Summer Spotlight: Criminal Law Judicial Intern & Tax Law Research Assistant

College of Law Student Ambassadors 2019

This summer I am working as a judicial intern at the 17th Judicial Circuit with Judge Bernard Bober in the Criminal Division and also working as a research assistant for Florida State Law’s Professor Steve Johnson. If anyone has any questions about either of these experiences, I would be happy to answer them!

As a judicial intern, I have a front row seat to how the court process works beyond what I’ve learned from textbooks. Each day, I have the opportunity to both network with attorneys and other judges and to view various trials.  I also often have the chance to eat lunch with Judge Bober and have one-on-one conversations about each trial and the different developments in the courtroom. As a result of my internship, I have gained a valuable mentor in Judge Bober and I am now more comfortable with the idea of going into litigation.

As a research assistant for Professor Johnson, I am using the legal databases LexisNexis and Westlaw to find articles and cases to help him with his current research on federal tax law. I knew I was interested in tax policy fairly soon after I started at the College of Law.  This role has given me a unique opportunity to build a foundation for my future efforts to break into the tax law field while I prepare to take more advanced tax and business law courses. I am beyond grateful to Professor Johnson for this excellent experience and the chance to work for a nationally recognized scholar on tax law at this stage in my education.

Dylan Pryor, 2L

Summer Spotlight: Externing at the Public Defender’s Office

This summer I have a Criminal Litigation Externship with the Leon County Public Defender’s office. I spend my days mostly doing legal research for the attorney I was assigned to. I have been drafting motions, attending hearings, and sitting in on trials. A typical day will include going to court at least once, and then spending the rest of my day researching or drafting. I have learned a ton about the criminal justice system, and the different ways prosecutors and public defenders negotiate. My favorite thing I have sat in on so far this summer has been jury selection. It is so interesting to see the different qualities attorneys want in their jurors depending on the case.

I am also taking Evidence this summer with Professor Mark Spottswood. Evidence is an extremely interesting subject and it ties in nicely with my work at the Public Defender’s Office. Taking a 4 credit class in only 8 weeks has been difficult but I have really enjoyed getting to fully immerse myself in one subject, instead of splitting my time between five. The most fascinating thing we have learned so far have been the hearsay exceptions. There are so many of them, and I had no idea. My knowledge of hearsay exceptions has already come in handy at the Public Defender’s office more than once, so I know it will help me for years to come.

College of Law Student Ambassadors 2019   Madison Johnson, 2L

Summer Spotlight: Federal Government Internship in Washington, D.C.

Ever since I was little I have always known that I wanted to practice in Washington, D.C. My mom used to bring me with her when she had business trips in the area, and even as a little girl I fell in love with all the city has to offer. During my undergraduate career I had the opportunity to spend an entire summer interning in D.C. and it just solidified my love for the area. Now as a law student, I was lucky enough to land a position as a Legal Intern with the United States Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor in the Office of Indian Trust Litigation in Washington, D.C.

The office is responsible for defending all litigation brought against the Department by individual Indians and Indian Tribes for breach of trust relating to the management of trust funds held by the department for management of tribal lands and natural resources. As an Environmental Law Certificate student, with a focus in administrative law, this opportunity is a perfect mix of my interest in environmental law, natural resources law, and administrative law. It provides me the opportunity to experience what the legal field is like on a federal level, as well as learn more about a very relevant, niche area of the law. I have the opportunity to work one-on-one with federal government attorneys and learn first-hand what it is like to practice here.

Having this opportunity is more than just an educational learning experience, it also allows for immense personal and professional growth. Washington, D.C. is a huge hub for the legal field, and there are people from all over the country practicing in every area of law. In my time outside of my internship, I am able to attend networking events with local attorneys and congressional staff, various speaker events, and experience all of the history that this city has to offer. My office is located just a few blocks from the White House and the National Mall, so that is just an added bonus I get to see on my daily commute.

I am so thankful to Florida State Law for allowing me to have this amazing growth and learning experience and I can’t wait for the rest of the summer in this amazing city!

