Food Tour of Tallahassee!

Law students need a little R&R, so use this as a guide to discover some of the best local eats in town. Tallahassee is full of hidden gems in the culinary world. With a number of award-winning restaurants and even some featured on Food Network, don’t let your time in town go by without exploring all of the tasty treats around you!

Must-Try Breakfast and Brunches

The Lunchbox on Magnolia Street – take yourself back to childhood with this breakfast dive! The walls are lined with lunch boxes from all eras and the food is fresh, delicious and most importantly – very affordable!! For less than ten bucks, fill up on the corner of Magnolia and Tennessee. Get there early though – they close at 2:15 PM every day.

The Egg Cafe and Eatery – this award-winning breakfast and brunch restaurant features fresh ingredients, southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, and mouth-watering hashes, scrambles, and benedicts. Also a favorite for those who love whole-grain waffles and gluten-free options. Mimosas and brunch favorites also await – including some interesting seafood twists on breakfast! There’s usually a wait, but it’s well worth it. Located on Austin Davis Drive off Capital Circle.

Maple Street Biscuit Company on Call Street – you can smell warm, flaky biscuits and delicious fried chicken from the sidewalk. This fun, collaborative atmosphere is met with quite possibly the most interesting and absolutely delicious biscuits, hash, sweet potato fries and more that you can ever imagine. Just minutes from the stadium and right behind the Tennessee Street strip.

Food Glorious Food on Thomasville Road – another award-winning feature restaurant and it’s most definitely deserved. Just look up the menu and you’ll be ready to drive over. Great for groups as well!

Own Your Lunch Hour – Venture out

Kool Beanz Cafe on Thomasville Road – don’t let the name fool you! This local gem offers much more than just beans on the seasonal menu – everything from smoked gouda mac to boneless duck to bacon-wrapped grouper to cilantro lime and jerk spiced sea scallops. Highly recommended for lunch when the prices are more student-friendly, but always well worth it. While you’re in this Midtown area, also check out another hideaway joint, Paisley Cafe.

Avenue Eat and Drink – located downtown and within a short distance from the law school, Avenue is a cool, modern, but very tasty place to settle in for a wild ride with your taste buds!

Merv’s Melt Shop – This local dive is a great hangout spot for a quick bite if you’re feeling like burgers, melts, tots, and the best grilled cheese in town right in the midst of a bustling art community.

Wells Brothers Bar and Grill – best burgers in town, just try it.

Date Night or Friend Group Dinners

Nefetari’s – Looking to transport yourself to another country? As soon as you walk through the door you are met with delicious smells of unique cuisine, a life-sized stuffed lion, art and a complete royal experience. Dine at the King’s Table for a special occasion or just enjoy the unique flavors that Queen Nefetari and King Ramesses have put together for you. This hidden gem off Gaines Street also features live jazz music, open mic nights, wine nights, and much more!

El Jalisco – two-for-one drinks all day every day (21+)! Great atmosphere, multiple locations around town, fresh guac made at your table and chips and salsa for every Tex-mex lover!

The Flying Bear – the best sweet potato waffle fries drizzled with honey that you will find anywhere! This Great American Grill has a wide variety of food to offer, and you won’t be disappointed. Located off of Thomasville Road north towards Bradfordville.

Tally also offers a number of great pizza spots (Uncle Maddio’s, Dave’s Pizza Garage, Momo’s Pizza) and sushi restaurants (AZU Lucy Ho’s) all around town as well as drinks at Liberty and Brass Tap. If you feel like venturing just outside of Tally, I highly recommend Riverside Cafe in St. Marks (about 30 min) and Angelo’s Seafood in Panacea (about 45 min). Both feature waterfront views of waterways into the Gulf and the best seafood in the Big Bend!

When you’re done, don’t forget your dessert at Small Cakes Cupcakery or Big Easy Snowballs, both with multiple locations around town. The list can go on and on forever, but if you start here, I guarantee your taste buds will thank you!

