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College of Law

Florida State University


Student Profiles

Bianca Báez Pearson

Bianca Báez PearsonBianca Báez Pearson is a Dominican American lawyer, who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and earned her Juris Doctor with a magna cum laude distinction from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Báez also holds a master’s degree in international business law from American University-Washington College of Law. She was an active political youth representative in her hometown in La Romana, Dominican Republic and continues to invest in social causes and issues related to public interest and human rights. She interned at the Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington D.C., where she was exposed to human rights topics related to statelessness and the right to nationality, focused on Dominicans of Haitian descent.

In 2015, she relocated to Tallahassee and immediately started getting involved as a volunteer for the Innocence Project and The Shelter. Currently enrolled in the LL.M. in American Law for Foreign Lawyers program, Báez is the LL.M. representative for the International Law Students Association and serves as secretary for the American Civil Liberty Union Students Association. Báez is also currently working as an intern at the Florida House of Representatives and serves as a mentor at Griffin Middle School.

Báez is interested in obtaining her juris doctor at FSU College of Law, where she plans to transfer after the end of this spring. She would like to practice in the area of criminal law, in matters related to civil rights or politics. After graduation, Báez would like to practice in Tallahassee, Tampa, Miami or Washington, D.C. If you are interested in hiring Báez, please visit her LinkedIn profile.

FSU has opened its doors to me in the most welcoming way. I have met wonderful professors, made great friends and learned tremendously. Pursuing a second law degree and having two juris doctors from different legal systems never felt so right.”

Blanca Delgado Mertinez

Blanca Delgado MertinezOriginally from Colombia, Blanca Delgado Mertinez now lives in Tallahassee, where she will graduate with an LL.M. in American Law for Foreign Lawyers degree this spring. She attended Atlántico University College of Law where she earned her J.D. with distinction in 2005 and received the Laureate thesis award. In her home country, she gained litigation experience in civil matters, and worked with underprivileged groups which included people living with HIV, children in poverty, the homeless and prisoners. She enjoys working on human rights issues and would like to practice in this area. If you are interested in hiring Blanca Delgado Mertinez, please visit her LinkedIn profile.

Eddy Laguerre

Eddy Laguerre

Born and raised in Haiti, Eddy Laguerre made his way to become a registered lawyer at the Bar of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. He studied both social communication and law and has a Licentiate in Laws (equivalent to a J.D. degree) from the State University of Haiti.

Laguerre has more than seven years of experience, mainly in the public sector. He began his career as a reporter and was later promoted to information director and led a news team at a local radio station. Thereafter, he served as an editor and journalist in the legal page of a weekly newspaper, as a columnist for Haiti’s national newspaper and later joined the Department of Justice as assistant director of communications. While working for the Haitian government, Laguerre was appointed as a member of several governmental committees. He was a member of the National Committee for Human Rights, which dealt with migration issues between Haiti and Dominican Republic, and a member of the Inter-Institutional Commission Against Money Laundering. He received an award from the Haitian Ministry of Culture and Communication in recognition of the success of his radio show, which focused on providing legal advice to the public after the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Laguerre is very interested in human rights and immigration issues and would like to continue his career in assisting refugees and immigrants. He is fluent in English, French and Haitian Creole. He enjoys translating and using his language competency to help people in need. He is expected to graduate this spring with an LL.M. in American Law for Foreign Lawyers degree. He is open to employment anywhere in Florida and would also consider other states like New York or Massachusetts. If you are interested in hiring Eddy Laguerre, please visit his LinkedIn profile

Eddy David

Eddy David

Originally from Cuba, Eddy David moved to Orlando with his family seven years ago before moving to Tallahassee to pursue his LL.M. degree in American Law for Foreign Lawyers. He earned his J.D. at Havana University College of Law in Cuba. After moving to the U.S., he studied Paralegal Studies at Valencia College and received the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship in recognition of his academic excellence and community service. In 2016, he decided to pursue an LL.M. degree to enable him to practice law in the U.S. He will graduate from the LL.M. program this spring and intends to take the New York Bar in 2018.

David is a member of the Cuban American Bar Association, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and The Florida Bar International Law Section. He worked as an instructor at Havana University College of Law. He is currently working as a legal intern for the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) where he performs legal research for immigration cases in particular on family reunion cases and waivers. He is also working with a law school professor to start a legal clinic to help veterans in the Tallahassee area. He would like to practice in the area of immigration law after graduation and prefers to live in Florida, particularly in Orlando. If you are interested in hiring Eddy David, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

Felipe Vieira Nogueira 

Felipe Vieira Nogueira

A lawyer and entrepreneur from Brazil, Felipe Vieira Nogueira earned his bachelor's degree in law from Universidade de Vila Velha, an M.B.A. in tax law from Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV, and is now pursuing an LL.M. degree in American Law for Foreign Lawyers.

