Preparation to Practice in Real Estate and Estate Planning Law

People often ask you when you tell them that you want to go to law school, “What area do you want to practice?” The answer for many prospective students and even many 1L’s is “I have no idea.”

Deciding what area to study and practice is not an easy decision but one great way to find out is by just trying different subjects, exploring different opportunities, and joining different student organizations. I actually found my niche in the area of real estate law and estate planning by doing a favor for a good friend. He was leaving his law firm for school and needed someone to fill-in for him for a few weeks. This short-term fill-in opportunity turned into a clerkship with a well-known Tallahassee real estate law firm during my 2L year and the following summer.

I knew nothing about real estate law or estate planning prior to my clerkship, but I realized I probably never would have if I had not just tried something new. So now that I had found an area of law that I could see as a career, my next question was, “How do I make myself more marketable to firms and employers in this area?” The answer was easy: Take classes that relate to that subject.

I was so pleased to see that Florida State University College of Law offered a plethora of classes in my topic area such as Estate and Gift Tax, Real Estate Finance, Gratuitous Transfers, and more. Not only did the College of Law offer more classes than I could imagine, they also provide seminars and workshops in this area as well. Additionally, there are student organizations that help students get connected with other students, professors, and professionals interested in this area of law. Our Estate Planning and Elder Law Society is just one example.

It is never too late to decide what you want to study. As a 3L I plan to focus my studies on the courses in my area of interest and plan to get involved in student organizations that foster that interest. I am so thankful that the College of Law offers so much to prepare me to enter this field of law.

If real estate and estate planning are not for you, there is no need to worry. Florida State University College of Law is known for their expertise in the areas of business, environmental, international, and criminal law, and provides the coursework needed to prepare students to practice and succeed in all areas of the law. Finding out what you want to do is not easy, but once you get there, the College of Law has the resources to make you successful in whichever area you choose.

?????????????????????????????????????????? Elizabeth Oakley, 3L

Starting a New Student Organization Is Easier Than You Think

Many of the factors I looked at when I was considering law schools are probably the same ones that everyone else considers. The quality of the faculty, variety of classes offered, geographic location, bar passage rate, as well as other practical considerations are all very important, but where do you go for a sense of family and support during each semester when you are living far from home?

I grew up in a small, suburban town where everyone went to high school with the same people they played with and grew up with as children. I also grew up in a tight-knit Jewish family where we spent every day together and with whom I felt comfortable and safe with my whole life. So why would a prospective student not also consider these factors when deciding where to spend the next 3 years of their life?

While I did involve myself in student organizations early in my 1L year, I still needed that sense of community that I missed from home. At the start of the school year came the Jewish Holidays and I definitely felt homesick and wanted to celebrate with others like myself. After talking with some of my fellow law students, I found that I was not alone. While spending holidays together during our 1L year, we came to realize the need for a more organized forum to plan events and spread awareness. Thus, the re-creation of the Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) became our goal.

As we embarked on the mission of being recognized as a student organization, we came to realize just how easy the process was and how encouraging the staff in the Office of Student Affairs was as well. We did have to hold “official” elections to designate board positions, revamp our bylaws, recruit a professor to be our advisor and had to register with both the College of Law and the Congress of Graduate Students. Once we were approved, we started planning events and meals, started selling merchandise, created a logo, and began building our membership.

Like any organization, there are hurdles to overcome. There are many student organizations in the College of Law seeking recognition and funding and who are competing for the time and attention of the same students for their membership. This definitely requires the ability to work with and seek compromises with other organizations. However, once these challenges are overcome and events are planned and placed on the calendar, it is pretty easy sailing from there.

I think that it is important to be involved in student organizations while in law school. They can provide a balance to the academic side and can definitely provide a much needed break from the completion of a challenging case briefing. Student organizations are also a facet to networking with professionals, socializing with peers and classmates, and for exploring new interests. They can also fulfill that need of community that can be missing for someone who is venturing to a new place far from home.

Now that I have been through this process, I would encourage any group that has a common goal or interest to consider starting their own student organization. It is easy and you may never know if there are others out there with similar needs or interests unless you explore the option.

?????????????????????????????????????????? Jen Lettman, 3L

Entertainment Law: Finding the “Curriculum” Between the Lines

Florida State University College of Law promotes expertise in the areas of business, environmental, international, and criminal law in brochures, booklets, and on its Web site as well as through curriculums leading to the attainment of certificates in business, environmental, and international law. The College of Law’s Web site also provides guidance through recommended core courses and course lists in the areas of administrative law, business and commercial law, civil rights law, criminal justice, environmental and land use law, family law, international law, and litigation.

