Your Guide to FSU Football

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I’m a double ‘Nole, meaning it’s my seventh year here at FSU (yikes!), but more Football 2 importantly it’s my seventh FSU football season as a student here. This season isn’t exactly how I thought my last season as a student would go (see October 27, 2018, Clemson vs. FSU), however FSU football is still my favorite thing about fall in Tallahassee. So here we go, let’s get into everything you need to know about going to the football games as a student at FSU Law.

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At the beginning of the fall semester you will get an email from the FSU Student Ticket Office explaining how to activate your student ticket account and your Spear-It Rewards account (make sure to check your clutter and spam folders). The ticket account is how you will get tickets to football games and men’s basketball games. The Spear-It Rewards account will be how you accumulate points, which helps in getting tickets to high demand games, but we’ll get to that in a second. First let’s talk about getting a ticket to your non-high demand games. The FSU student ticket allotment is 16,000 tickets. All student tickets are given on a first come, first served basis starting at 5:00 p.m. the Sunday prior to the week of each home game. To get your ticket, sign into your student ticket account, click on “Student Football Home Games” and then follow the instructions on the website accordingly.

Second, let’s talk about those high demand games. Clemson, Miami, and UF are always going to be consideredFootball 4 high demand games. I’ve also seen Notre Dame, Louisville, and Virginia Tech be high demand games. The process for getting tickets to the high demand games has changed almost every year since I’ve been here, so I’m not going to explain the system for this year. You will get an email next year explaining the process for how those tickets are distributed. However, Spear-It Rewards points are always involved in how those tickets are distributed. The more points you have, the better chance you have at getting a ticket. Well, how do I get points? First things first, you’re automatically getting a lot of points by just being a law student! At the beginning of the school year, points are distributed according to your year in school. Seniors and grad students get 1,000 point and everyone else gets less.  You can earn additional points by linking your social media accounts to your Spear-It Rewards account and going to different athletic events on campus. You should take note that 25% of your points will roll over to next year and the rest will expire.

Last note on tickets: student guest tickets are available for all non-high demand games. I’ve seen them priced anywhere from $25-$55. I have no idea how they determine how much the guest tickets will cost. I’ve never seen guest tickets available for purchase for high demand games.

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WOO! It’s game day! Time to head to the law school to tailgate. The Student Bar Football 6Association, sometimes in connection with another organization on campus, hosts super fun tailgates on the Green at the law school in front of the rotunda. It’s a great place to get some food, play games, and meet up with friends before walking to Doak to see the game.

Once you get to Doak, you can enter the stadium at any gate except gate A. Students can sit in any open seating in the following sections: 40, 41, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. I recommend sections 6 or 7 because they offer the best view of the field in the student section. However, sections 40 and 41 get shadier quicker, which is a bonus because it gets hot.

So, what can you bring and not bring to the stadium with you? Bring your FSU ID with you. Sometimes they ask for it, sometimes they don’t. But always bring it just in case. Bring a clear bag, no larger than 12”x 6”x12”, to hold your things. Some very tiny non-clear bags are permitted in the stadium, but in personal experience, they sometimes still give you a hard time about it. My advice is to just get a clear game day bag. You can find a list of things not permitted in the stadium here: http://seminoles.com/doak-campbell-policies/.

And finally, learn the fight song so you can sing it every time FSU scores! My hope is that you guys will get to sing it more next year than I have this year. Go ‘Noles!

Danielle Nagy Danielle Nagy, 3L

Best Coffee Shops to Study at in Tallahassee

In addition to having a love for caffeine, I discovered that Tallahassee has some of the best local coffee shops. When I was in the process of deciding where to go to law school, the local community and atmosphere of a law school was a very important factor for me. Tallahassee has so much more than people realize when it comes to culture and local uniqueness. One of my favorite Tallahassee eccentricities is the plethora of local coffee shops it has that are perfect for the many long nights of studying every law student faces. Here are the coffee shops that were always there for me as a stressed 1L and continue to be my studying getaways in law school:

  1. Black Dog Café

Black Dog has the best outdoor studying area, there is a little waterfall and so many pretty plants and flowers. In addition, for a treat after studying, they have Sangria and spiked popsicles (they have regular popsicles too that are always nice in the Florida heat!). My favorite Black Dog location is the one at Railroad Square, because for study breaks, I love to climb at the rock climbing gym next door. The location at Lake Ella is nice as well, especially because you can get a big easy snowball, another local Tallahassee treat.