Vegan Options Around Town

If you’re vegan or suffer from food allergies, it’s great to be able to walk in to a food joint knowing nothing on the menu is off-limits. You don’t have to practice vegetarianism to enjoy these places though. With an inviting atmosphere and delicious cruelty-free food, it’s no mystery why some of the best restaurants in town are quirky, local innovations.

Soul Vegetarian Restaurant & Catering – The food is 100% vegan, so vegetarians and vegans may safely select from the many menu options. This restaurant offers vegan food with a southern twist. They also offer cooking classes, which is a great way for law students to learn the skills they need in order to stick to their grocery budget!

Bread & Roses Kitchen – B&R Kitchen serves feisty vegan staples with daily specials that won’t disappoint. The Kitchen sources locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as promotes sustainability and community cooperation. B&R Kitchen is anchored by the Bread & Roses Food Co-op, one of the two local food cooperatives in Tallahassee. Described as, “out of this world,” by one yelp reviewer, Bread & Roses Kitchen may knock you out of this galaxy!

Sweet Pea – The menu hosts gluten-free options and daily specials based on the local growing cycle. With an incredible brunch, and home-baked cookies, Sweet Pea café resonates an eclectic, European vibe. The outdoor picnic areas are perfect for cool fall days around Tallahassee, and the restaurant structure has grown to offer more spacious seating indoors. Bring a friend or two to share a delightful meal and enjoy this casual, warm atmosphere.

To make your exploring even easier, Tallahassee offers a complimentary trolley service. It’s never been more convenient to take a break from your daily routine and support the local economy while expanding your dining options and making new connections. Hop on board, leave your car behind and enjoy a scenic ride to Tallahassee’s culinary offerings.


cassandra decoste  Cassandra DeCoste, 3L

Student Ambassadors for College of Law  Lauryn Collier, #FSUGoldenGrad (Class of 2017)


“Non-Traditional” Law Students—Balancing Law School and Family

It’s the first day of law school and I’m sitting in Civil Procedure class hearing about the interesting experiences and character traits that makes each of my classmates unique (thank you, Professor Lee for making the time for this exercise in class!). I decide to share with my classmates that I have returned to school as a “non-traditional” student with a two-year-old daughter at home. I can’t say I’ll forget the look of surprise (and maybe sympathy) that I saw from many of my classmates. We are all told how challenging the first year of law school can be, and attempting to confront that challenge while also guiding a toddler through the “terrible twos” seemed either courageous or completely foolish. However, I soon found myself being encouraged by classmates whose parents had returned to graduate school when they were kids and even met a few brave souls like myself who had families and kids. I watched as one of my classmates welcomed his first child into the world over the weekend during Spring semester and was back in class on the following Monday morning—a very impressive feat!

Despite all of the wonderful encouragement and support I’ve received, balancing law school and a family is certainly not without difficulty. I smile to myself when I think of some of the more trying moments, like the day that I desperately needed to study for my Civil Procedure exam and my daughter was home sick from preschool. I turned my back for a few minutes, during which she had taken a dozen eggs out of the refrigerator and smashed them on the floor; I finally caught her when she was trying to put them back together. While I was cleaning up the eggs, she took all of my sticky notes for my class and stuck them to herself, the table, the floor, and even the dogs. A note to Professor Lee—if I was less than optimally prepared for your exam, this is why!

But on days that went as planned, I approached my classes just as I did with my career that I left behind—lots of planning, prioritization, and organization. I had to use my time wisely and could not afford to procrastinate. I was almost always at school by 8:30 a.m., typically worked through lunch, and rushed home after my afternoon classes to pick up my daughter from preschool. Professor Cahill always tells her students she doesn’t respond to emails, texts, and calls between allotted hours in the evening; this is the time she spends with her young children, and she doesn’t return to technology until after they are in bed. I found this inspiring and always try to adopt the same attitude with my daughter. My time after 5:00 p.m. and until she goes to sleep belongs to my daughter. I also have to thank my devoted husband for the days he is home from work and rescues me when I have fallen behind on reading. On that note, I also have to applaud my classmates that are single parents—I don’t know how you do it!