Nogueira has over 10 years of experience and specializes in business law and international trade. He began his career as a legal counsel at the Consorcio Coreedor Centro-leste Law firm and worked in several other firms before he established his own law firm, Braz, Machado, Nogueira Advogados in 2010. With the success of his law firm, he founded the Intervix Turismo Travel Agency in 2012. The business is dedicated to provide tailored travel arrangements to clients globally. In 2013, Nogueira served as chief legal counsel at Instituto De Defesa Agropecuaria E Florestal Do Espirito Santo, the state agency that regulates agriculture, supply, aquaculture and fisheries in Brazil. 

As an experienced lawyer and entrepreneur, he is eagerly seeking his next challenge. Nogueira is interested in pursuing an international career in businesses law, international transaction law and immigration law. He is fluent in English and Portuguese, and proficient in Spanish. He is graduating this spring and will take the New York Bar in 2018. If you are interested in hiring Felipe Vieira Nogueira, please visit his LinkedIn page.

Hector A. Benitez Canas

Hector B. Canas

Hector A. Benitez Canas has more than 10 years of experience in the legal field and received his legal training in Venezuela and the United States. He earned his Degree of Lawyer (equivalent to a J.D. degree) from Universidad Bicentenaria de Aragua and two LL.M.-equivalent degrees specializing in civil procedure, and agricultural and environmental law from Universidad Nacional Experimental de Los Llanos in his home country. In 2015, he received his degree in American Law in Transnational Litigation and International Arbitration from Florida International University. He is currently completing his LL.M. dregree in American Law for Foreign Lawyers and will graduate this spring.

Benitez has extensive work experience in the public sector. He started his career as sheriff to the Third Court of First Instance Criminal Judicial Circuit of the Aragua State in Venezuela and worked his way up to municipal judge in 2009 and superior judge in 2011 (equivalent to Court of Appeals in the U.S.). During this period, he was also an adjunct professor at the Bar Association of Aragua State and Universidad de Carabobo.

Since the commencement of his LL.M. studies, he has been serving as a research assistant at FSU Law. His research focuses on social rights included in the Venezuelan Constitution. In parallel, he is also working at the Assessment & Testing Center as an operations assistant to gain more experience in the U.S. After graduating in May, he would like to apply for the New York Bar and practice in environmental, water and food law. If you are interested in hiring Hector A. Benitez Canas, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

If there is a way to accomplish success, it is by having coherence between your thoughts, words and your actions."

Khyrsi Prosperi

Khyrsi Prosperi is a Venezuelan attorney and graduated from the Universidad Bicentenaria de Aragua with a bachelor’s degree in law (equivalent to a J.D. degree). She also holds a Master of Laws in international law and international relations from the Caribbean International University. She is currently completing her LL.M. in American Law for Foreign Lawyers and will graduate this summer. 

Prosperi has four years of experience as a court clerk. Her area of practice has been mostly in public interest law. She is a member of the Aragua State Bar Association in Venezuela and involved in several student organizations including Advocates for Immigrants and Refugees Association, and the International Law Students Association. Her native language is Spanish but she is fluent in English and has basic proficiency in French. She intends to take the New York Bar in 2018 and practice immigration law. After graduation, she prefers to work in Tallahassee or Jacksonville. If you would like to hire Khyrsi Prosperi, please visit her LinkedIn profile.

Sara Korkuc

Sara Korkuc

Sara Korkuc is an LL.M. student in the American Law for Foreign Lawyers program. She was brought up in Peru and graduated from San Martin de Porres University in Lima, Peru with a bachelor’s degree in business law. She worked for the Revenue Office in Peru, Superintendencia Nacional de Administración Tributaria (SUNAT, Peruvian Customs) as a student intern during her undergraduate studies and served as a legal assistant at the Benites & Abogados Law Firm after graduation. She is currently the LL.M. representative for the Advocates for Immigrant and Refugees Rights organization and volunteers at Amnesty International. She also offers pro bono services to the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. After graduating this spring, Korkuc would like to further her studies and pursue a Juris Doctor degree to practice international law, immigration law and human rights law in Florida. If you would like to hire Sara Korkuc, please visit her LinkedIn profile.

Svitlana Astakhova

Svitlana Astakhova

Svitlana Astakhova received her legal training in Ukraine. She holds two master’s degrees, including a Master of Legal Studies and Master of Finance, and a Bachelor of Laws (equivalent to a J.D. degree) from Taurida National V.I.Vernadskyi University in Simferopol, Ukraine.

Astakhova practiced law in Ukraine for five years. She specializes in business law. She worked as a legal advisor serving business entities and non-profit organizations in the construction, retail and health care sectors. For more than three years, she provided legal support to pharmacies across the country and handled communications with business entities and government agencies. With great interest in building an international career, she decided to pursue an LL.M. in American Law for Foreign Lawyers. She is an active member of FSU International Law Students Association, The Florida Bar International Law Section, and the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy. She performs pro bono work for Foundation for Children, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Tallahassee that performs free medical treatment and surgery for children in developing countries. After graduating from the LL.M. program, she would like to continue practicing business law in areas like global business transactions and arbitration. She is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian. She is interested in pursuing a career in Florida but is open to relocating to other states. If you are interested in hiring Svitlana Astakhova, please visit her LinkedIn profile.