The City of Tallahassee offers many great opportunities for students who are attending law school in addition to being an exceptional place to live. Those who will be relocating to Tallahassee for the first time to attend the College of Law may not totally know what to expect, but it is very likely that they will come to appreciate their experience as much as these students have.
Bailey Howard, 3L
Growing up on Florida’s Gulf Coast, anything more than ten miles inland might as well have been on Mars and Tallahassee was a place I drove past on Interstate 10 while on my way to somewhere else. Besides being the state capital, that was pretty much all I knew about Tallahassee. Since coming to study law here, the city has completely won me over, and wish I had discovered it sooner. There were quite a lot of pleasant surprises in store for me here, but here are a few of I would like to point out.
Tallahassee is gorgeous and is home to numerous parks and a very large amount of green space. There are many enormous oak and pecan trees dotting the avenues and shading old Southern houses and there are flowers everywhere. Florida State’s campus is itself a work of landscaping and architectural magnificence and while it may not have an ocean view, Tallahassee is a truly beautiful place to live.
Being home to two major state universities and the state government creates an intersection of talent, curiosity, and opportunity also makes Tallahassee an exciting and engaging place to live. Nearly everyone you meet is working to bring an idea to fruition, and this encourages creative thinking and entrepreneurship. This is especially visible in the culinary scene where gourmet, farm-to-table, and avant-garde cuisines are covered several times over. Even if you confine yourself to small, independent coffee shops (most of which roast their own beans), it would take you more than a week even if you visited just one each day.
Perhaps this is a consequence of the gorgeous scenery and fantastic lifestyle, but folks in Tallahassee always seem to me in a pretty good mood. People say hello to one another in the street, talk to one another in lines, and help one another out, even if they do not know each other. The sense of community is strong here, and it makes Tallahassee a very comfortable. Being a very outgoing city, Tallahassee is a very easy place for a newcomer to make friends and become involved.
Marianna Seiler, 3L
As a Fort Lauderdale native, I never imagined Tallahassee would ever have as many opportunities and activities as I have discovered. Tallahassee, Florida has something for everyone and is one of the most exciting places for someone to choose to go to law school. You get the best of a professional city atmosphere and a college town with all of the opportunities that come with each. As Florida’s capital city, it is a hub for businesses, government agencies, and law firms and Florida State University (FSU) offers all of the resources you would expect from a major university. Tallahassee also offers many recreational and social opportunities, from excellent bars and restaurants to outdoor activities and parks.
For the law student, Tallahassee offers many openings for networking, internships or externships, or employment in any one of 500 law firms, numerous government agencies, or courts. These organizations provide excellent options for students to apply what they learn in law school to real life. Whether you want to be a lawyer, politician, lobbyist, or business executive, there are endless opportunities for you to meet professionals in these fields through law school events, student organizations, and professional groups.
Being at the College of Law makes one feel like they are in a small college town, but with access to FSU sporting events, campus gyms, the Seminole Golf Course, the FSU Reservation, intramural sports, and all of the plays, concerts, and guest speakers at multiple venues across campus. On top of all of this, a law student also has access to the professors and academic resources of both the College of Law and the FSU main campus. Depending on your interests, you can interact with professors, visiting lecturers, or study and read books in any of the multiple campus libraries.
Some of the areas of Tallahassee that are popular with law students include the recently developed CollegeTown area, as well as Midtown and Downtown Tallahassee. Collectively, these areas offer great restaurants, bars, and places to socialize. The Midtown area, which caters to both young and professional clienteles, even hosts a weekly Food Truck Thursdays event.
There are also many great options for outdoor recreation in and around the Tallahassee areas. In addition to the FSU Reservation mentioned above, there are also numerous destinations and parks within a short drive of Downtown Tallahassee including the Tallahassee Museum, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs State Park, Maclay Gardens State Park, and more. There are so many options for students to take a break from studying that include options for hiking, biking, rock wall climbing, going to the beach, zip lining, canoeing, or even tubing. I can guarantee there will never be a day that you cannot find something to do with your friends.
Robert Sylvester, 3L
Adjusting to life in Tallahassee is something I speak about frequently with prospective students who, like me, did not attend Florida State University as an undergraduate. My initial impression of Tallahassee was simply that it was a sports-loving college town that also served as the state capital. After relocating to attend law school, I soon discovered that Tallahassee has plenty of other defining characteristics. There are many small businesses, cafes, and restaurants that are a joy to frequent. One of the things I enjoy is discovering my own local hideouts where I can quietly spend an afternoon away from the library. These spots also double as great places to take your friends and family when they visit.
One of the biggest things that drew me to Tallahassee was sports because of the way it brings the FSU community together. For me this is a genuinely a fun experience, but if you are not a fan of college sports, there are so many other ways to send your time through recreational activities, civic involvement, or participation in student organizations.
If you are moving to Tallahassee for the first time, you may want to consider living close to the College of Law for at least the first year. I personally did so and do not regret it. There are reasonably-priced apartments near the College of Law, and while they may not offer all of the amenities of some of Tallahassee’s newer facilities, they are reliable and clean and living close to the College of Law has several advantages. This will give you a convenient place to learn about Tallahassee and its surroundings. You also do not have to worry about parking and can just walk to class. Once you have become familiar with the city, you can then explore other options that may fit your lifestyle for your 2L and 3L years.