I survived the dreaded first year of law school and so did my family. I’m still almost always at school by 8:30 a.m. and still feel like there are not enough hours in the day. But when I have a bad day and return home to my daughter saying “I love you, mama, I’m so glad you’re here,” it gives me a fantastic perspective that makes the stress melt away. For that, I feel like I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to experience law school with a beautiful perspective on life.


College of Law. Student Ambassadors. Valerie Chartier-Hogancamp, 3L

Finding a Healthy Balance in Law School

One of the keys to being successful (or rather, just surviving) in law school is maintaining a healthy balance of both academic and non-academic engagements. It’s so important to give yourself breaks from studying and spend time doing the things that you enjoy. Law School will make you understand the importance of making time for your mental and physical health. You can find balance in the simple things, like getting smarter about meals, making it to the gym, spending time outside, and being involved on campus.

Health and Fitness

FSU offers a fully equipped fitness center, the Leach, where you can find cardio and strength training areas, an indoor track, group fitness classes, and personal training. The Leach also has a 16-lane indoor pool, spa, and sauna. The FSU Reservation (“Rez”) has sand volleyball courts, a rock-climbing wall, kayaks, and so much more to offer to students—the best part? The Rez is free for students—don’t forget your student ID! The key is to stay active—whether you are indoors running on a treadmill or outdoors playing in nature.

Many students also participate in intramural sports through FSU’s main campus. Law students come together and form teams and play various IM sports, such as soccer, flag football, basketball, and softball. There is no shortage of students who participate in these IM sports throughout the year, and the College of Law teams are always looking for more students to come out and participate. These extracurricular activities facilitate a less stressful day-to-day life for law students here at FSU Law.

If working out in a gym does not seem like the best option for you, you can always try something new – like meditation. Professor Lawrence Krieger hosts weekly meditation at the College of Law. Meditation will help you find inner-peace, make you self-aware, and rejuvenate you. You can’t go wrong with releasing negative energy and spreading positive vibes!

Healthy Eating

An easy change that could save you both time and money during your very busy 1L year, would be to make the switch to meal prep. For starters, try to always pack a lunch. This will allow you to avoid poor lunch options (e.g., free pizza from lunch meetings). One of the worst parts of 1L year is that you might not have as much time to cook yourself a meal daily. You end up going out for most meals because you think it’s better than going home to cook. However, this is possible to do if you spend 2-3 hours Sunday night making dinner AND lunch for 3-4 weekdays. In addition, be sure to check out the healthy cooking classes FSU provides. This gives you hands on healthy cooking with instructor demos and recipes to take home with you! You don’t have to avoid eating what you like; you just need to focus on the healthy alternatives and maintain a balance.


Student Organizations

One of the best parts about being a student at the FSU College of Law is the endless amount of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. To start, there are more than 30 registered student organizations that invite students to engage in specialized interests within the field of law. Organizations such as Phi Alpha Delta, Women’s Law Symposium, and the Association for Criminal Justice are just a few of the organizations that invite students to broaden their horizons. In addition, many student organizations host networking events and happy hours inviting local attorneys and other legal professionals to engage with students. Through these registered student organizations, students are also often able to travel to prestigious conferences, competitions, and conventions.

The biggest registered student organization at FSU Law is the Student Bar Association (SBA), which boasts more than 300 active students. SBA hosts weekly events, including socials and tailgates for football games, that encourage students to get to know each other outside the perimeters of the law school. Furthermore, SBA also participates in community 5Ks and invites law students to join the team. These activities are just a few examples of ways that students are encouraged to make connections with their peers in non-academic environments.


