open-door policy, enabling students to interact with leading scholars on a personal level.


In accordance with its mission, the School of Law offers students the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinics which not only bridge the gap between legal studies and the practice of law, but also serve underrepresented segments of the South Florida community.


The Appellate Litigation Clinic provides the intern with experience of handling criminal cases in state appellate court. Each student has the primary responsibility for at least two cases from inception through record preparation, all relevant motions, and the writing of briefs and oral argument. The Civil Practice Clinic’s interns learn causes of action and defenses unique to public agencies, including a wide-array of placements such as city and county attorneys’ offices, school boards, legal aid services and securities agencies.


The Criminal Practice Clinic is offered to third-year students who have qualified as Certified Legal Interns. This status allows the interns to represent clients under the supervision of a field supervisor and an authorized attorney of record. Interns with a prosecutor’s office receive rigorous and intensive exposure to the criminal prosecution practice. Interns are given a docket of cases for either plea bargain negotiations or criminal prosecutions to the court or, in some cases to a jury. Students also have many opportunities to evaluate different styles of lawyering by watching criminal trial lawyers in action. Placement in a public defender’s office provides students who have received the Certified Legal Intern status with the opportunity to defend indigent adults and minors charged with felonies and misdemeanors such as assault, theft, or drug and weapons possession. The cases frequently involve issues concerning the legality of searches and seizures, identification procedures, or confessions. They also may involve the defenses of insufficient evidence, mistaken identity, alibi, entrapment, or self-defense. In addition to learning investigative and trial techniques, students learn about alternatives to incarceration and creative approaches to sentencing.


Interns in the Elder Law Clinic deal with the ethical issues in representing the elderly, their income maintenance, health care, long-term care, competency and guardianship. Efforts are made to familiarize the students with the medical considerations of an aging population. Interns work with the Probate division of the Circuit Court and members of the Elder Law Bar to develop strategies to deal with a continually aging population and case management issues. The year-long Family Court Clinic allows interns an opportunity to represent clients in both Family Court and the Domestic Violence Court. The family division track allows students to learn about family law matters, including dissolution of marriage, paternity, custody and adoption cases. In the domestic violence division, students are given the opportunity to provide in-court representation to victims of domestic violence in civil permanent injuction hearings. The intern in the Florida Supreme Court Externship resides in Tallahassee for the semester. The intern functions as a law clerk to an individual justice or as a central staff law clerk working for all of the justices in the Florida Supreme Court. Duties will include: reviewing and making recommendations on petitions for discretionary review, attorney discipline matters, and extraordinary writ petitions; and conducting legal research and preparing memoranda on pending cases. The intern has the opportunity to attend oral argument, discuss cases with staff attorneys and the assigned justice, and assist in the drafting of orders or opinions. The intern also attends special lectures, group discussion and training sessions.


Student interns assigned to the Immigration Clinic are required to be certified since they will represent asylum seekers, battered spouses and children, and other non-citizens seeking immigration relief in Immigration Court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals, and before the Department of Homeland Security (formerly the INS). Students will learn substantive immigration law as well as trial practice and advocacy skills.


Judicial internships provide an opportunity for students to hear arguments, discuss cases with judges, as well as, apply research and writing skills to real facts. Students will work closely with supervising staff attorneys and judges in criminal and civil court, including state, federal, appellate and specialty courts.


Interns selected for the Pax Romana Clinic work at the Pax Romana NGOOffice for the United Nations, New York City. Pax Romana is an international lay Catholic NGO formed over a hundred years ago and having more than 42,000 members in some 80 countries worldwide. It holds the highest level consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (see: The intern functions as an accredited representative of Pax Romana, and follows several major policy issues on the U.N. agenda, e.g., Sustainable Development, Status of Women, Financing for Development, HIV/AIDS and Indigenous Peoples. In this process, the intern prepares analytical reports on several issues and a final research paper on one area, with the materials shared electronically across the worldwide Pax Romana movement.


The Tax Clinic consists of interviewing new clients, working on live cases during office hours of approximately 8 hours per week. The student represents the clients before the Internal Revenue Service, District Counsel, and before the United States Court. In addition to the office hours, the students are expected to attend conferences with the Internal Revenue Service, job fairs in the community, and the Tax Court sessions.


To supplement and refine their practice experience, students interning under the Clinical Program attend a weekly classroom component which provides instruction in both substantive and procedural law relating to case assignments.


