Thursday, August 4, 2016

Law School Welcomes New Advisory Board Members

St. Thomas University (STU) Law School has announced the appointment of four prominent South Florida legal professionals to its esteemed board of advisors. Armando J. Bucelo Jr., Martha D. Fornaris, Bonnie Levin, and Yara Lorenzo were recently appointed to the university’s 34-member board, which plays a crucial role in the college’s mission of providing excellence in education, scholarship, and community service.

“We are pleased with the addition of these distinguished members of the profession from both the private and public sectors,” said School of Law Dean Alfredo Garcia. “They will undoubtedly enhance the stature of our law school.”

Armando J. Bucelo Jr., chairman of Bucelo Law Group, is an AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which represents the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the country on numerous occasions. Since 1979, he’s been practicing law primarily in corporate, banking, real estate and transactional work. Armando earned his associate degree in science from Miami Dade College and his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from the University of Miami.

Martha D. Fornaris is an attorney serving Coral Gables in workers' compensation law at her firm Fornaris Law Firm. Martha arrived in Miami from Cuba in 1967, and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in English and her juris doctor degree from the University of Miami. She began her career as a lawyer in 1984 in an insurance defense firm. In 1987 she joined the City of Miami Attorney's Office as the lawyer representing the city in workers' compensation matters. Later she and two partners opened their own practice, where she continued to primarily represent employers. After ten years, in 2000, she made the decision to open her own firm, solely concentrating on workers' compensation law.

Bonnie Levin ’89 works at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as a group supervisor to Miami Group 1. During her 15-plus year career with the ATF she has been assigned to different directorates throughout the agency as field agent, project officer and program manager. Prior to joining the ATF, she was a state prosecutor in Monroe County. Bonnie is a Miami Beach native, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Nova Southeastern University, and her juris doctor degree at St. Thomas University. She is a recognized beach volleyball and triathlete having competed internationally and won a gold and silver medal respectively in these sports.

Yara Lorenzo ’09, an attorney with the Miami office for Hogan Lovells, practices in the litigation, arbitration, and employment practice group. Before joining private practice, Yara served as a Law Clerk for three years to Hon. James Lawrence King, district court judge for the Southern District of Florida and Hon. Peter T. Fay, circuit court judge on the Eleventh Circuit. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in 2005, and her juris doctor from St. Thomas University Law in 2009. Yara is a member of the Cuban American Bar Association's Board of Directors.

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