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  1. Au Peche

Au Peche is a new bakery/coffee shop and it is my current favorite place to study. They play French music and it is usually a very quiet, relaxing place to study. Plus, they have so many tasty treats, like macaroons and lavender chai tea lattes!

  1. Catalina Café

Catalina Café is only a five-minute walk from the law school. It has a trendy vibe and great outdoor seating. They serve food, too! Plus, it is right next door to Grasslands Brewery, so you can grab a beer with friends after long hours of studying.

  1. Red Eye

Red Eye is another local favorite that has a mission to make the world a better place. Its coffee and tea are all fair trade and its profits go towards local and global humanitarian causes. My Law Review note is on a potential ban on plastic straws, and it is fitting that I am drinking out of a biodegradable straw from Red Eye as I write it. Red Eye has three locations near campus, one in Midtown, one on Capital Circle and one at Bannerman Crossing.

  1. Lucky Goat

If a coffee connoisseur were to pick a Tallahassee coffee shop with the best coffee, he or she would probably pick Lucky Goat. Lucky Goat is a very popular study spot, so I try to go there in the mornings or on days I know it will be less crowded.

Many More:  All Saints Café, Chi Chi’s Café, Southern Velvet Café, Calvin’s Coffee House, etc.

Basically, in Tallahassee if you throw a rock you are likely to hit a local coffee shop or great place to study. Law school can create its fair share of stress and it is good to have a place to escape to. The local coffee shops of Tallahassee became my escape and continue to be where I get my best work done in law school.

Emily Michel Emily Michel, 2L

Hidden Lessons: How My Creative Writing Major Helps Me In Law School.

When I first got to law school, everyone was so shocked when they asked my major and I said “English, specifically Creative Writing.”  Most of my peers were political science, business, or international affairs or something equally as “pre-law” as those majors.  Everyone was curious about why I chose to go to law school.  To be honest, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be as prepared for law school as some of my poli-sci peers.  But, as the first semester of my 1L year started, I found that my creative writing major had some hidden lessons that apply to law school, and to life.

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  1. I Know The Grammar Rules

Starting with the most obvious benefits that could come from a writing major, I know how to write and edit.  I know the grammar rules and I know how to use a semicolon. In my creative writing classes, half of our work was writing our own pieces, and the other half was editing other students’ pieces, so not only am I confident in my own writing, but I am also confident helping my peers with their writing.

In the field of law (and in every field) grammar is extremely important.  When writing legal briefs and memos you have a very short amount of time to make your point.  With this in mind, you don’t want your legal professor (or the Judge in the case you’re working on) to be distracted from your argument with grammar mistakes.  Being able to condense, expand, twist, and shape what you’ve written into a coherent, succinct argument is extremely useful for legal writing and it’s something I was able to perfect in undergrad.

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  1. I Know How To Give And Receive Criticism

In the world of creative writing, we do these lovely little things called “workshops.”  Workshopping a piece consists of a student pouring their heart and soul into a short story, poem, or personal essay, handing out copies to the rest of the class, then coming back a week later and sitting, silently, while the rest of the class tears your work to shreds.  A common mantra of the creative writing major is “I want improvement more than praise.”  Through my degree, I learned to separate my own personal worth from the value of my work.  I learned that just because my work isn’t good right now, that doesn’t mean that I’m not good.  I learned to listen to others tell me everything wrong with what I did and take it as instructions for what to do in the future.  This was not an easy thing to learn, but it has been extremely beneficial.

I am going to let you in on a little secret… law school is HARD.  No matter what background you come from, you’re going to find that law school is an entirely different beast that needs taming.  As with anything in life, you’re going to stumble a few times.  The important thing is to pick up and keep going.  Luckily, law school is a learning environment.  This means your stumbles will come with lots of help to pick you back up.  This help is often found in the form of constructive criticism.  Whether it be red scribbles from your legal writing professor on your first memo, conversations in office hours with your torts professor going over a practice exam, or getting reviewed by your first employer in an internship, you’re going to experience constructive criticism.  My creative writing major helped me learn to be gracious in accepting this criticism and helped me know how to change these constructive criticisms into action.

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  1. I Know How To Communicate

Boiling creative writing down to its most basic form, what I really learned was communication.  I learned how to better communicate my thoughts, my opinions, and my ideas into a form for others to understand.  Whether this be in indirect ways like poetry, or extremely direct ways like in creative non-fiction, I learned how to say what I mean.  This may seem like something easy and obvious, but it is surprising how useful this skill is in everyday life.