This should not be taken to mean that you are limited or that you should focus your preparation to practice in one of these areas if you choose to attend here. If we were to poll all of our 8,500+ alumni, you would find someone practicing in almost every imaginable area of law. This also does not mean that the expertise is not there to prepare you to practice in another area. The College of Law’s faculty is among the nation’s best and the number of options beyond the 1L required curriculum exceeds 225 different courses and numerous opportunities for clinics, internships, and externships. What it does mean is that you have to take matters into your own hands, be a little more creative and resourceful, and take some initiative to formulate a curriculum that will meet your needs. You also have the resources of the College of Law, its faculty, Externship Office, Placement Office, and Alumni Affairs Office to help you.

So, for example, what if you want to be an entertainment lawyer? Well, the J.D. degree requires 88 credit hours with 36 of those hours being required coursework and 4 being “guided” coursework. That leaves 48 hours of elective credit that you can use to design a custom curriculum. Before getting into course selection, note that four of your required hours are the 1L Contracts course. This is perhaps the most important class for any budding entertainment lawyer and the contracts professors at the College of Law are top notch. One of our newer instructors, Professor Bruce Markell, has been published in law review articles and books and has even written his own book on contracts.

The “guided” coursework requires a skills training course and an upper level writing course. The skills training course for this build-your-own entertainment law curriculum is an easy one, Contract Drafting. This is a wildly popular course and could not be more relevant to practice as an entertainment lawyer. More importantly, this course is offered almost every semester.

The upper level writing course choice is not as obvious, but there are two readily available options. The first is Cyber Law. There is no doubt that the entertainment industry is inexorably intertwined with the Internet. Because this course ends in a paper, you are free to make that paper about whichever field of entertainment law that interests you (sports, music, etc.). The second option is not actually a course, but rather pursuing an instructor guided paper. These papers can be on any subject that a professor is willing to supervise. Because entertainment law touches so many other fields of law, it is fairly easy to make entertainment law relevant and of interest to one of the professors at the College of Law.

For the remaining elective courses, start with the namesake course, Entertainment Law. This course is not offered every semester, but should certainly be a part of your ad hoc curriculum. Entertainment law is taught by entertainment industry experts like Robert McNeely, who has represented bands selling millions of records and who has engaged in nearly every facet of the entertainment industry including management contracts, rights management, and etc. Because entertainment law is an amalgam of other areas of law, the following courses should be considered: Sports Law, Closely Held Business Organizations, Copyright Law, Trademark and Unfair Competition, Taxation, Taxation of Business Entities, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Legal Negotiations, and Anatomy of a Deal.

This still leaves some additional electives, and that is a good thing. Even when you know which area you want to practice, it is important to balance your legal education. The benefits of this include comparative analysis and most notoriously: issue spotting. As an entertainment lawyer, you may end up having to diagnose a client’s other legal problems. This will be a lot easier if you have taken courses such as Criminal Procedure: Police, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Gratuitous Transfers, or Gambling & Pari-Mutuel Law.

There is no doubt that any up-and-coming attorney could also benefit from field experience while in law school and this build-your-own curriculum should be no different. During the summers, the world is your oyster and you should use the time after your first and second year to volunteer and/or work somewhere in the entertainment industry. Opportunities in New York City or Los Angeles would be optimal, but if you are looking for opportunities closer to home, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, or Miami could also provide great opportunities. The Placement Office, Externship Office, and Alumni Affairs Office can be a huge help in this area, so make sure you get to know them as early as you are able and let them know what kind of opportunities you are looking for and in what areas you would consider going to gain this experience.

Getting experience during the school year is admittedly tougher, but then again, so is cracking into the entertainment business in general. In fact, the challenge of getting your feet wet in a town with fewer entertainment industry options may serve as an advantage later on after you have learned how to open doors in an industry where most doors often seem closed or even unavailable. If you want to get into entertainment law, you have to look to where the entertainment is. Tallahassee hosts a variety of nightclubs and bars that feature regular entertainers or guest artists who either need representation, or who already have representation, but could use some help.

