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UM Law’s Real Property Development Program Expands Advisory Board

Jessica Melendez

The University of Miami Law School’s Master of Laws in Real Property Development (UM-RPD) Advisory Board recently added three members to its board, which helps cultivate the next generation of real estate attorneys. Joseph Hernandez, partner and real estate practice group chair of Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Cole, & Bierman, P.L.; Jessica Melendez, Vice President of Development of Related Group; and Oscar Seikaly, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of NSI Insurance Group, LLC will now serve on the board. 

The UM-RPD program provides an advanced educational opportunity for lawyers working in the real estate field. The advisory board further facilitates the mentorship and learning opportunities for students.  

The expansion of the advisory board coincides with the continued growth of the UM-RPD program and the South Florida real estate market. The UM-RPD advisory board members play an active role in shaping the curriculum and providing educational opportunities for students.

Joseph Hernandez

“The RPD program bridges the gap between what law students learn in school and what they need to know as a young, upcoming associate in real estate, and it also provides a deeper understanding of the practice for practitioners who want to fine-tune their skills or pivot into real estate,” says Raquel M. Matas, Director of the RPD LL.M. Program. “The advisory board works in alignment with the curriculum to provide students with access to mentorship and internship/job opportunities, positioning students to learn from the best in the business within one of the most thriving markets in the country. Our new advisory board members enhance our ability to provide students with these opportunities and add significant value to the gradual expansion of the program.” 

Students in the RPD program gain access to various prominent real estate projects in the region, including visits to Panorama, the tallest residential tower south of Manhattan, Downtown’s Miami Worldcenter development and Brickell City Centre.

Oscar Seikaly

“The RPD program’s curriculum, coupled with the value of the hands-on mentorship experience and access to developments shaping South Florida, puts students in the position to hit the ground running as legal practitioners,” says Gary Saul, a Co-Chair of the UM-RPD Advisory Board. 

The University of Miami School of Law is one of only a handful of schools nationwide that offers a Real Property Development L.L.M. degree. The 22-member RPD Advisory Board comprises professionals from all aspects of real estate, including law firms, major real estate companies, banking and financial services, developers, brokerage, architecture, design, title insurance and construction.    

For more information, visit law.miami.edu/rpd or email rpdinfo@law.miami.edu.   

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.