By the time Florida native Jaime Noicely was 12 years old, she knew she wanted to be an attorney. Her uncommon certainty and drive led her to assess each personal and education-based decision to ensure she stayed on a path leading her to law school.
In high school, Jaime became close friends with St. Thomas University College of Law alumna, Nicollette Gonzalez ‘20. As the years passed, she grew close to Nicollette’s mom, Collette Small, who is also an STU College of Law alumna, class of 2005.
“After meeting Ms. Small, I knew almost immediately I wanted to attend STU Law. She was kind, well-spoken, and incredibly educated, and when she found out I wanted to become an attorney, Ms. Small excitedly told me she had attended STU Law and encouraged me to work hard to get in after undergrad,” Noicely stated.
After high school, Jaime secured her ﬁrst job as a legal assistant and worked in the same building with attorneys she perceived to be STU Law’s ﬁnest graduates. The knowledge and experience gained solidified her passion to become an attorney and pursue applying to St. Thomas University’s College of Law.
“Needless to say, when Professor Andrej Milic called to congratulate me on my admission to the STU family, I bawled my eyes out in gratitude. I still get emotional and even have the voicemail he left me. The message reminds me of a time when all I wanted was this lifestyle and it encourages me to see it through,” added Noicely.
During her first semester in 2018, Jaime followed the lead of second and third year law students by joining organizations. Soon after, fellow law students recognized her leadership potential and persuaded her to run for executive board positions. During the next two years, Jaime ran and won the seats for Vice President of Black Law Student Association, President of Caribbean Law Student Association, and 2L Senator of the Student Bar Association. Jaime was appointed to serve as President of the Honorable Peter R. Palermo Mentorship Program during her 3L year.
During the Spring 2020 semester, Jaime won the seat of STU’s Student Bar Association President, becoming the first black female to win the seat since the College of Law’s inception in 1984.
“Jaime represents the limitless opportunities outlined in our Limitless strategic plan,” said David A. Armstrong, J.D., President of St. Thomas University. “Her constant pursuit of academic excellence, and continuous growth through leadership positions is representative of the quality students that make up our STU scholar community. We are excited to see what Jaime does in the future, and STU will always be there to support her.”
Jaime’s responsibilities as SBA President include scheduling regular SBA assembly meetings of the Executive Board and Senate to discuss any matters pertaining to the well-being, concerns, and functioning of the student body. She also drafts proposals and amendments to the SBA Constitution, Inter-Club Council (“ICC”) Bylaws, and SBA Handbook for amending and approval by the Senate and ICC organizations. Jaime assists in creating and reviewing the SBA and ICC budgets, as well as presenting them to the STU Law Administration of STU Law.
In addition to her responsibilities as SBA president, Jaime is also president of The Palermo Mentorship Program, a member-candidate for the Intercultural Human Rights Law Review, and one of six student representatives of the STU Law Low Income Tax Clinic.
“I aspire to graduate from STU Law with both a JD and a Tax Law Certiﬁcate before going off to earn a Tax LLM. I believe my experience at STU has fostered courage, respect, and skill within me that wasn’t there before and I know that mindset will carry me to great heights. And I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far without trusting and believing in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him, I am able to access to the incredible opportunities offered by the College of Law and serve as the ﬁrst black female President of the St. Thomas Law Student Bar Association,” added Noicely.
Jaime joins an impressive list of ‘firsts’ for women of color at St. Thomas University, and nationally. STU’s Dean and Professor of Law, Tamara F. Lawson is the first black female to be appointed Dean of STU’s College of Law. Lawson previously served as the law school’s Associate Dean for faculty development from 2013-2017, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2017-2018. Prior to joining the law faculty in 2004, Dean Lawson served as a Deputy District attorney at the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1996-2002.
As the world recognizes Kamala Harris as the first black female Vice President of the United States, there is a reminder of her publicly stated determination to “…not be the last.” As STU celebrates Jaime Noicely’s successes during Black History Month, it is also a reminder she will not be the last black female to achieve greatness at St. Thomas University and beyond.
Jaime is on course to graduate with a Juris Doctorate degree in 2021.