These tips were provided by some of our recent #FSULawGoldenGrads

Student Ambassadors for College of Law Beatriz Benitez, Class of 2017

Student Ambassadors for College of Law Amanda Qadri, Class of 2017

storch-lauren-e1501873813534.jpg Lauren Storch, Class of 2017

Making Your Own Way: Exploring Nontraditional Career Options with Your J.D.

Do you ever find yourself wondering what other options are out there for someone with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree beyond working as an attorney for a law firm, business, government organization, or as a judicial clerk? You are not alone! While law schools often focus on preparing you to work in these types of jobs, there are also nontraditional opportunities that you could pursue. Some of these may require a little more work on your part to find, but taking the road less traveled does not have to be scary and is not necessarily impractical. Making your own way is possible by utilizing the resources and support you already have around you.

Post Graduate Legal Fellowships

Most people associate fellowships with the typical masters or doctoral program, but there are a number of paid fellowships for postgraduate law students looking to break into a special interest area of law. The advantage of legal fellowships is that they typically allow you to work in an area of your choosing. They are normally sponsored by a law firm and are setup to last for one to two years. Many of them are in in the public interest area, but if you have a specific interest you should begin researching sponsoring firms or organizations that align with that interest and create a list of potential opportunities. You can also check with your college or university’s office of graduate fellowships office for additional help with your search.

Nonprofit Organizations

Whether a legal nonprofit organization like Earthjustice, a legal aid organization or a service-oriented nonprofit organization like the United Way or American Red Cross, the nonprofit route provides many options in both the legal and non-legal areas. Legal nonprofit organizations provide opportunities to work directly with clients and/or on a variety of legal issues. Service-oriented nonprofit organizations offer an even wider variety of jobs from general counsel to outreach and public relations. Opportunities can include anything from managing an organization to working in a specific area such finance/accounting, human resources, research, or event coordination. Job listings for these types of opportunities can often be found on-line, on both general, and specialized job sites or on an individual organization’s Web site. This type of work can be very rewarding, especially if you have a passion for the individuals or causes.

Fundraising and Development

Often it slips the minds of students that there is an entire field of fundraising and development work that can benefit greatly from a legal perspective. This includes nonprofit organizations as well as colleges, universities, booster organizations, religious organizations, foundations, and philanthropies. Available work includes nontraditional opportunities for contract review, fundraising, sponsorship development, research, policy analysis, risk, fiscal responsibility, real estate and constituent services. These opportunities offer great flexibility in exercising legal knowledge and judgement and provide a chance to work in different cross-sectional areas. As with other nonprofit jobs, job listings can be found on job sites and organization Web sites.

No matter what you decide to do with your law degree, you will find that law permeates any area you might choose. So branch out, combine your search with your own interests, and look into areas you may have not considered. Also, do not forget to network, talk to people in positions that interest you, and take advantage of the resources to which you currently have access. Moreover, have fun and follow your passions!

Student Ambassadors for College of Law Lauryn Collier, Class of 2017


Foundational Law Courses AFTER Your 1L Year

The courses taken during the first year of law school are intended to introduce students to a wide range of legal concepts in order to prepare them for more specialized courses in their second and third years. If a law student assumes that their 1L courses are all that they need before they begin to focus on their intended practice area, they are in for a rude awakening. To really have a good legal foundation, students should consider taking some other foundational law courses that may benefit them, even though they are not required to take them.

Let me start by pointing out that few law students know for certain when they enter law school the area of law they will be practicing after they pass the Bar Exam. This is a good thing because this allows students an opportunity to explore various areas of law with an open mind. The down side is that students only have two more years to select the courses they think will best prepare them to become legal practitioners. My strategy was to consider a well-rounded set of course options and professors who I thought would best prepare me for a variety of legal positions and make me a more competitive candidate for future employment. I was not able to take every course that I wanted to take, but I believe that the following options would greatly benefit anyone as they prepare for their legal careers.

