Receiving the Ervin Gonzalez Memorial Law Clerk Fellowship at Legal Services of Greater Miami holds incredible meaning to a future lawyer. To have my name associated with Ervin Gonzalez is truly humbling.
This Fellowship gives a law clerk the opportunity to work alongside attorneys dedicated to providing pro-bono legal assistance to economically disadvantaged residents in Miami. As a Fellow, I was supervised by the Director of Litigation, Mr. Jeff Hearne. I worked on state and federal cases on behalf of clients either living in public housing or experiencing homelessness. Under Mr. Hearne’s mentorship, I drafted motions, memorandum of law, and demand letters, as well as attended hearings and depositions. In sum, this Fellowship has helped me learn the mechanics of litigation for the public good that Mr. Gonzalez both taught and employed during his time as a trial lawyer.
Although I did not know Mr. Gonzalez, his reputation in the South Florida legal community was second to none. I truly wish I had the privilege of knowing him. After Mr. Gonzalez’s passing, a number of prominent attorneys and judges paid their respects to Mr. Gonzalez. The one common thread in their heartfelt statements was about how Mr. Gonzalez was not only an exceptional lawyer, but an exceptional person. Mr. Gonzalez represented hundreds of families and homeowners during his time as a trial attorney, securing multi-million dollar verdicts for those who suffered from a wide range of injuries. His impact was felt not only through his work in the courtroom, but also in the classroom. I feel inspired to emulate Mr. Gonzalez’s model work ethic and achieve results for my future clients, while maintaining a leadership role in my community.
By seeking legal solutions for the vulnerable, at-risk populations here in Miami, I strive for equal justice in honor of Mr. Gonzalez through this fellowship. I would also like to thank the following Selection Committee members who graciously allowed me to work at Legal Services under this Fellowship: Karen Cespedes, Freddi Mack, Jason Sherry, Michael Levine, and Kyle Teal. May we all strive to emulate the esteemed legacy that he left behind.