Monthly Archives: November 2012

Success Just Isn’t Victory

As the holidays approach, all of us look around and within ourselves to appreciate all that life has to offer. I also reflect upon the past year to assess how our clinic has impacted people’s lives. Today, those impacts smacked me right between the eyes.

This morning, a student and I met with a couple to change the names of their American-born children so that they could more easily access benefits such as healthcare, education (things we take for granted). He and his wife were refugees that met in a camp in East Africa. He came to the United States, naturalized and sponsored her so that she could come too. He works full-time and goes to school full-time. She goes to school two days a week and also cares for their four children aged 7 and under. What was compelling was the perseverance and hope that this man had while enduring some of the worst genocide in the world’s history taking place in his country of origin. We truly take our freedoms for granted, but he and his family know the meaning of what it means to be free now that they are working hard and living in the United States. What our clinic is doing for them is minimal in the grand scheme of their life, but it allows them the ability to provide for their children and undo the administrative barriers to receiving benefits to which they are entitled.

In the same day, I received an order from Seminole County domesticating a foreign guardianship from Texas. This is a case we have been working on since the summer semester. The father of a terminally ill and permanently disabled Veteran wants to bring his son back to Florida so that he can be close to family when he dies. The father often wept on the phone when we would call to give him updates. Today, we were honored to call him to inform him that the papers were signed and he can now bring his son home.

Somedays I leave stressed, aggravated, frustrated and worried about whether our clinic will achieve all of the tasks to which we have obligated ourselves. Today, I feel joy, pride and a deep sense of satisfaction for my students’ achievement and for the strong foundation of public service upon which the clinic stands.

Happy Holidays to all.

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Did your 1L attend The Starting Line?

Coastal Law hosted its 7th annual Starting Line event recently, providing first-year students the opportunity to meet and discuss various aspects of their future profession with employers from many different organizations.

Find out if your student was spotted at the event by viewing the latest pictures on Flickr!

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Special updates from the Finance Department

  • The Student Account Statement (Pre-Bill Report) is available on line in the student portal under the “My Finances” tab.  Students should review their Pre Bill report frequently so they can make any necessary financial arrangement to insure their tuition and fees are paid in full no later than the first day of classes after the add/drop period or Monday, February 4, 2012.

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Special advice to parents of 2Ls: Employers say Work Experience Gained during Law School Trumps Grades!

In an effort to deliver quality legal services as efficiently as possible, legal employers are now seeking out graduates who have gained hands-on experience while they were in law school.

In fact, a recent survey from the legal staffing firm, Robert Half Legal, suggests that in this competitive job market, real-world experience trumps even grades for newly minted lawyers. The survey found that training or experience in a high-demand practice area is the most marketable attribute for law school graduates.

Continue reading

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Are you a 1L or 2L interested in obtaining a judicial clerkship for Summer ’13?

The Litigation Section of the ABA is offering first and second-year diverse law students the opportunity to clerk for a state or federal judge for the summer. The program also offers a $1,500 award to each selected student. Participating judges are located in Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Fancisco, Washington, DC, Miami, Illinois, Philadelphia, Texas, and Seattle.

Applications are due by January 4, 2013. 2Ls may apply now, 1Ls are required to wait until December 1, 2012.

For more information and to apply, please visit

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A Note for parents of 3Ls and the Future Beyond Law School

It is easy to get caught up in the demands of law school, but for 3Ls it’s equally important to begin positioning themselves for their career after law school. 3Ls should be in the process of carefully selecting a geographic market in which to practice.

Encourage them to schedule an individual counseling appointment with a Career Services Counselor to discuss their job search strategy. Continue reading

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Support your student through Bar Prep

Your bar student is undertaking an intense period of study.

To prepare for the bar, your student will be conducting over 600 hours of study, six days per week for 10 weeks.  Students will be reading over 2,365 pages of dense legal reading of black letter law, completing over 2,676 multiple choice questions, and writing over 20 hour-long essays.

This is in addition to the 160 hours of in-class lectures they must attend.  At the end of this 10 week period of preparation, all of this study will culminate in a grueling two-day, 12-hour exam. Continue reading

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New bill could allow goverment access to your email

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  You know the saying ‘Big Brother is watching?’  He may soon be reading too.

A new bill working its way through Congress could give the government unwarranted access to your email.

“I have to admit I’m not very careful about what I put in my emails,” said Rod Sullivan.

He emails constantly for business and pleasure.  And he knows the legal ins and outs.  He is a professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

… read the entire article at Action News Jax.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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Fun Jacksonville Activities

Your main priorities as a law student are, of course, to read and study the law.  However, you also need to find some time each month to take a break and do something fun.  If you are new to the Jacksonville area, there are lots of fun activities that you can include in your schedule. 

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

For animal lovers, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a must!  The zoo was established almost 100 years ago and the highlights of the zoo include more 2,000 rare animals and 1,000 varieties of plants.  The zoo has won several national awards and offers many interactive and educational experiences.  Additionally, there are several new baby animals that have been born this summer, including two new Amur leopard cubs, a giraffe, and a lion.  You can make it through the entire zoo in a short amount of time and the zoo is a great way to get out of the library for a few hours.  Please check out the zoo website for hours:

First Wednesday Art Walk

Art lovers will definitely want to add the First Wednesday Art Walk to their calendars each month.  The event is a free, self-guided tour covering a 15-block radius in Downtown Jacksonville and is one of the most popular events in Jacksonville.  Many downtown art galleries, museums, restaurants, bars, and businesses as well as dozens of local artists participate in the event.  You will have the opportunity to check out the downtown area, view many different types of art, and maybe pick up a future masterpiece.  The event is held on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. rain or shine.  For more information, please check out the website:

Riverside Arts Market

If you need a quick study break on the weekend, the Riverside Arts Market is a fun place to pick up local produce, desserts, and handmade art.  Located under the Fuller Warren Bridge downtown, this is a weekly event featuring the work of up to 160 artists as well as musical performances and a farmer’s market.  The market is open every Saturday in March to December from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Admission and parking for the event are free.  Come and check out some local Jacksonville flavor!  Website:

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