My time at FSU Law has been such a rewarding experience, and as the reality of graduation has arrived, it truly disappoints me to know I’ll be leaving such a great community of people and scholars so soon. Some see law school as a necessary evil to just make it through in order to become an attorney. But I see it as an opportunity to grow as an individual. To make the most of your time in law school, and to hopefully have such a wonderful experience as I did, I share with you just some of the ways to make your time at FSU Law meaningful.
- Go to the lunch meetings—One of the first things said on my tour was that there was free food available every day. This seemed like a stretch, but it very much is real. While free food is always a good move, the substance of the lunch talks is where the real benefit is. During my time at FSU Law, I’ve heard counsel from corporate entities such as NASCAR, HSN, and SeaWorld talk about the challenges and rewards of working in-house. I’ve listened to several judges share their insight of the judicial system. I’ve learned about the legal components of NASA and the difficulties in representing individuals located in Guantanamo Bay. In addition to guest speakers, the Career Services Office and Research Center host workshops during the lunch hour that provide some helpful real-world skills. FSU Law prides itself on the variety of lunch time offerings, so it certainly is something to take advantage of!
- Attend professors’ office hours and lunch gatherings—In undergrad, it always seemed like a bizarre idea (at least for me) to actually go to my professors’ offices and ask questions. But here at FSU Law, that is exactly what you should do. Get to know your professors! They are incredible legal minds and love to talk to students about class related or non-class related matters. It really opens up a valuable dialogue and can lead to meaningful relationships. Many professors offer lunch table discussions which are also great opportunities to meet with your professor in an informal setting and talk about current events (go to Professor Stern’s lunches if you are able!)
- Go to the socials and events—SBA is the student government body for the law school, and they host weekly socials to help students get to know their classmates beyond a classroom setting. This is a great chance to make friends and take a break from the law school stress. There are also several events during the year, including the traditional Barrister’s Ball, that you should take advantage of. All of these offerings really contribute to your overall experience. After all, law school isn’t just about the books, but also about the people you meet!
- Join clubs and take a leadership role—There are dozens of organizations here at FSU, you can pretty much find anything to suit a particular interest. Have a specific area of law you want to pursue? Join the student organization that is tailored to that practice area. Want to get practical experience in oral argument or legal writing and research? Join a trial team or a journal. Is there something that you have a passion for that isn’t listed in our organization offerings? Then create the club! Being a general member of any organization is helpful and fulfilling, but I highly recommend having a leadership position for at least one organization. Holding a position on the editorial board of Law Review has been one of the best decisions I have made during law school. Not only does it give you more meaningful conversation to discuss during interviews, but the extra involvement gives you something to be proud of. Employers love to see leadership roles, so being involved is never a bad thing!
- Take advantage of the networking opportunities—The College of Law constantly holds networking events for students to meet professionals in a more casual environment to foster open conversation. These events are wonderful opportunities to meet local attorneys and can possibly lead to employment discussions. These events also help to work on your interpersonal communication skills, which is often an important quality that employers look for. There really is no downside in going to networking events, and I highly recommend it. (I got my full-time job offer upon graduation by doing so!)
I have truly enjoyed my time at FSU Law, and I think you will too if you follow some of my recommendations. FSU is special, you’ll create lasting friendships and learn valuable information both inside and outside of the classroom that you’ll take with you once you leave. Take advantage of this time; I hope you make the most of it!
Written by: Kiersten Denny #FSULawGoldenGrad