A conversation with 2013-14 SBA President Justin Norman

2013-2014 Student Bar Association President Justin Norman wastes no opportunity.  A self-proclaimed introvert, Norman is in his third-year at Coastal Law

Justin Norman

Justin Norman

and has participated in an externship with Judge Monte Richardson as well as Moot Court, Mock Trial, and, of course, SBA. He came to Coastal Law for the Sports Law program after graduating from Georgia State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in PreLaw.  An Atlanta Ga. native, Norman will graduate in May 2014 and enjoys spending his down time watching his favorite TV shows or with the friends he met in his study group his first semester.

Why did you decide to become an attorney?

I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I could remember. As a kid, I always thought if I didn’t make it in basketball then I was going to become a lawyer. It was probably midway through college that I put the two together and decided on sports law. For the most part, my biggest influence came in middle school when we had a Shadow Day with an attorney. Since then, I have tried to take every opportunity to shadow, intern, go to the courthouse, take a class, do mock trial, … all those things. Those experiences are always exciting and have further developed my interest in law.

What is life like as SBA president?

I got involved with SBA my second semester of my second year. Unfortunately, I wasn’t elected by my peers the first semester. I like to joke how they voted for the wrong Justin, Justin Mullis, because he got elected and we were in the same section. I got appointed my second semester and then I ran for president in the spring when I was fortunate enough to be selected.

Every day there is something going on and there is never a dull moment. I like that I am in a position where I can affect change and really advocate on the students’ behalf. I have to make sure that I’m always mindful of what I’m doing but at the same time I get to inspire people. So when I think about those things it really makes me happy that I took on the role and I’m doing things that hopefully others will find to be beneficial.

What would you tell someone who was considering attending Coastal Law?

I think the biggest thing for me is the school’s emphasis on helping students get practical experience. There seems to be a lot of opportunities for you to intern, extern, as well as extracurricular opportunities like moot court, mock trial, law review and things of that nature. I really like that the school has a lot of practical experience-based learning.

I would also tell prospective students, to do well in law school you have to take the initiative and you can’t rest on your laurels. Come in with a mindset and a plan. Be proactive, network, talk to your faculty, talk to your peers because they end up being your colleagues in the industry when you graduate. Really make the most of this opportunity.

What is one of your favorite memories of your time so far at Coastal Law?

Every year the school hosts a closing argument competition by a local firm, Spohrer Dodd. Last year, I competed in that competition and was fortunate enough to win. I guess it was one of those moments that you needed a camera on me because I was so shocked. I truly didn’t think that I would place – let alone win. That is one of my best memories because it really caught me off guard and I was really honored to have won the award. Especially since later I found out I was the first second-year student to ever win the award. For me, it was a really big accomplishment.