H.T. Smith, an alumnus and member of the UM Law Board of Trustees, and Leslie Long, widow of alumnus Harold Long, were honored with the dedication of the Student Services Building in honor of Smith and Harold Long. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami

Harold Long, Jr., and H.T. Smith never needed a covenant sealed with signatures. All it took was a handshake.

And with that symbolic gesture, the two African American attorneys — one, the son of longtime educators; the other, a Vietnam veteran who grew up in his grandmother’s shotgun shack on an Overtown street nicknamed “Bucket Blood”— formed and operated what became the first Black law firm to locate its office in downtown Miami.