Florida State University and Florida A&M University are also home to multimillion-dollar sports programs and programs in arts and entertainment, so rubbing elbows with the booster organizations, sports marketing departments, or representatives from the different sports and entertainment programs could open doors. There are also great organizations that meet, organize, and host events throughout the state, including our very own Entertainment, Art, and Sports Law Society; the Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section; and the Florida Chapter of the Grammy Recording Academy.

Why go through all of the trouble to create your curriculum when you could go to a law school that advertises one or has a certificate program in the area of law that interests you? Because the quality of the faculty and experience at Florida State University College of Law is unmatched, especially in Florida, and when you are picking a school, quality matters. So, just because Florida State University College of Law does not have your explicit curriculum does not mean that you will leave any less ready to practice.

??????????????????????????????????? Zach Lombardo, 3L

Coleman, Joseph Joseph Coleman, 3L

University of Central Florida Alumni “UKnight”

When I was considering law schools, prior to my 1L year, I was excited to find out that University of Central Florida (UCF) graduates represented the third-largest group of students within the Florida State University College of Law. At that time I was also impressed with the multitude of student organizations that existed for student involvement, but was disappointed to see that UCF graduates had not formed their own organization to share and celebrate our common bond with our alma mater.

Last year, as a 1L, I started working with other UCF alumni to bring just such an organization to life. Starting this semester, I am beyond thrilled to announce that “UKnight” is off and running. If there has been one organization that I have been really proud to pour my heart into, it is without a doubt, this one. I cannot wait to start meeting, networking, and enjoying sporting events with my fellow Knights and I encourage all UCF alumni at the College of Law to join us!

In addition to our own meetings and events, UKnight will also host events with the Tallahassee UCF Alumni Club. These events will be wonderful opportunities to network, form stronger ties with our beloved undergraduate institution, and form relationships with Knights living in the Tallahassee community. They will include Knights who have gone on to pursue careers in law as well as professionals in other fields.

I am excited about being a part of a UCF community outside of Orlando and hope to work to make it even stronger. I would also encourage everyone to get involved in student organizations while you are here at the College of Law and if there is not one that is near and dear to your heart, consider starting one of your own! There is nothing better than seeing your passion come to fruition.

??????????????????????????????????? Brooke Tharpe, 2L

Honors Students Thinking About Law School Should Consider the Honors Legal Scholars Program

Undergraduates at Florida State University who have been accepted into the Honors Program may apply for the College of Law’s Honors Legal Scholars (HLS) program. Unlike other honors programs geared toward undergraduates, HLS is administered solely by the College of Law. The program is open to students who are interested in exploring or attending any law school, but is also designed to showcase the College of Law and encourage honor students to consider remaining at Florida State. Participants who remain in good standing are automatically admitted to the College of Law if they maintain a 3.6 grade point average or higher, receive a score of 162 or higher on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and stay out of trouble.

As a program alumnus, I would recommend that anyone who is interested and eligible to submit an application. HLS provides participants who are exploring the possibility of attending law school with access to the College of Law’s students, facilities, faculty, and staff. Individuals who participate, and do more than the minimum required by the program, will get the most out of the program. By the time one is ready to graduate they should have a firm idea of whether or not they want to attend law school.

Shortly after I was selected, I was assigned a mentor who was a current student at the law school. Being a freshman at the time, this gave me the opportunity to comfortably ask the silliest questions about law that only a freshman could come up with. Through my entire time as an undergraduate, I was sent invitations to countless panels and events, which for me included an event with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. We were also invited to study in the “lawbrary”, more properly named the Research Center, and were encouraged to sit in on classes.

Every month the HLS program also holds “members only” law-oriented events with admissions officers and law professors. I remember arguing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act with Professor Seidenfeld at a round table discussion before the law was passed. Looking back now, that was probably one of the first times in my life that I was questioned on the mechanics of laws.

College of Law staff and faculty also provided me guidance as I applied to law schools throughout the Southeastern United States. First, they gave our group advice on how to prepare and when to take the LSAT. Then they gave us advice on actual application questions and offered to review our personal statements. I even had the opportunity to sit down with a professor, after I received my LSAT scores, who gave me an honest perspective about which schools I was interested in applying to and where he felt I could excel.

With an open mind I toured a few out-of-state schools and gave a second look at schools that made me offers. For me it ultimately became clear that Florida State had been my best option all along. As a current 3L, I could not be happier with my decision and I appreciate all of the help that the HLS program provided me during my journey. Since becoming a law student I have also been honored with the opportunity to mentor others who have become part of the program.

