Faculty & Staff

Clinical Program Staff

Director of Clinical Programs
(305) 623-2381 · cdykas@stu.edu
Cece Dykas came to the St. Thomas University School of Law with fourteen years of legal practice experience, having served as a Judicial Clerk, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, and Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Florida for the Southern Region. As Director of Clinical Programs, she supervises all law school clinics, internships, and externships.

Within the law school she serves as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and a Visiting Assistant Professor. She teaches the Florida Supreme Court Internship.
Sharon Bogard
Clinical Program Administrator
(305) 623-2321 · sbogard@stu.edu
Sharon Bogard joined St. Thomas Law as a Special Project Assistant in 2004. As the Clinical Programs Administrator, Sharon is now responsible for processing Clinical Program applicants. Working with the students who wish to intern in one of the ten public service placement opportunities has been "the most fulfilling position" of her career.

A lifelong community activist, Sharon understands the need for public service involvement.


Immigration Clinic Staff

Director of Immigration Clinic
(305) 623-2340 · mvastine@stu.edu

Professor Vastine joined the faculty of the St. Thomas University School of Law in 2004. His practice and research focus on immigration litigation, particularly regarding the deportation consequences of criminal convictions and the due process rights of immigrants.

Professor Vastine holds a B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, an M.M. from Temple University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

He is a member of the Florida Bar Committee on Law Related Education and is co-chair of the Membership and Outreach Committee, American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Clinical Section. In 2011 and 2012, he was elected to the AILA South Florida Chapter Board of Directors. He presently is co-chair of the AILA South Florida Chapter Litigation Committee, is chair of the Law Student Division and serves on the DHS Chief Counsel Liaison Committee. Additionally, he served on the South Florida Chapter Ad Hoc Amicus Committee responsible for drafting AILA's briefs in post-Padilla v. Kentuckylitigation in the Florida appellate courts regarding the rights of immigrant criminal defendants to receive effective assistance of counsel. He also co-represents the lead case on the subject, Hernandez v. State, which he argued at the Florida Supreme Court in May 2012.

Yanick Laroche
Coordinator, Immigration Clinic
(305) 623-2309 · ylaroche@stu.edu
Yanick Laroche has been with the Immigration Clinic since its founding. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from St. Thomas University, Florida. She is also a member of the National Notary Association.

During her tenure at St. Thomas, Ms. Laroche held a variety of administrative positions prior to assuming her role as the Immigration Clinic Coordinator. As Coordinator, she oversees the daily operation of the Clinic, provides assistance to the Director, clinic students, and clients. Ms. Laroche regularly participates in immigration-related events, meetings and initiatives, and also attends conferences regarding clinical legal education. She assists with drafting cover letters, preparing immigration forms, and compiling and indexing evidentiary submissions used before the Immigration Court and the Department of Homeland Security.

She is fluent in Creole and has working knowledge in Spanish. Yanick is a devoted member of the St. Thomas Community. She embraces the mission of the program, which she has served for nearly twenty years.

Tax Clinic Staff

Director of the Tax Clinic
(305) 623-2308 · gbutler@stu.edu

Gordon Butler is a tenured law professor with ten years of sophisticated corporate, business, and securities law experience with Fortune 500 corporations. At St. Thomas University School of Law, Professor Butler currently teaches Business Associations, Family Wealth Management , Wills & Trusts, Federal Income Tax, and the Tax Policy Seminar. He also serves as the Chairperson of the Committee on Tenure, Promotion, and Reappointment.

Silvia M. Velazquez
Director of Program Development and Outreach, Tax Clinic
(305) 474-2452 · svelazquez@stu.edu

Silvia M. Velazquez is a 2012 graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law. While a student, Silvia worked as a Law Student Representative for the Tax Clinic, and as a research assistant for the Tax Clinic Executive Director, Larry C. Fedro. Shortly after graduation, Silvia joined the Tax Clinic as a Teaching Fellow where she coordinates the work of the Law Student Representatives under the guidance of the Executive Director. Also, in addition to over 15 years of business experience, Silvia brings an unparalleled commitment to the mission of the Tax Clinic and the mission of St. Thomas Law to serve the underrepresented of our community.

Clinical Program Faculty

(305) 623-2308
(305) 679-5451