College of Law, Student Ambassadors    – Erica Gloyd, 3L

Summer Spotlight: Worker’s Compensation & Employment Law

College of Law Student Ambassadors 2019This summer I am working at McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern, P.A., a premier defense firm in Pensacola, FL. The firm represents a variety of industries, including banking and finance, healthcare, service and hospitality, State and local government, manufacturing or processing facilities, not-for-profit and religious organizations, construction and professional employer organizations.

I am learning a great deal about worker’s compensation and just how a law firm works in general. I have sat in on seminars, training calls, and mediations to learn about the practice area. The partner I am working under, Susan Marks, is a Florida State Law alum and has been very nice and helpful. The whole experience has made me even more confident in my decision to pursue a career in law, and in choosing Florida State Law.

Coming from out-of-state and having seen very little of Florida, this summer has been a great opportunity to explore a different city in my new home state and see a little bit of what Florida has to offer outside of Tallahassee. Everyone at the firm has been very helpful by introducing me to the area and making sure I feel comfortable.  

 Rachel Maxwell, 2L

Summer Spotlight: Networking

This summer I’m working in the Alumni Affairs Office at the College of Law and taking two classes, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility. In my job I’ve been able to network with our alums and learn valuable information about different practice areas, as well as make lasting contacts that will help me in my future as an attorney. 

As far as class goes, I’m learning about ethics which will not only prepare for the MPRE, but also greatly benefit me as a lawyer after graduation. I’m also learning evidence which will help me next year, both as I compete on the Mock Trial Team, and as I act as the Head Coach for the Phi Alpha Delta Trial Team. Evidence is also a big requirement for many externships and is very beneficial for anyone hoping to pursue criminal law and/or litigation. 

Overall, I’m fortunate to have had these networking opportunities, and taking these important classes now will help me get a jump start on my 2L year! 

 College of Law Student Ambassadors 2019    – Corie Posey, 2L

Summer Spotlight: Intern for the Florida Senate Democrats

College of LawStudent Ambassadors 2019
Jacob Imig, 2L

This summer has been great so far. Aside from getting some much needed rest and relaxation after a trying 1L year, I have been taking a couple summer classes and interning in the Communications office of the Florida Senate Democrats (Florida Democratic Party).

I am taking two classes this summer, Evidence and Criminal Procedure: Police. I was skeptical prior to taking these classes of the prospect of taking classes this summer, and it was made more difficult when I realized that class started just four days after my last 1L final. However, now as I am nearing the end of class I am so happy with my decision to take these classes, they have been most enjoyable.

I have also been interning with the Florida Democratic Party. I am not really doing any sort of legal work, but this job has still been very engaging. I have been doing political research for the State Senate elections coming up next year. I have a background in political campaigning and it is something I may want to get back into after law school, and this internship has taught me a lot about aspects of campaigns that had previously been unknown to me.

With classes wrapping up in two weeks, I look forward to having more free time the second half of the summer and getting a well deserved break from school to recharge my batteries and head into my 2L year as strong as possible!

Jacob Imig, 2L

Summer Spotlight: Recharging after the 1L Year

College of Law Student Ambassadors 2019Over the summer, I would say that I am doing far less than most people.  First and foremost, I am enjoying the chance to debrief from a hard 1L year as well as catching up on spending time with my wife, since she had to take a back seat while I was studying. I am currently not working in a legal sense, but I am tutoring all levels of math, giving tours of the law school in my role as a Student Ambassador, and mentoring undergraduates from around the country as part of the Donald J. Weidner Summer for Undergraduates Program at the College of Law.  I hope to possibly land a job for the second half of summer, but if not, then I will continue to travel and recharge my battery for the fall term.

Even though I am not working in a legal capacity, I am still learning a lot and benefiting from my path this summer.  I have had a chance to take a step back and breathe first and foremost.  While taking this step back, I have been able to evaluate my first year of law school and see what worked well for me and what adjustments I need to make in order to continue to have success as a law student.  As mentioned before, I get to spend more time with my wife and family and have the chance to travel, as I would not be able to that during the school year.  I am still able to network and maintain key relationships that have been a tremendous help to me.  I can then come back stronger than ever, ready to tackle my 2L year!

Timothy J. Percell, 2L