One of the most important parts of law is being able to communicate.  With other lawyers, with judges, and with clients; a lawyer must know how to explain their thinking and their arguments.  A lawyer must also know how to explain other people’s arguments.  Communication is so important.  Not only must a lawyer understand the “legalese” but they must also be able to translate that into everyday language for their clients.  Everything about law is hinged upon communication, and my creative writing major makes me an expert in communication.

When I was looking at my options for my future, I talked to the pre-law advisor about what major I should choose and she said “it doesn’t matter what your major is, as long as your GPA is high enough to get in to the law school you want.”  I took that to heart.  Rather than going into political science or other pre-law major, I chose something fun that I could enjoy doing while still getting good grades.  I chose creative writing.  When I finally started law school, I didn’t expect my creative writing major to help me all that much, but I found that my poetry-writing, story-editing, sci-fi-fan-fiction-ing major had so many hidden lessons that have aided me in the transition to law school.

I fully believe what that advisor told me back then, it really doesn’t matter what major you’re coming into law school with.  Every single major has hidden lessons that help with law school, and with life.  For a chemistry major, they have been trained in seeing the way things fit together and break apart, so they might be faster to see trends in torts cases.  For a music major, they see how different instruments come together to make a symphony, so looking at how the different parts of government come together to make a nation will help them understand the constitution so much better than someone without that background.

Overall, come into law school with confidence.  You have so much to offer here, no matter what your background is.  We can’t wait to have you.

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Christina Ahrens Christina Ahrens, 2L

How To Get Involved In Your 1L Year But Not Overdo It

IMG_2588If you’re anything like me, when you choose a school, you don’t just go to class and go home. You go to that school! You’re involved. You take pride in being active on campus. You did so in high school and in undergrad. Even though you don’t want to overwhelm yourself because you’ve heard law school is hard, you still have a desire to be involved. Being involved is fulfilling. It makes you feel a part of the community.  I feel you! I am you!  I believe it can be done and have done it myself.

I am involved. I am an active member of a lot of students organizations at the law school: Black Law Students Association, Women’s Law Symposium, Trial Team, Griffin Middle School Mentoring, and I am an FSU Law Student Ambassador.

How? Here are my personal tips on how to balance:

First, pick and choose what you join. Choose student organizations which you know will meet your interests and even act as a break amidst the rigor of law school.  Don’t just join clubs because they may seem prestigious. This may become an added burden which you do not need or deserve. Being part of an organization doesn’t mean you have to be a leader. Try just being a member, especially as a 1L. As a member, you don’t have to attend every single event, but you can when you have time. Don’t be afraid to skip events, and even let things go, if you don’t enjoy them or they require too much of your time. Remember why you are here. You are here for your law degree.

Second, time management. Schedule everything in a calendar. Class time, organization meetings, organization events, study time, and personal time. When you can physically see your calendar getting too filled, it’s time to prioritize. Law school is a marathon and not a sprint. You cannot burn out in your first semester. Make sure, in the midst of joining extracurriculars, you still have time to cook, clean up, shower, and sleep. This sounds basic and laughable, but I promise, as things get hectic, some people forget the basics.

Third, I think it’s important to know yourself.  Once again, don’t just join organizations because you think it seems impressive when that’s not how you usually operate in school. On the other hand, catch yourself if you’re the person who knows they overextend themselves.

Law school is an amazing opportunity! You are more than capable and you can enjoy yourself along the way while still making great grades.  All the best. Please allow me to be a resource if you have any questions: opa17@my.fsu.edu.

Student Ambassadors, College of Law Remi Abiodun, 2L

Why You Should Be Involved in Extracurriculars

As law students, it can be a struggle to find free time outside of attending class, reading, and studying.  This was a struggle for me not too long ago when I was a 1L.  Especially for 1Ls, it is easy to have tunnel-vision and focus only on your schoolwork.  To be clear, I believe doing well in your classes is what’s most important for 1Ls.  Your first-year grades can open a lot of doors and have far-reaching effects throughout your law school career and post-school.  However, by solely focusing on grades, you are missing out on other ways you can benefit yourself while in law school.

FSU Law has 25+ student organizations and several co-curricular organizations, including Law Review, Moot Court, and Trial Team.  These organizations are entirely optional, but I highly recommend becoming involved in at least a few.  It can be difficult to meet other law students when just attending class.  Student organizations provide the opportunity to not only meet other students but meet students who share similar beliefs and interests.  In addition, every student organization has an Executive Board.  Serving on an Executive Board shows employers that you have leadership skills and experience.  Holding a leadership position also allows you to be involved in the decision-making process for a student organization.  You can help improve, shape, and promote your organization.

