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

 

Connect with Us!

Social Networking 2

COLLEGE OF LAW

OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS

Connect with Us!

Social Networking 3

Snapchat                      Facebook                    Instagram                      Twitter     

fsucollegeoflaw              @FSUCollegeofLaw              fsucollegeoflaw             @FSUCollegeofLaw 

Also, check out our FSU Law Admissions Facebook page, read our FSU Law Admissions Blog, and connect with our Student Ambassadors!

Admissions | Tuition & Financial Aid | Viewbook | Fast Facts | Residency Reclassification | Careers

Florida State University College of Law | 425 West Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306 | Phone: 850.644.3787 | E-mail: admissions@law.fsu.edu

 

Corporate Externship Program Provides Valuable In-House Experience

The Corporate Externship Program at the Florida State University College of Law is a 9-week summer program that places 10-15 College of Law students in the legal departments of corporations throughout the Southeastern United States. The program requires 20 hours per week of time in the office and a weekly conference call with Professor Benham and all of the other participating students.

Anyone interested in serving clients in businesses of any size should consider applying. The opportunity provides a great way to get business law-related experience early in your legal career. Not only will this experience provide you with college credits, but it can also be used to meet the practical experience requirement of the College of Law’s Business Law Certificate program.

While the work may vary depending on the company, participants also have some similar experiences as well. Substantively, students work in a variety of practice areas including real estate, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and compliance, but all assignments involve researching, reviewing, drafting document, having meetings with attorneys or outside counsel, and interacting with the company’s stakeholders. The work product completed by the students is actually used by the company. The weekly conference calls allow students to share their experiences and allow them to discuss a variety of common issues like employment law, intellectual property, contracting, and more. 

Ultimately, students also get the opportunity to see what a “deal” and litigation looks like from the inside of a corporation. Most law students do not have access to this type of hands-on opportunity and many practicing attorneys have to wait for years before they get to perform this type of work. So when it comes to looking for a job after law school, being able to showcase this type of experience can be invaluable.

Another benefit of the program is that each law student is surrounded by a large group of successful attorneys. This not only means that you are going to get a lot of attention, work, and feedback during the externship, but you are also going to form relationships as you network with these individuals. During and after the externship, they are only too happy to provide career advice and discuss job search strategies.

Overall, this program is tailored to provide a unique experience for anyone interested in pursuing business law. Not only will it stand out on a resume, but it also offers a very rewarding experience that can be drawn upon in a future career.

Seifter, Chris Chris Seifter, 2L

Living in Tallahassee

Growing up on Florida’s Gulf Coast, anything more than about ten miles inland might as well have been on Mars. Tallahassee was a place I drove past on Interstate 10 while on my way to somewhere more interesting. Oh, and it was the state capital. When I came to FSU Law, that was pretty much all I knew about Tallahassee. Now, after two-and-a-half years of living 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 I want to single a few of them out for special mention.

First off, Tallahassee is gorgeous. I am not sure if there is a record for the municipality which has the most parks per square mile, but if there is, then Tallahassee should at least be in the running. There are large wilderness parks, modern urban parks, even a chain of parks that runs for several blocks through the city center; and in general a very large amount of green space. Even downtown, there are many enormous old oak and pecan trees that line the avenues and shade the cozy old Southern houses. There are flowers everywhere. And, to top it all off, FSU’s campus is itself a work of landscaping and architectural magnificence. Sure, it doesn’t have an ocean view, but Tallahassee is nonetheless a truly beautiful place to live.

Second, Tallahassee is creative.  Being home to two major state universities and also the state government means that Tallahassee is at the intersection of huge streams of talent, curiosity, and opportunity. This makes it an exciting and engaging place to live. Almost everyone you meet is working to bring an idea to fruition, and this creates an atmosphere that encourages creative thinking and entrepreneurship. One easily-visible result of this is the lively culinary scene: do you like gourmet, farm-to-table, avant-garde cuisine? We’ve got you covered, several times over. How about homemade Cambodian/Puerto Rican food? We have that, too, and everything in between. I also firmly believe that Tallahassee is the best-caffeinated state in the Union: 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 to visit them all if you went to a new one each day.

Finally, Tallahassee is just plain nice. Perhaps this is a consequence of the other two points I mentioned: between the gorgeous scenery and fantastic lifestyle, folks in Tallahassee have every reason to be in a pretty good mood. People say hello to one another in the street, talk to one another in line, and help one another out even if they are complete strangers. The sense of community is very strong here, and it makes Tallahassee a very comfortable place to be. It is a very outgoing city, and it is very easy for a newcomer to make friends and become involved in the community.

