Law school brings people from various places and backgrounds and sometimes we forget just how different we all are. As students we are continually asked about what area of the law we are interested, however, we are rarely asked why we are interested in law in the first place. I thought it would be interesting to know why some of my classmates decided to attend law school, why they chose Florida State, and what they considered to be their ideal job after law school. I was surprised by their responses and how many different responses were provided. During my inquiry, I presented the following questions:

  • What made you want to attend law school?
  • Why did you choose Florida State University College of Law?
  • What would your ideal job be after graduation?

The following are the responses that I received:

Tia Huntley, 2L

  • Since I was a young girl I had always wanted to be a lawyer. In fact, my mom has video proof of this. I was in a little miss pageant and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I answered that I wanted to be lawyer and a judge.
  • I chose Florida State because it seemed like they truly wanted me to attend their school. Although I was accepted into other law schools, I felt a better connection here.
  • My ideal job after graduation would be to work at a smaller firm dealing with family, criminal, and personal injury law and one that sees their clients as people and not just a windfall or “just another case.”

Trevor Ruff, 3L

  • I chose law school because of my experiences and interests with international relations, Model United Nations activities and I wanted to find a way to change the world.
  • I chose Florida State because it provided a great value combined with a great education.
  • My ideal job would be a corporate transactional lawyer working on mergers and acquisitions.

Allie Akre, 2L

  • I really always knew I would come to law school. It was just part of the plan.
  • I chose Florida State because I wanted to practice law in Florida and to take advantage of the College of Law’s location in the Florida’s capital city.
  • My ideal job after graduation would be a federal clerkship.

Jaycee Peralta, 3L

  • I wanted to be more prepared before entering the “real world” and I determined that a legal education would help me.
  • I felt that I needed a different atmosphere from my undergraduate experience. I visited Florida State during the spring semester of my senior year and fell in love with the College of Law!
  • My ideal job would be working on research and writing at a public policy interest center.

April Zinober, 2L

  • My father and I have very similar personalities. We are both very outgoing, like to learn new things, and work hard. My whole life, I watched him enjoy his job and the work he did. In family car rides, we always played U.S. President Trivia, so I grew up interested in the political process and the way all branches of our government worked. Going to law school just seemed like a natural fit for me.
  • When I walked onto the Florida State University College of Law campus, I felt that same “click” that I did when I first walked onto my undergraduate campus. I also value the close personal relationships I have with other students and with my professors. Our professors actually care about us and go out of their way to make our law school experience interesting. Being in Tallahassee also provides incredible opportunities for us as students. Coming here for law school is was truly the best decision I could have made.
  • I was fortunate enough to receive a summer clerkship with a national firm and I will be placed in their litigation department. Ideally, I would love to be asked back for a full-time career position as part of their commercial litigation team when I graduate. I have also considered eventually working in the U.S. Attorney’s office, and I believe that starting out with a national firm will help me make the connections I will need to make that career move if I so choose.

Samantha Parchment, 3L

  • I initially applied to Florida State because of its overall ranking and because it is a “top value” law school.
  • After attending several open houses and admitted students day events at different law schools, I felt most at home at Florida State. When I visited I also met Professor Linford, who not only followed up with me after my visit, but was also very helpful in providing me with information about housing and school options for my son.
  • My ideal job would be to work in a small law firm with no more than three partners, so that I can learn the ropes and make partner myself!

Zachary Pechter, 2L

  • I always thought law school sounded interesting, but I actually decided to attend while clerking at a major law firm during my summers as an undergraduate.
  • Florida State was one of my top two choices and the culture at the College of Law was the determining factor. I can still vividly remember my initial tour of the campus with a Student Ambassador and also enjoyed meeting and talking with professors and hearing about clinics, externships, journals, and other co-curricular opportunities. Everyone here is so nice and helpful and the environment is so much more healthy and fun than what I had experienced at other law schools.
  • I would like to work in the public companies and securities practice group at the law firm I worked for during my undergraduate summers. I really loved it and even had a better time last summer when I had the opportunity to work as a Summer Associate. I will be doing that again this summer and will hopefully get a long-term offer when I graduate!

Lauren Vagnoni, 3L

  • I chose to attend law school to pursue my dream of working in criminal prosecution. My father was an attorney and though he practiced civil law, he encouraged me to pursue law school after I argued with him about a criminal law issue at the age of 12.
  • I chose to attend Florida State for several reasons: First, class sizes are smaller than other top state law schools. Second, I was impressed with the number of student organizations at the College of Law and about how welcoming the students are. Third, I was very excited to hear about the criminal law clinic that was available for certified legal interns interested in criminal prosecution.
  • My ideal job right after graduation would be to become an Assistant State Attorney or an Assistant United States Attorney.

Aline Bryant, 2L

  • I decided to attend law school because I saw a law degree as something that could help provide me with a stable, interesting career even if I decide not to practice law.
  • I chose Florida State because of its welcoming atmosphere. When I came to Admitted Students Day everyone made me feel welcome and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing here.
  • My ideal job after graduation would be as a political analyst or as an in-house counsel for a company.