If you are a Florida State undergraduate, in the Honors Program, and have ever considered eventually attending law school, the Honors Legal Scholars program might be just right for you. If you have any questions about the program you should check out the HLS Web page at http://honors.fsu.edu/University-Honors-Program2/Honors-Legal-Scholars-Program or contact the Florida State University College of Law Office of Admissions at 850-644-3787 or admissions@law.fsu.edu.

?????????????????????????????????? Kelly Kibbey, 3L

From Law Student to Litigator

Ever since I was a child I had the image of an attorney planted in my head as something I one day wanted to be able to accomplish. I remember seeing attorneys on television shows and movies and admiring how confident and commanding their presence was. They undeniably had “it,” and whatever that was I had to have it!

I later found out that not all attorneys went to court and most, in fact, do not ever even go to trial. I still envisioned myself in the courtroom, commanding the presence of everyone in it, and that was what I was going to do. Unfortunately, this person that I saw was a far cry from the shy person I was, someone who was uncomfortable with the spotlight and public speaking. So, I had to figure out how I could transition from the person I was into the person that I ultimately wanted to be.

When I finally got to law school I realized that although I understood the black letter law, I did not have that “it” factor. I still was nervous when it was my turn to speak in class. I decided that I had to do something to obtain the practical skills I needed. I had a few other legal jobs before, but my first taste of being a “real attorney” came when I worked at Florida State University College of Law’s Public Interest Law Center.

The Public Interest Law Center is dedicated to providing legal representation to indigent clients for free. It was through this experience that I had my first deposition and my first trial. I was a bit nervous for the deposition, but I was in a completely terrified state during my trial. After it was over, however, I realized it was the most fun that I had ever had. I realized then and there that I was certainty going to be a litigator! Not only was it something that I wanted, but something that I was going to obtain!

Prior to graduating, I completed an externship at the State Attorney’s Office here in Tallahassee. This was the best experience I ever had, because I really got to do the work of an attorney. Every single day we went to court, which helped me significantly in becoming calmer in the courtroom. The courtroom is now a familiar place, instead of a place to fear. This externship also let me experience the day-to-day interactions that you do not learn about in law school.

The best part 0f this externship was the trials! When I had my first trial with this office, I was so delighted when I won! A few weeks later I had to participate in a four-hour motion to suppress hearing and was again pleased when the judge denied the defendant’s motion to suppress (a win for the State). I would recommend the opportunity to anyone who is considering being a litigator. This is an excellent chance to participate in multiple trials and experience the daily interaction with the courts.

?????????????????????????????????? Jessica Tehlirian, Class of 2014

Jessica will begin working this month with Florida Legal Advocacy Group, P.A. of Ocala, Florida. Jessica found this opportunity using the Placement Office’s Simplicity application. She will start as an Associate, on a partner track, doing litigation work for their clients.

Finding the Internship You Want May Be As Easy As a Visit to the Placement Office

The Placement Office at Florida State University College of Law is working around the clock to make sure every single one of us succeeds. During my 1L year, I was worried about obtaining a summer internship that would provide me with a good amount of experience. Luckily, the services and networking events that the Placement Office provides for us are geared towards helping us do just that.

Early in the spring semester of my 1L year, I received an e-mail message from the Placement Office notifying me that Robert Wesley, Public Defender for the 9th Circuit of Florida, was going to be visiting us here, at his alma mater, to talk with students about internship opportunities in his office. After receiving this e-mail, I was beyond excited.

I made sure that I stopped by the Placement Office a couple of days prior to his visit to get some pointers and to make sure everything would go smoothly. I had worked myself up and was anxious about speaking with Mr. Wesley, but one of our J.D. Placement Advisors helped me find my confidence and told me how to best take advantage of this opportunity. They sat down with me and told me everything I needed to know, from how to dress, how many resumes to bring, and what questions to ask. We even went over my resume together and I was given some formatting tips to spruce it up.

Mr. Wesley’s meeting with a group of students in the Advocacy Center began with him describing his career experience and outlining the responsibilities of his office. He asked us questions about our experiences at the College of Law and recalled his time here quite fondly. He then asked how many people were from the Orlando area and began telling crazy stories about past clients he had encountered there. When he asked who was from Kissimmee, I was the only student who raised a hand, and he talked with me about his hometown for a few minutes.

Towards the end of his talk, Mr. Wesley invited all of us to e-mail him personally with any questions we might have. Additionally, he said that if any of us were interested in an internship position over the summer, we should note this in an e-mail and include the dates we would be available, a weekly schedule, and he would place us in the office of our choice.