Currently, I serve as the President of Christian Legal Society, one of FSU Law’s student organizations.  Many of the friendships I’ve made in law school have been because of my involvement with CLS.  Being able to interact with other Christian law students is important to me, because it allows me to take a break from the rigors of law school and be in community with others who share my beliefs.  Since we have such a diverse law school community, you should have no trouble finding an organization that aligns with your beliefs/interests.  Last, student organizations provide networking opportunities.  Many practicing lawyers and judges are former members of our student organizations and love to stay involved through networking events, speaking engagements, and workshops.

Co-curriculars are student-run organizations where students can gain practical skills, such as oral and written advocacy, and editing, research, and writing skills.  Being a member of a co-curricular is a way you can make yourself a more competitive job candidate.  More so, some employers require applicants to be a member of a journal or oral advocacy team such as Law Review or Moot Court.  While co-curriculars are resume builders, they are more than that.  A law school class can only teach you so much.  Co-curriculars allow students to develop skills that they will use as future lawyers that can’t be gained in the classroom.

When I started law school, I made it a goal to try out for at least one journal and one advocacy team.  Sticking with this goal, I tried out for Moot Court and Law Review.  While I didn’t make it on to Moot Court, I’m glad that I decided to try out.  As an introvert, trying out for Moot Court was a challenge for me.  Part of law school is breaking out of your comfort zone and trying things you aren’t comfortable with.  Even if you don’t make it on, the tryout process is a valuable learning experience.  As a 1L, you will have to present an oral argument as part of your LWR class so no additional work is required to try out for Moot Court.

After completing my 1L year, the last thing I wanted to do was participate in the FSU Law journal write-on competition.  I talked myself into doing the write-on and as a result was accepted on to Law Review.  Personally, this was one of my proudest achievements as a law student.  Being a member of Law Review has allowed me to hone my editing, research, and writing skills.  Part of being a member of Law Review is writing a Student Note, an academic research paper that must be of publishable quality.  As a law student, this Note provides an excellent writing sample for employers, especially if you are considering a judicial clerkship.  Additionally, co-curriculars like Law Review provide opportunities to hold leadership positions.

Nothing I’ve mentioned in this post is required for students, but you are doing yourself a disservice by not being involved in these organizations.  Be able to say that you have no regrets rather than saying “I wish I would’ve done this or that.”  You’ll be better off because of it, even if you stumble along the way.

College of Law. Student Ambassadors. Nick Cleary, 3L

Parting Words of Wisdom by a 3L

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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!)
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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!)
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Kiersten Denny in front of FSU’s Westcott Fountain

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

Steps From the Capitol

FSU law, while being one of the best schools in the nation, is also conveniently located less than a quarter mile from our state’s legislature. This provides both current and prospective students with a wealth of opportunity to work with and learn from lawyers who are shaping the laws of our state. Personally, I have had the opportunity to work with our state representative while here in Tallahassee. In my capacity as a volunteer, I was researching proposed legislation and writing memos on areas where the creation of new legislation could be beneficial. This provided me with a real-time look at the front-line issues which our legislature was facing and gave me the chance to be part of the conversation. This is due in no small part to being at FSU Law.

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Tallahassee Capitol Building, as seen from the Admissions Office balcony.

Getting involved is as simple as sending an email. It does not matter if you have never worked with government, either locally or statewide, it’s all about how willing you are to put in the work. The majority of state senators and representatives are eager to get law students involved as our skill set as soon-to-be-lawyers translates well to the work they need done.

Students can also get involved in more formal programs, such as the legislative intern program and the gubernatorial fellows program. Legislative interns will be put into a committee or office in the legislature and work through both fall and spring sessions. This is an invaluable program for the networking potential alone, but you also get compensated through law school credits paid plus a wage. The gubernatorial fellows program is largely the same type of program but puts students within executive agencies.

This level of access to the leaders of your state and the wealth of knowledge and guidance they are able to provide is simply more readily available to the students of FSU Law than any other law school in the state. Do yourself a favor, if you are interested in working at any level in government or if you simply want to get involved early with the issues facing our state, FSU Law is the place to be.

Walk to Capitol
A short walk from FSU College of Law to Capitol Hill. You are always a few minutes away.

 

College of Law. Student Ambassadors.   Jorge Torres, 3L