The Law School offers four joint degree programs in cooperation with other graduate divisions of the University. A joint J.D./M.B.A. in Accounting couples skills traditionally in great demand in the corporate, tax and accounting worlds. The joint J.D./M.B.A. in International Business opens the burgeoning field of international transactional law to the new attorney. A joint J.D./M.S. in Sports Administration prepares participants for a diverse set of positions in the world of sports. The University’s Sports Administration program is nationally recognized and the joint degree program has received favorable review in the leading sports management journal. The joint J.D./M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling, one of the only programs of its kind in the country, fills a serious need in the family lawyer’s repository of skills.


One Master of Law Degree Program is also offered at St. Thomas University School of Law: the LL.M. in Intercultural Human Rights. The LL.M in Intercultural Human Rights is an innovative program which offers in-depth instruction on the critical issues of our time: the protection of human dignity across political, religious, social, economic and cultural lines. The faculty of global distinction includes top-level United Nations officials and outstanding scholars, judges and practitioners in the field. Students are trained to conduct effective research and advocacy in the field of human rights. Human rights law and complaint procedures are addressed, as well as issues of refugees, women, children, indigenous people, religion, criminal law and international trade. For those who want to continue their human rights education the Law School also offers a J.S.D. in Human Rights.


St. Thomas University School of Law offers an array of extra-curricular activities. The Moot Court Board promotes excellence in legal research and written and oral advocacy. Members of the International Moot Court Board compete in international competitions, including the Philip Jessup International Moot Court Competition. The Mock Trial Board encourages excellence in litigation and trial advocacy through participation in state, regional and national advocacy competitions. The St. Thomas Law Review is a student-operated scholarly journal which publishes articles submitted by students, faculty and members of the Bench and Bar. In 2006, St. Thomas launches the first law review edition of the Intercultural Human Rights Law Review. The Peter T. Fay American Inn of Court at St. Thomas is a chapter of the American Inns of Court founded in 1980 by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Student organizations reflect the rich diversity of St. Thomas University School of Law. Such organizations include the American Bar Association/Law Student Division (ABA/LSD), the Student Bar Association (SBA), the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), the Phi Delta Phi Spellman Inn, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL), the Hispanic American Law Society, the International Law Society, Plead the Fifth (the student newspaper), the Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity (PAD) and the Catholic Lawyers Guild.


Dean: Alfredo Garcia

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Cece Dykas

Assistant Dean for Student Services: John Hernandez

Director of Law Library: Karl Gruben (305) 623-2341

Director of Admissions: Fareza Khan (305) 623-2384

Director of Career Services: Merecedes Pino (305) 623-2350

Assistant Dean for Academic Support: Barbara Singer (305) 474-2472

Marketing and Communications Manager: Brooke Whitley

Building and Budget Manager: Olga Leyva (305) 623-2346

Registrar: Iraida Acebo (305) 623-2329




ALFREDO GARCIA, (Law Professor), born Santiago, Cuba, January 13, 1952; admitted to bar, 1981, Florida. Education: Jacksonville University (B.A., 1973); University of Florida (M.A., 1974; J.D., 1981). COURSES: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Torts, Evidence. Email:agarcia @


ROY BALLESTE, (Law Professor), born Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, May 23, 1969; Education: Jacksonville University (B.A., Political Science, 1994); University of South Florida (M.A., Library Science, 1997); St. Thomas University (J.D., 1997; LL.M., 2003). COURSES:Legal Research. Email:rballeste @


BENTON BECKER, (Law Professor), born Washington, District of Columbia, February 22, 1938; admitted to bar, 1966, District of Columbia; 1967, Maryland; 1981, Florida. Education: University of Maryland (B.A., 1960); Washington College of Law, American University (J.D., 1966). COURSES:Constitutional Law I and II, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Trial Advocacy Practice. Email:bbecker @


GORDON T. BUTLER, (Law Professor), born Baltimore, Maryland, November 13, 1943; admitted to bar, 1972, Texas and Georgia; 1977, Ohio; 2000, Florida. Education: Georgia Tech (B.S.E.E., 1966); University of Texas (J.D., 1971); New York University (LL.M., 1991); University of Dayton (M.B.A., 1994). COURSES:Tax, Corporations, Wills and Trusts. Email:gbutler @


ANNA M. CHAN, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1982, Florida. Education: University of California at Berkeley (A.B., 1972); University of Pennsylvania (J.D., 1980). COURSES: Legal Analysis, Research and Writing, Property. Email: achan @


DENNIS S. CORGILL, (Law Professor), born San Bernardino, California, November 21, 1951; admitted to bar, 1982, California; 1983, District of Columbia. Education: Stanford University (B.A., Political Science, 1973); University of Chicago (M.A., Public Policy, 1977); Yale University (J.D., 1982). COURSES: Contracts, Torts. Email: dcorgill @


