Bienvenido a Miami

I love living on the East Coast, especially the Northeast. As I’ve frequently expressed, the one thing I don’t really love about the Northeast is the winter—even uttering “winter” sounds like taboo at this point in the year, especially since I think we’re all still recovering from Boston’s last winter. So this past summer, I packed my bags and headed to my 1L summer job at the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) in Miami. I’ve never been to Miami before but I wanted to find out if I could see myself settling there to practice law after law school. I’m not too eager to take multiple state bar exams so this past summer seemed like the best opportunity to begin making an educated decision of which state I want to be licensed in to practice law. Ultimately settling in Miami also seems like the perfect solution to the long and painful Northeast winters.

FullSizeRenderOver the course of two days, I drove from my parent’s home in New York to my room in West Miami—just in time for Memorial Day weekend. To put it simply, Miami was amazing. So amazing that I think I experienced reverse culture shock when I returned back to Boston in August. I once heard a joke that Miami is the closest Latin American country to the United States and being there for ten weeks did make me feel as if I was back home in El Salvador, where I was born. I spoke almost entirely in Spanish while I was there, met people from almost every Latin and South American country, and was able to do very meaningful work at FLIC. Aside from when I traveled around Europe, I also don’t think I’ve ever eaten so well in my life. If you’ve never tried Peruvian lomo saltado, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest gifts. Also, I always jokingly tell people that coffee is my favorite food and fortunately for me, Miami proved to be a coffee-addicts paradise.

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Citizenship Clinic in Little Haiti

Having the opportunity to work at FLIC proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience—both professionally and personally. I assisted in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiatives, met with dozens of clients for the Florida New Americans Campaign, and conducted research on Florida unauthorized practice law. I was also fortunate enough to assist with hearings for unaccompanied minors. I don’t think I want to practice immigration law in the future, but the work at FLIC allowed me to strengthen all sorts of “lawyering” skills. It was also through FLIC that I was able to meet one of my personal heroes, Junot Diaz.

I should also note that I was only able to work in Miami this past summer with the financial support of BU Law’s Public Interest Project (PIP), which allows students to apply for summer funding for their summer employment at a public interest organization. As someone who values and enjoys traveling and exploring new places, I feel very grateful that I was able to continue my wanderlust while in law school.

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