Student Ambassadors for College of Law

 

 

Bailey Howard, 3L

Have You Considered Student Government While In Law School?

As an undergraduate student at another university, I had not participated directly in student government because the political party system that existed seemed to be more aimed at obtaining and maintaining political power than in bettering the lives of students. We even voted in a different political party twice for the purpose of eliminating the political party system, which did not happen. However, when I arrived at Florida State I experienced a different reality.

The Student Government Association (SGA) at Florida State is not only responsible for creating and updating student statutes, but also for allocating a budget of millions of dollars in student activity fees. As a result, I decided to participate not only to be involved in my new school, but also as a way to meet new people.

For College of Law students there are a few very unique options for getting involved in student government. One option is to join the legislative branch as a member of either the Congress of Graduate Students or the Law School Council. Another is to join the judicial branch as either a member of the Elections Commission or the Student Supreme Court.

During my first and second year of law school I served on the Elections Commission, which has the responsibility of holding hearings and ruling on violations of the election code by student candidates, campaigns, and political parties. One might assume there would not be much to do in this area, but that is not the case. Each year, the Commission holds about 7-10 hearings, which last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours depending on the violations.

While at times holding hearings and deliberating is an onerous task, these cases provided me with some of my favorite memories from law school, all the while serving an integral function of the SGA. It was also great practice for future lawyers because not only did we write judicial opinions, we sat on the bench and got to experience first-hand what judges do. I also served with some of my best friends and we had a lot of fun, especially during my second year when I had the opportunity to chair the Commission.

For my final year of law school I decided to move on to the Student Supreme Court.  Due in part to my experience on the Elections Commission I was able to get an appointment from the Student Body President and after a lively senate confirmation hearing I was confirmed as an Associate Justice. The best part about serving on Student Supreme Court is that we got to wear judicial robes to our hearings, which I thought was pretty cool.

The Student Supreme Court is much more involved with the rest of SGA and we were even required to appear at Student Senate meetings to offer advisory opinions. Other duties included swearing in new senators at their inaugural banquet following student senate elections, holding hearings on violations of the Student Body Constitution, and making decisions on cases by appeal from lower judicial bodies, like the Elections Commissions. When interpreting the Student Body Constitution, Student Statutes, or in hearing cases on appeal, it was very important for us to do a thorough job because beyond a decision of the Student Supreme Court there is no appeal.

While you will certainly be busy in law school, it is important that you take part in activities that you find both fun and rewarding. If you have not considered participating in the SGA at Florida State University, I would highly recommend it. Whether you choose the legislative or judicial path, the opportunity will provide you with valuable experience and will definitely bring you in contact with some new and interesting people.

Student Ambassadors for the College of Law

PJ Hebb, Class of 2015

Public Interest Law Center Clinics Provide Real-World Experience Right on the College of Law Campus

One of those great opportunities students have to take advantage of at Florida State University College of Law is the Public Interest Law Center (PILC). PILC provides students with training in public advocacy through clinics that emphasize one-on-one and small group learning that allows students to earn class credit while working with real clients on real cases. PILC is also located right on campus in the College of Law’s Advocacy Center, making it a very convenient option as well.

PILC offers two different clinics for students interested in client advocacy. The first is the Children’s Advocacy Clinic which allows students to represent children in special education, disability, juvenile delinquency, and foster care cases as well as for other issues. The second is the Family Law Clinic, which allows students to represent low-income individuals in family law cases such as divorce, paternity, domestic violence, and custody and visitation. Both of these clinics operates under the guidance of amazing clinical professors and attorneys who supervise each student and help them as they progress through their cases.

To be eligible for a clinic and to be able to work with clients, a student must have 48 hours of law school credit and have their clearance letter from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, which provides them with Certified Legal Intern (CLI) status. Once a CLI, a student is able to represent clients under the guidance of a licensed attorney. As a participant in a clinic, the student acts as an actual attorney representing their clients. The supervising professors teach the students about the law and skills necessary for their cases, as well as providing any guidance they may need.

Through these clinics students have an opportunity to gain real-world experience, develop the skills they need to become lawyers, and earn course credit while helping someone who otherwise would not be able to afford to pay for this service. If you would like to learn more about these incredible opportunities, please feel free to visit their Web page at: http://www.law.fsu.edu/academic_programs/jd_program/cac/index.html.

?????????????????????????????????????????? Matt Sulkin, 2L