LARRY C. FEDRO, (Law Professor), born born Des Moines, Iowa, January 2, 1939; admitted to bar, 1963, Florida. Education: St. Petersburg Junior College (A.A., 1958); University of Florida (B.S.B.A., 1960; J.D., 1963). COURSES: Tax Procedure (100&percent,). Email:lfedro @


JESSICA FONSECA-NADER, (Law Professor), born Miami, Florida, July 29, 1972; admitted to bar, 1997, Florida. Education: Nova Southeastern University (B.S., Psychology, 1994); St. Thomas University School of Law (J.D., 1997). COURSES:Legal Research and Writing. Email:jfnader @


LAUREN JEANNE GILBERT, (Law Professor), born Norwalk, Connecticut, January 7, 1961; admitted to bar, 1988, District of Columbia; 2002, Florida. Education: Harvard University (B.A., 1983); University of Michigan (J.D., 1988). COURSES:Constitutional Law, Immigration Law. Email:lgilbert @


DANIEL R. GORDON, (Law Professor), born Sussex, New Jersey, October 30, 1947; admitted to bar, 1982, Florida; 1983, California. Education: Haveford College (B.A., 1970); Boston University (M.S., 1973); Northeastern University (M.P.A., 1974); Boston College (J.D., 1982). COURSES: Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, State Constitutional Law. Email:dgordon @


PATRICIA W. HATAMYAR, (Law Professor), born Mankato, Minnesota, October 12, 1957; admitted to bar, 1983, Illinois; 1994, Oklahoma. Education: Northwestern University (B.A., 1980); University of Chicago (J.D., 1983). COURSES:Civil Procedure, Evidence, Pretrial Practice. Email:phatamya @


JOHN HERNANDEZ, (Law Professor), born Key West, Florida, August 21, 1957; admitted to bar, 1981, Florida. Education: University of Florida (B.S., 1978); Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1981). COURSES:Torts, Professional Responsibility, Criminal Law, Sexual Identity and the Law, Remedies. Email:jhernandez @


BEVERLY HORSBURGH, (Law Professor), born Albany, New York, June 5, 1942; admitted to bar, 1987, Florida. Education: Smith College (B.A., 1964); University of Miami (J.D., 1987). COURSES:Contracts, Family Law, Women and the Law. Email: bhorsbur @


JOHN M. KANG, (Law Professor), Education: University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1992); University of California Los Angeles School of Law (J.D., 1996); University of Michigan (M.A., 2000; Ph.D., 2006). Email:jkang @


TAMARA LAWSON, (Law Professor), admitted to bar, 1995, California; 1996, Nevada. Education: Claremont McKenna College (B.A., 1992); University of San Francisco Law School (J.D., 1995); Georgetown University Law Center (LLM, 2003). COURSES:Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I. Email:tlawson @


LENORA P. LEDWON, (Law Professor), born May 15, 1958; admitted to bar, 1983, Michigan. Education: Oakland University (M.A., 1981); University of Michigan (J.D., 1983); University of Notre Dame (Ph.D., 1993). COURSES:Evidence, Contracts, Law and Literature. Email:lledwon @


ALFRED ROBERT LIGHT, (Law Professor), born Atlanta, Georgia, December 14, 1949; admitted to bar, 1981, District of Columbia; 1982, Virginia. Education: Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1971); University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Ph.D., 1976); Harvard University (J.D., 1981). COURSES: Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law. Email:alight @


KATHLEEN MAHONEY, (Law Professor), born Jersey City, New Jersey; admitted to bar, 1982, Florida. Education: Newton College of the Sacred Heart (B.A., 1971); Florida International University (M.S., 1975); University of Miami (J.D., 1982). COURSES: Legal Research and Writing, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation. Email:kmahoney @


JOHN MAKDISI, (Law Professor), born Washington, D.C., March 12, 1949; admitted to bar, 1974, Pennsylvania; 1992, Oklahoma; 2005 Florida. Education: Harvard College (B.A., 1971); University of Pennsylvania (J.D., 1974); Harvard Law School (S.J.D., 1985). COURSES:Property, Evidence. Email:jmakdisi @


JUNE MARYZEKAN MAKDISI, (Law Professor), born McKeesport, Pennsylvania, November 1, 1953; admitted to bar, 1996, Oklahoma; 1998, Louisiana. Education: University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1973; M.S., 1974); University of Tulsa (J.D., 1995). COURSES:Torts, Agency and Partnership, Family Law. Email: jmmakdisi @


RICHARD H. W. MALOY, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, August 5, 1926; admitted to bar, 1953, Florida. Education: Dartmouth (A.B., 1949); Columbia (J.D., 1953); University of Miami (LL.M., 1974). COURSES:Legal Analysis, Bankruptcy, Debtor-Creditor, Wills-Trusts, Remedies.


