As has been pointed out to all law students since Orientation, the day you walked into law school is the day on which you began to embark on the road to becoming a professional, a lawyer. Your behavior in law school is subject to close scrutiny by the various state bars in deciding whether you meet the character and fitness requirements for admission to the bar. Certainly, admission to the bar can, and should, motivate “professional” behavior.
But, maybe more importantly in the short term is that you should exercise the discretion and judgment of a “professional” with regard to your colleagues and professors, and the law school and University administration. So, here are some tips I hope you will keep in mind.
The law library is designed for study and research. For many students, the law library by choice (or necessity) is the one place they should be able to find a peaceful, quiet environment to study. The lobby to the library is available for conversations, and students wishing to study in groups that require conversation should book study rooms or study in empty classrooms. If you want to socialize then take advantage of the breezeway. It is designed to give you an area conducive to socializing. The stairwell of the library and the areas adjacent to the elevator do not in any way buffer sound. In fact, those areas amplify sound. So, please be mindful that “your” conversation is not likely something other students who are trying to study care to hear. All students should appreciate and practice courtesy and respect for their colleagues studying in the library.
Classroom behavior and decorum is also a component of being a professional student. Students should arrive on time and prepared for class. It is inconsiderate to your colleagues and professors to arrive late, disrupt class, and then not be prepared when called upon. Studying the law is a dynamic process. It works best when the students and professor are prepared, knowledgeable, and engaged. Do your part to make the class experience meaningful and worthwhile for both you and your colleagues.
Please remember the limitations on smoking and food in the classrooms. Smoking is limited to the designated area, and food is not allowed in the classrooms.
One last bit of advice. We all encounter frustrations day to day in dealing with bureaucracies. The university and law school both have a number of bureaucratic systems that (at times) do not function optimally for some particular student. If you encounter a problem, please remember to exercise a bit of discretion when dealing with the person who is addressing your problem. It may be a truism, but often he or she is just doing his or her job, and following procedure and policy he or she is required to follow.
We have tried to provide you as much in-house assistance at the law school as feasible. If you are unable to achieve a satisfactory result then bring the matter to John Hernandez, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. One of his primary roles is serving as your liaison in resolving problems.
Florida Bar 101: Your Role in the Bar & the Bar’s Role in Your Career
Please join the Criminal Law Society and The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Law School Division on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at 12:00 p.m., in the Moot Courtroom when they host “Florida Bar 101: Your Role in the Bar & the Bar’s Role in Your Career.” The guest speaker for this event is Melanie Griffin, President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division.
Professionalism Day Set for 1L Students
On, Friday, September 20, St. Thomas Law will host “Professionalism Day” for all first-year students. On that day, regular 1L classes will be suspended, and instead, 1L students will attend a half-day program. The program will include a presentation on the rights, responsibilities, obligations, and opportunities of the legal profession. The program also will include an alumnus discussion panel a number of St. Thomas Law alumnus will return to campus and share their experiences with current students. We also have a presentation by practitioners who represent other attorneys and law students with fitness and character issues before the Florida Bar. Last, the program will include an expert who will provide some tips on gaining and using life skills to be a more effective and content practitioner. All 2L, 3L, and LL.M. students also are welcome to attend. The program will be held in the Moot Courtroom.
Professor Marc-Tizoc González
has accepted an invitation to coordinate the re-launch of Nuestras Voces Latinas
, a blog that eleven law professors of Hispanic heritage created in early 2010 to provide legally educated perspectives on the social issues affecting Latin American communities. In the coming weeks, a distinguished group of contributors will begin posting regularly on diverse subjects related to their scholarship and contemporary social issues.
Professor Anthony Musto spoke
at The Florida Bar annual meeting presidential showcase program, “Gideon’s Golden Truth: Confronting the Justice Gap as Florida’s Indigent Right to Counsel Turns 50.” He also spoke at the ABA Annual Meeting at a Young Lawyers Division presentation entitled “Essential Qualities of the Professional Lawyer: The Principled Approach to Career Success.”
Professor Ira Nathenson
joined as an amicus
in a brief filed with the United States Supreme Court regarding NSA surveillance and Verizon providing the government with call detail records of communications within the United States. The brief was filed in the case In re Electronic Privacy Information Center
(No. 13-58), and is support of petitioner Electronic Privacy Information Center seeking a Writ of Mandamus to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The brief can be found at https://epic.org/privacy/nsa/in-re-epic/Church-Committee-Amicus.pdf
Professor Nadia Soree’s
most recent article was just published in the Indiana Law Review
, Volume 46 No. 3. The article is entitled “Whose Fourth Amendment and Does It Matter? A Due Process Approach to Fourth Amendment Standing.”