Later that week I e-mailed Mr. Wesley, relayed my summer plans, and asked whether I could work at the Kissimmee office during the 6-weeks I would be at home that summer. I was pleasantly surprised by a prompt response from him affirming my schedule and letting me know the next steps in the “employment process.”

I had found the summer internship I wanted, and it all started with that one e-mail from the Placement Office! Needless to say, my six weeks at the Public Defender’s office were tremendously helpful in terms of honing my legal researching skills, drafting memos and motions, recognizing and overcoming legal issues, and working in a professional environment. I still keep in touch with many of the Assistant Public Defenders I worked with in Kissimmee and that internship was definitely the biggest determining factor in my continued interest in criminal law.

If there is one thing you should take away from my experience, it is that our Placement Office is one of the best resources for helping you find employment while you are at the College of Law and when you are seeking employment after you have graduated. You remember that e-mail message that I got from the Placement Office notifying me that Mr. Wesley was coming to speak? The reason I received that e-mail was because I had completed a profile on the College of Law’s Simplicity Web site. The Placement Office manages this Web site and notified me because I had noted my interest in criminal law when I completed my profile. The site also includes a listing of jobs that you can apply for directly through the site. This is how I found another internship in the General Counsel’s Office of the Florida Parole Commission.

I would encourage any current or incoming student to create a detailed employment profile on the College of Law’s Simplicity Web site as soon as you can or are able. Going to speak with the placement advisors about your resume, your experience, and where you want to end up can also be very useful in helping decide what you want to do and how to meet your career goals. The Placement Office also plans many events, like Mr. Wesley’s visit, to give students an opportunity to meet professionals, network, and make their job search much easier…and less stressful!

?????????????????????????????????? Jaycee Peralta, 3L

Women’s Law Symposium: Support, Encouragement, and a Whole Lot More!

Entering my 1L year, I knew that breaking into the legal field would pose many unique challenges for me as a woman. I assumed that these were hurdles I would confront on my own, years after the lengthy discussions of “malum in se” and “malum prohibitum” had concluded. However, this assumption could not have been farther from the truth. As a member of Women’s Law Symposium, I have found support and guidance on navigating the legal world and breaking through any “glass ceilings” I may confront in the course of my career.

Women’s Law Symposium, or “WLS” as it is better known, is a student organization that aims to promote women within the legal profession. Throughout the semester, WLS creates opportunities for its members to network with successful female attorneys and legal professionals, involve themselves with charitable work, and tackle issues within the workplace specific to women.

The WLS mentor-pairing program has been an essential element in my success thus far in law school and will continue to benefit me when I enter the workplace. At the beginning of each academic year, WLS members wishing to receive a mentor are paired through the organization with members of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers Association.

I was paired with a Florida State University College of Law alumnae practicing land use and real estate law, an area of law I have a great interest in. Throughout my first semester, my mentor was happy to answer any question I had (far too many, I assure you) and offer guidance on how to make the most of my experience at the College of Law. Whether I was unsure of how best to approach a professor, study for a final exam, or just needed guidance on professional dress for an event, she cheered me on and gave me practical, invaluable advice as a woman who had already walked my path. Aside from receiving informed answers and advice to my questions, I often met my mentor for lunch or a quick happy hour, and was able to observe interesting events at her firm.

The connection my mentor and I have formed will assuredly benefit me in the future. I have already called upon her for help in my summer job search and know that her help will be invaluable when I search for my first position after graduation. Having someone, who can provide a unique female perspective to the trials of law school and the legal profession, guide me through this process has made all of the difference in my success thus far.

Throughout the year, WLS also provides networking events for mentors and mentees and hosts other events to benefit female students. On campus luncheons bring in notable female practitioners who speak on issues confronting women in the workplace, allowing students to ask questions and gain perspective from women who are presently “in the trenches.” WLS also hosts mixers for students and professional women to encourage networking that will provide students with a variety of professional contacts. WLS’s “Dress for Success!” event teaches professional dress in all professional situations and includes a runway show and discounts at popular retailors. Other key events encourage female students to involve themselves in the community, such as the Silent Auction benefitting Refuge House.

Women’s Law Symposium has given me support and encouragement through its mentoring program, networking opportunities, and educational seminars. I encourage any female student to take advantage of all the organization has to offer—the support alone is invaluable and the advice can be lifesaving!