ANTHONY C. MUSTO, (Law Professor), born New York, New York, February 20, 1951; admitted to bar, 1975, Florida. Education: University of Miami (B.G.S., 1972); Catholic University of America (J.D., 1975). COURSES:Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing, Advanced Legal Writing. Email:amusto @


IRA S. NATHENSON, (Law Professor), born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1962; admitted to bar, 1999, Pennsylvania. Education: University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1985; J.D., 1998). COURSES: Electronic Commerce, Intellectual Property, Internet Law, Copyrights, Trademarks. Email:nathenson @


LEONARD PERTNOY, (Law Professor), born Pennsylvania, May 19, 1944; admitted to bar, 1969, Florida. Education: University of Louisville (B.A., 1966); University of Miami (J.D., 1969). COURSES: Florida Constitutional Law, Products Liability, Real Estate Transactions. Email:lpertnoy @


LYDIE NADIA CABRERA PIERRE-LOUIS, (Law Professor), born Caribbean, West Indies; admitted to bar, 2000, New York. Education: Columbia University (A.B., 1989); New York University (M.A., 1992); Fordham University (J.D., 1998). COURSES:Corporations, Business Law, Securities, Corporate Finance, Arbitration, International Business. Email:lplouis @


STEPHEN PLASS, (Law Professor), born Guyana; Education: Fairleigh Dickinson University (B.A., 1982); Howard University Law School (J.D., 1985); Georgetown University (LL.M., 1988). COURSES:Contracts, Employment Discrimination, Labor Law. Email:splass @


PAULA REVENE, (Law Professor), born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1952; admitted to bar, 1987, Florida. Education: University of New Hampshire (1970-1972); Pennsylvania State University (B.A., 1974); Nova University (J.D., 1987). COURSES: Legal Research and Writing.


HARRIET RUBIN ROBERTS, (Law Professor), born Brooklyn, New York, August 31, 1947; admitted to bar, 1987, New York. Education: Sarah Lawrence College (B.A., 1971); New York University School of Law (J.D, 1986). COURSES:Professional Responsibility, Agency and Partnership, Corporations, Contracts. Email: hroberts @


AMY DEBRA RONNER, (Law Professor), born New York, September 15, 1953; admitted to bar, 1985, Florida. Education: Beloit College (B.A., 1978); University of Michigan (M.A., 1976; Ph.D., 1980); University of Miami (J.D., 1985). COURSES: Property, Wills and Trusts.


JAY STERLING SILVER, (Law Professor), born Chicago, Illinois, September 18, 1952; admitted to bar, 1982, Pennsylvania. Education: Washington University (B.A., 1975); Vanderbilt University (J.D., 1981); University of Pennsylvania (LL.M., 1986). COURSES:Torts, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics. Email:jsilver @


BARBARA SINGER, (Law Professor), born Hammond, Indiana, August 19, 1950; admitted to bar, 1976, Indiana. Education: Indiana University (A.B., 1972; J.D., 1976); Cambridge University (LL.B., 1978). COURSES: Contracts, Property, Torts, Sales, Legislation, Land Use Planning, Wills and Trusts, Appellate Advocacy, Legal Research and Writing, Entertainment Law. Email:bsinger @


NADIA B. SOREE, (Law Professor), born April 16, 1968; admitted to bar, 2005, New Jersey. Education: The Julliard School (B.M., 1991); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (M.M., 1993); Yale Law School (J.D., 2005). COURSES:Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence. Email:nsoree @


MICHAEL SCOTT VASTINE, (Law Professor), born Virginia, October 16, 1972; admitted to bar, 2001, District of Columbia. Education: Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.A., 1995); Temple University (M.A., 1997); Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 2001). COURSES:Immigration Clinic. Email:mvastine @


SIEGFRIED WIESSNER, (Law Professor), born Neustadt/Aisch, Germany, February 26, 1953; admitted to bar, 1984, Germany. Education: University of Tuebingen (J.D., 1977; Dr.iur., 1989); Yale University (LL.M., 1983). COURSES:Constitutional Law, International Law. Email:swiessner @


MARK JOSEPH WOLFF, (Law Professor), born Syracuse, New York; Education: Wadhams Hall Seminary-College (B.A., 1973); Nova Southeastern (J.D., 1977); New York University (LL.M., Taxation, 1978). COURSES:Income Tax, Corporations, Estate and Gift Tax. Email:mwolff @


CAROL LYNNE ZEINER, (Law Professor), born Rockville Centre, New York, March 10, 1950; admitted to bar, 1979, Florida. Education: Florida State University (B.S., 1972); University of Miami School of Law (J.D., 1979). COURSES:Contracts, Property, Higher Education. Email:czeiner @