Felisha Grizzle, 3L

  • After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I found myself interested in public policy and human rights. Before I left for a trip to Egypt, I applied to a few masters-degree programs, but once I was abroad, I determined that I really wanted to be more deeply involved and actually practice law.
  • I chose Florida State after attending an Admitted Students Day event, walking around the campus, and meeting deans, faculty, and students with my parents. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone seemed so enthused to be at the College of Law and everyone was so welcoming and helpful in getting me over my pre-law school anxieties.
  • My ideal job would be part-time creative director for a haute couture fashion house and a stay-at-home wife/mom with my husband when he is in the off-season of his professional athletic career. If that does not happen, I would love to work with the United Nations Environment Programme, Charity Water, or UNICEF and do volunteer work abroad with Islamic Relief.

Ashley Parker, 2L

  • I chose to attend law school because it is something I always wanted to do and because I always wanted to help people.
  • I chose Florida State because they made me feel welcome. Unlike other law schools I visited, it seemed like they wanted me here as much I wanted to be here. I was not made to feel like I was coming just to pay my tuition. They really seemed to care.
  • My ideal job would be to work for a company as in-house counsel, but I would also like to work for the State Attorney’s Office.

Kevin Alford, 3L

  • I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was a child. My aspirations were to get a business degree, attend law school, and go into corporate law.
  • I attended Florida State because of its location in Tallahassee. As a Florida State undergraduate I had come to recognized many advantages of remaining in the state capital for law school, not to mention not having to relocate!
  • The perfect job for me would allow me to specialize in law related to churches while also educating people on their constitutional rights.

Rachel Pringle, 3L

  • I applied to law school because I did not know what I wanted to do and I knew I wanted to obtain some sort of graduate-level education. Law was the program that most fit my interests.
  • Why Florida State? Because of it’s location in the state capital and because I love the campus. During a visit and tour I was able to meet some of the professors and students and they were so nice. This was reassuring because I had heard negative things about the environments at other schools and knew that I did not want to end up at a school that I would not enjoy for the next 3 years of my life. I can definitely say that I am very happy with my experience at Florida State.
  • I would love to work in a government agency and have had the opportunity to intern at a general councils’ office. I would also like the opportunity to work with the State Attorney’s office to utilize my mock trial experience and then possibly enter private practice.

Joey Coleman, 3L

  • I took several introductory legal studies courses as an undergraduate and wanted to better understand how the legal system works. I also wanted to use my writing skills as an educated man of law.
  • I chose Florida State because of the affordable cost of attendance, the high bar passage rate, the College of Law’s reputation, and because I had been a Florida State undergraduate.
  • I would like to be an entertainment lawyer because this combines my interest and undergraduate major in music and law.

Monica Carusello, 2L

  • I had always been passionate about education, loved working with children and thought that I belonged in the classroom. However, after working as a substitute teacher in Miami and serving a year with City Year in a fourth grade class in Washington, D.C., I realized that my passion and skills could be better applied outside of the classroom. I decided to pursue a law degree to help me better represent and champion the needs of children in under-served communities and to learn what I can do to make a difference in public education.
  • I chose Florida State because of its prime location in Florida’s state capital, excellent national ranking, small student body, and joint-degree offerings. I definitely made the right decision!
  • I think my ideal job after graduation would be clerking for a circuit court judge in the family or juvenile law division.

Joseph Salzverg, 3L

  • I had always thought about attending law school but became motivated while running political campaigns and dealing with individuals in the legislative process. I found that the individuals who were armed with a law degree proved to be the most successful and dynamic, so instead of becoming a lobbyist I decided to pursue a law degree.
  • I chose Florida State because of its location in Florida’s capital city. For the type of law I want to practice, Tallahassee’s location provides endless possibilities.
  • I would like to work at a law firm with a strong governmental affairs practice as an associate and lobbyist. Ideally, this firm would have offices in South Florida and Tallahassee.

Anika Boyce, 2L

  • I wanted to attend law school because my mother is a judge and I have experienced the legal field my whole life. In my senior year of high school I also determined that being a lawyer would bring personal fulfillment as well as allow me to use my talents to help the most people.
  • I chose Florida State because of its reputation as a top law school in Florida.
  • My ideal job would be to be the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS).

Chancey Smith, 2L

  • I chose law school because I wanted to have more career options and many people told me that I would be able to do anything with a law degree.
  • I came to Florida State because the staff in the Office of Admissions was so friendly and helpful. I applied from overseas during a long backpacking trip and they were very comforting and understanding of my situation. I also felt that the College of Law had a very interesting international law program.
  • I have no idea what kind of job I want. I just want to find a job that allows me to be happy, that is challenging and dynamic, and where there is an opportunity for advancement and growth.

College of Law student ambassadors. Alejandra Berlioz, 3L

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