?????????????????????????????????????????? Ashleigh Lollie, 2L

Externship Opportunities…Just Extraordinary!

Extraordinary! If I was asked to come up with one word to define my student experience at the Florida State University College of Law, it would have to be “extraordinary.” This school and its faculty, at least as far as every subject or department to which I have been exposed, are so far beyond what I ever would have or could have expected. Frankly, they exceeded “ordinary” before I ever even received my acceptance letter. Now that I have finished my first year of law school, and even after I have come to expect “extraordinary” as the norm, I have been absolutely blown away by the opportunities made available at the Florida State University College of Law – particularly through the externship program!

Approaching the summer after my 1L year, I had not yet received my Bar clearance to become a Certified Legal Intern (CLI), which is a credential required for several externships. I expect to receive my CLI authorization sometime this fall, but I knew it was important that I gain some experience in the interim. More to the point, I wanted REAL experience! I did not want to be a coffee-getter and copy-maker at some law firm. I did not want to be sidelined as an observer to a practice-based externship program with clients I could not advise or cases I could not argue because I did not yet have CLI clearance. I wanted to jump into the deep end of real-world legal practice and solve real problems for real people, and that is exactly what I did!

Between the Placement Office and Externship Office, the College of Law was instrumental in making that happen for me. They narrowed their catalog of hundreds of externships available coast-to-coast down to just those for which a non-CLI rising 2L would be eligible. I looked for something that would give me a more hands-on research and writing experience – the kind of thing that would put me in top contention for my dream job during the summer after my 2L year – and I found it! Actually, I found THEM!

I had my choice of externships doing real work on real cases for real people, without having to be a CLI. Ultimately, I settled on Legal Services of North Florida – a community-based non-profit organization offering legal services for people in need. I wanted to get a broad range of experience working in multiple areas of law, and that is precisely what I got with this opportunity. Over the course of my externship, I worked on cases ranging from landlord-tenant to domestic violence, divorce and child custody, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, and everything in between. I used my legal knowledge, life experience, and creativity to plan and execute case strategies for the firm and its clients. I did the research. I wrote the motions. I filed the briefs.

It was pretty amazing, and it was real. When I helped stop an illegal eviction, I helped a family from being forced into homelessness. When I helped save a family’s home from foreclosure, they weren’t forced to seek shelter at the expense of their family, friends, and community. When I helped a victim break the cycle of domestic violence, I helped protect her and her child from further abuse and set them on a path to economic and social stability.

If I were to trace this invaluable opportunity back to its source, all the credit goes to Florida State University College of Law. Like I said before… Extraordinary!

??????????????????????????????????? Brandon G. Little, 2L

Career Planning Begins on Day One

It seems that from day one, the focus at Florida State University College of Law is the end game. One of the greatest things about being at the College of Law is that while you are studying, learning, and experiencing law school you are also preparing for your future. Regardless of whether you are an incoming 1L or a rising 3L, it is all about what you can do now; what you can learn, what skills you can pick up, what experience you can get, and even which hands you can shake. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunities while you are here.

I know that I want to practice in a way that allows me to do trial work, probably in criminal law. To that end, I have already been able to take advantage of several opportunities that I believe will help me along the way. Becoming familiar with the resources available in the Placement Office is a great place to start. The Placement Office staff does a great many things to help us develop our interviewing and networking skills, but they are also looking for employment opportunities and ways for us to network and make connections for the future. Their hard work is a big reason that we have the best placement numbers in the state.

At my first appointment with the Placement Office I expected nothing more than a glance at my resume and an overview of the kind of things to do in law school to get a job. Instead, Dean Rosanna Catalano edited my resume to shreds (and it has never looked better) and had a real conversation with me about what I want to do in my career. She gave me e-mail addresses and phone numbers of contacts she had made around the state to help me find somewhere to volunteer for the summer. While I am participating in the Summer Program in Law at Oxford, I was able to make contact with three District Attorney’s offices about volunteering for the remainder of the summer thanks to the information Dean Catalano provided. I also explored activities with different student organizations which allowed me to apply some of my classroom experience and networking skills while also providing opportunities to practice real life skills.

Florida State University College of Law’s focus on the end game sets us apart. After talking to friends at other law schools it, it appears that exploring career options (like I have done) is not something that students at other law schools really start thinking about until right before their 3L year. I believe that this makes all the difference not only in our placement numbers, but also in our students.

??????????????????????????????????? Kristen Lonergan, 2L

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