  • Administrative Law – It surprises me that Administrative Law is not a required course at Florida State. There are countless opportunities for an attorney to practice administrative law. The demand for individuals with this type of legal expertise is growing every day. For me, Administrative Law also filled in a lot of gaps and helped me better understand how the law works. Administrative regulations are everywhere, and nearly everyone who practices law will come in contact with an administrative proceeding at some point in their career. At Florida State, students have the opportunity to learn from Professor Mark B. Seidenfeld, who is regarded as one of the top administrative law authorities in the United States.
  • Evidence – Evidence is necessary for a basic understanding of court procedures. I do not need to belabor the point for this course, but if you do not take Evidence, you will wish that you had. Florida State Law has some great professor who teach Evidence, but Professor Charles W. Ehrhardt, author of Florida Evidence is the foremost expert in the State of Florida, and almost all attorneys in Florida who deal with evidence have a copy of one or more editions of his book.
  • Criminal Procedure – All first-year law students at Florida State take Criminal Law during their second semester and gain a basic understanding of criminal statutes and how they work. Criminal Procedure more precisely analyzes criminal law within a constitutional framework and Professor Wayne A. Logan was one of the most outstanding professors I had while I was in law school. Criminal Procedure is obviously a must for students interested in practicing criminal law, but I found it to be incredibly beneficial for me in my everyday life. So, if you want to know what your rights are anytime you are approached by a police officer, I recommend taking Criminal Procedure.

There are several other courses that I could recommend, such as election law, family law, and employment law, but my recommendations would fill up many more pages. Whatever your plan is for law school, do not focus on just the courses in your interest area. Instead, think about how each course you take will benefit you, both while in law school and in your future legal career.

Student Ambassadors for College of Law Alex Sarsfield, Class of 2017


Making the Most of Your Law School Job Experiences

Summer Legal Job Strategies – Kelsey Pincket, Class of 2017

Securing legal experience after my first year of law school was very different than after my second year. Even though I ended up working in the same city both summers, approaching each summer differently provided me with an opportunity to better evaluate my experiences.

During the summer after your first year of law school there is no pressure on you to find your forever job. At this point in your legal career it is alright if you do not know whether litigation is for you, or whether or not you like environmental law. So, you can use your first summer to explore potential career paths. My advice is to work somewhere that peaks your curiosity. For me, that meant working for a corporation in Daytona Beach, Florida on a wide array of different legal issues.

The summer after your 2L year requires more focus. First, if you are not sure where you would like to live after law school, do some research on those places that you may want to live long-term. Next, select classes during your second year that cover the areas that interest you or you would like to learn more about. For me, this meant heading back to Daytona Beach for a second summer to explore the area, get to know the city better, and work on the legal issues that interested me most. If you do not want to be in the same place you worked after your first year, try another location and use this time to get a better feel for where you might want to be after graduation.

Focusing on the Positive – Lauryn Collier, Class of 2017

Rarely does anyone come across the perfect legal job while in law school. Sometimes it is not what you thought it would be. Sometime the work, the work environment, or the location made for a less than ideal experience. This happens to many of us, but the important thing to remember is to focus on what you learned that can be applied to your next opportunity.

Every new opportunity is a chance to learn or hone a skill, work in a new area, or simply to network with new people while building your collection of legal expertise. If there were issues with co-workers, consider the experience you may have gained managing adversity, conflict, or addressing personnel issues. When the work is not as interesting as you had hoped, consider the opportunity you may have had to better articulate your interests, define what does actually interest you, and think about what you are really passionate about. Evaluating each experience like this will provide you with a chance to actively transfer what you have learned to your next job opportunity.

 Kelsey Pincket, Class of 2017

Student Ambassadors for College of Law Lauryn Collier, Class of 2017

Important Things to Know When Transitioning to Law School

The transition from being an undergraduate to law school student is definitely not the easiest. Often, students are dealing with moving to a new town while trying to prepare for what will likely be the most rigorous academic program they have ever experienced. Even with these challenges, your first semester will be one of the most exciting times you will experience in law school. Exploring new ways of thinking, meeting new people from all over the world, and discovering things about yourself that you did not know makes this time unique.

