At St. Thomas University, we are committed to our students’ success inside and outside of the classroom. Our Law School to Career series will feature and celebrate STU Law alumni and job experiences. Get to know STU Law alumnus, Daniel E. Levin, and his job experience as Partner at Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.
- Name: Daniel E. Levin, Esq.
- J.D./ LL.M/ Concentration/ Certificates: J.D.
- Graduation Year: 2010
- Where do your work, and what is your title? Partner at Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.
- Did you always know you would be pursuing this line of work? Like many law school students, I had no idea what area of law I wanted to focus on. In law school, I interned with the Miami Dade County State Attorney’s Office with the expectation that I would practice criminal law. When I didn’t fall in love with criminal law, I moved on to intern with the Unified Family Court in Miami Dade County under General Magistrate Rosenbaum. Again, the prospect of practicing family law did not seem like the perfect fit for me. The third time was a charm when I started my career at Cole, Scott & Kissane, practicing almost exclusively construction law.
- What does a day at work look like? A typical day at work can include attending hearings in the morning, followed by client meetings or depositions in and out of the office. If I am not meeting with clients, visiting construction sites, or attending depositions, then I can be found in the office working on discovery, motion practice, and trial preparation with CSK’s fantastic team of lawyers, paralegals, and support staff.
- What’s your favorite part about your job? Problem-solving for clients who find themselves in undesirable positions – whether it is resolving a payment dispute for a contractor, assisting an owner with concerns over a contractor’s performance of a construction project, or defending a contractor or design professional in a construction defect or design claim. The types of construction law matters that come across my desk as a Board Certified Specialist in Construction Law genuinely run the gamut, making each day at the job different from the previous day.
- What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them? Initially, it was the unfamiliarity with the nomenclature and concepts encountered day-to-day on the construction project that gave me the biggest challenge. Without a great deal of experience in construction prior to starting my career at CSK, I really had to focus on learning the basics of construction after a day in the office or even on the weekends. I also relied heavily on my mentoring partners at CSK and the construction experts with years of experience in the field to help develop a knowledge base to work from.
- How does your job connect back to your coursework and extracurricular activities at STU? In my opinion, there is no better course to help you prepare as a trial attorney than Trial Advocacy Practice. For STU students who desire to become a trial attorney, I believe that the Trial Advocacy Practice coursework at STU provides you with the best opportunity to learn the fundamentals of jury selection, presenting arguments to a judge or jury, the basics of trial preparation, and presentation.
- What advice do you have for Bobcats that are interested in following in your career footsteps? Don’t be afraid to take chances by diving into an area of the law with which you are unfamiliar. It’s OK if you don’t know construction or can’t read a set of construction plans! With the right amount of hard work, determination, and mentoring, you can excel at any specialized area of the law. Also, it is important to find the right mentors. Keep your eyes and ears open, and be willing to learn from the right people who you can trust. I have had the benefit of unbelievable mentorship at CSK to help me grow professionally.
- Describe your job in a GIF/Image?
- Anything you would like to add that we did not cover? While I am certainly proud of my professional accomplishments and the growth of CSK as statewide into an Am Law 200 firm since I joined ten years ago, there is nothing I am more proud of than my wife and kids. Within weeks of being admitted to the FL Bar, I married my college sweetheart, Jamie. We have since been blessed by two incredible boys, Jacob and Drew. When I am not in the courtroom during the week, you can find me glowing with pride on the sidelines of my kids’ sporting events or school activities.
Learn more about how STU Law’s Career Development can help you find the right internship or job for you! If you’re interested in sharing your internship or job experience with STU News? Reach out to Yamile Rodriguez at email@example.com.