Attorney Patrick Cordero, a 1987 graduate of the St. Thomas University School of Law, is helping others pursue the education they need to enter the profession that gave him a successful career.
“I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude toward St. Thomas University Law,” said Patrick, who was part of the first graduating law school class. “STU took a chance on me, gave me an opportunity to achieve my career goals, and I want others to have the same opportunities.”
Patrick is a managing partner of his law firm, which concentrates on consumer bankruptcy law. The law firm employs more than 45 staff members, eight of whom are STU Law graduates or current law students.
“I love hiring STU graduates,” he said. “They stand out because they go beyond what is expected of them. They have grit, a hard-working ethic, and character. I have so much faith in STU law graduates, that two of my six children are attending the law school, one is entering his third year, and the other is entering his first year of law school.”
Although three decades have passed since Patrick graduated, the core of STU and its law school hasn’t changed – its diverse student body from strong, working-class families.
“Watching the university grow, and its academic visions unfold and come to fruition definitely makes me proud. It is a one-of-a-kind campus (then and now) with a one-of-a-kind student population, and it gets better every year.”
Patrick, whose firm is the largest in consumer bankruptcy in Florida, and third largest in the United States, was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Miami. He started his higher education at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.; and in 1983, he completed his bachelor’s degree. Shortly thereafter, he began his law studies at St. Thomas University. At the time, there was no law building, and he and other law students would sometimes have class in the cafeteria, and on occasion, sharing space with the Miami Dolphins football team.*
Law school is a challenging endeavor both financially and intellectually, but with the support and encouragement from donors like Patrick, students are motivated to face the challenges head on.
Throughout the years, Patrick has provided leadership as a member of the law school’s board of advisors, as well as in several religious and community organizations. In addition to the time he invests in the university and community, he also contributes financially.
“Giving back in any way you can, big or small, shows your appreciation. By giving back I’m investing in our community’s future, in education, and in the legacy of my graduating class.”
His gratitude toward STU has also led him to help families in need. Every year he has personally sponsored and held a Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway in Little Havana, in which he hands out 1,500 turkeys. He also gifts more than 1,200 backpacks to children prior to the start of the school year.
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*The Dolphins held their training camp on the campus of St. Thomas University from 1970 – 1992.