With all of the new ideas, concepts, and people that were entering my life as 1L, I wish I had gotten some advice, especially during my first semester. Adjusting to law school can be challenging, so keep some of the following things in mind. I hope you find some of my advice helpful.

The Summer Before Law School

Be sure to use the summer before law school to treat yourself and do some of those things you enjoy, because it is likely that you will not have a lot of time for them while you are in law school. I recommend hanging out with friends and family and going to the beach or some other place you enjoy, because you will be spending a lot of your time in law school studying, writing and researching, and the library will become more familiar than home. Try to get into a routine that you can transfer to law school that includes exercise, eating well (learn how to cook!), getting enough rest, and taking mental health breaks. All of this will help you better handle the stress that comes with a law school education.

Read for leisure, but If you feel inclined to read in order to prepare for law school, I recommend reading Law School Confidential by Robert H. Miller. The book is known to be incredibly helpful in preparing students for what to expect when it comes to law school lectures, homework assignments, and even applying for jobs. Unfortunately I was blissfully unaware of this book until my 2L year, so I was not able to  benefit from it as a 1L.

During Your First Semester

Writing case briefs – It will take time to become efficient at writing case briefs. Do not get discouraged, even if you are still not exactly sure what is going on after spending two hours on one case. You will eventually start to get the hang of it. Reading cases can be similar to reading in a different language, so do not hesitate to read things more than once and take the time to look up words you do not know. It does not take a lot of time before it will all become second nature to you.

Handling stress – Be sure to take some time for yourself to do something you enjoy. This can be done daily, or once or twice a week. Whether it is working out, watching something on TV, hanging out with friends, taking a nap, or going to the law school tailgate party before a home football game, you will need a break from studying every now and then.

Reaching out for help – Most of the people you will encounter in law school have been in your shoes and almost all of them want to share their knowledge and help you.

Professors: Do not be afraid to go to a professor’s office to talk about a case you do not fully understand. All of them have office hours, many have an open door policy, and most do not mind meeting with students right after a class. All of our professors are incredibly friendly and most are willing to help students almost any time of the day. In my experience, they all reply promptly to e-mails and some even give out their cell phone numbers for emergency questions.

Research Center Staff: The Research Center is our law library, and it is staffed with people who are trained to help you. Not only will they help you find the resources you need for your research, papers, and classes, but they are also there to help you hone your research skills. Our law librarians also teach legal research courses within the curriculum at the College of Law and provide non-credit workshops (with lunch!) on various legal research topics during the fall and spring semesters.

Upperclassmen: 2Ls and 3Ls love to give helpful hints and are motivated to help you get involved in student organizations and clubs. They will also share information about classes, professors, and other things they have learned while in law school. Many will even share their course outlines and notes with you for the courses they have had that you are taking. You will also be in the legal job market one day and the better they know you, the more willing they will be to vouch for you or pass on a job tip.

Student Affairs Office Staff: The Student Affairs Office has many services that students may not even know about. Students should not hesitate to reach out to them if they need help adjusting to law school, handling stress, or even to get advice on handling outside pressures. They are also the office responsible for helping students who request various accommodations while they are in law school.

Career & Professional Development Center Staff: The individuals in this office will help you improve your resume, explore job prospects, and schedule mock interviews so you can be ready when you come across that job you really want. They are a great resource that you should start taking advantage of your first semester in law school.

Remember how far you have come! It is an incredible accomplishment to be accepted to law school, and especially to Florida State Law! So, if you ever feel overwhelmed during your 1L year, just remember the hard work you did to get to this point. You can do it, otherwise you would not have been admitted. Just remember to take advantage of the resources that are available to you and the people who are here to help you.

Student Ambassadors for College of Law Abby Altman, Class of 2017