Gift to help students gain international experience
Jack and Tifi Bierley International Law Scholarship will help UF law students prepare for international law careers by offsetting overseas travel expenses
Well-known international law practitioner and UF law graduate Jack Bierley and his wife, Tifi, have created a $250,000 scholarship endowment to help offset the expense of overseas travel for UF law students planning to study or work overseas in preparation for careers in international law. Bierley, who practices international law with the Tampa firm of Smith Clark Delesie Bierley Mueller & Kadyk, said he wants to help students “engage in internships and other experiences that bring them together on a linguistic and cultural basis with persons
in foreign lands.” Interim Dean Jon Mills said the gift complements the law school’s expanding International and Comparative Law Program, which includes a new certificate program to better prepare J.D. students for international careers. It also advances the school’s mission of educating legal professionals to serve businesses, individuals, and human rights and
environmental interests worldwide. “In an era of increasing globalization in the practice of law, overseas study virtually is a prerequisite for international practice,” Mills said. “The Bierleys’ gift will ensure that opportunities to study abroad are not limited to those who can afford them. This is a wonderful tribute to a distinguished practitioner who has helped to advance Florida as a leading center of international activity.” “Florida’s economy and culture is becoming increasingly international,” Bierley said. “World law practice is a reality for many Florida lawyers, and this will escalate dramatically during the next decade. Students interested in practicing international law may have ‘book learning,’ but they usually lack ‘on the ground’ experience with foreign geography and culture. Through overseas experiences, they will develop awareness and legal method to assist in solving international problems and addressing conflicts.” As head of his firm’s International Department, Bierley has traveled throughout the world for 35 years representing U.S. and foreign nationals on problems relating to law, business, banking, maritime matters and international relations, including cases involving imprisonment and seizure of ships and airplanes. Tifi Bierley, who speaks several languages,
frequently accompanies him in international travel and assists in relating to clients. Board-certified in international law, Bierley has worked tirelessly to promote Florida, Tampa Bay and the Southeastern United States as major international hubs. His efforts have earned him numerous awards, including the Silver Medal Award from the Inter-American Bar Association and the Tampa Bay International Businessman of the Year Award. A loyal UF alumnus, he previously endowed the John C. Bierley Book Award in International Business Law and served on the boards of the UF Foundation and UF Law Center Association.