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We are merging. . .

We’re Consolidating the CSD Blogs!


your careerWe will now be hosting ONE blog for all of your CSD needs!  We are consolidating each of our separate blogs into Career Crossroads.  Now, everything you need to know about Diversity, Private Practice, Alternative Careers, Government & Public Interest and anything else related to your career will be hosted on this blog.  Simply use the appropriate tag at the bottom of each post to select your interest.  For example, when you’re searching for a job in alternative careers, scroll to the right-hand side of the blog under the Categories header, click on “Job Opportunity” and then click “Alternative Careers” under the Tags header.  Your preferences will sort based on your selections. 

Please join us at

Questions about the blog?  Contact Abby Lee at

Inns of Court–Application due Today, May 28




CHESTER BEDELL, THE E. Robert Williams (Workers Compensation) and The Robert M. Foster (Nassau County) Inn of Court.



DUE DATE: Applications must be submitted through Symplicity by May 28, 2013


The American Inns of Court is a national, prestigious society comprised of some of the foremost judges and trial lawyers in the United States. The American Inns of Court is an association of now more than 300 inns throughout the nation. The Inns of Court, inspired by the methodology developed by English Jurists and Barristers, have been established in the United States as elite collegial bodies whose membership is shared by judges, practitioners and law students. The purpose of the Inns is to further the traditions of learning by example, through discussion, and through social interaction among judges, senior barristers and students. The Inns of the English Bar have created a high regard for fearless advocacy and legal scholarship, a respect for the law and its institutions, and a respect for one’s colleagues at the bar. It is these qualities of the English Inns that the American Inns of Court seek to capture.

In 1977, a number of American Lawyers and judges spent some weeks in England observing the English Inns of Court and the English legal system. From their observations, they determined that many of the goals of the American Legal System might be promoted by adapting the English Inns of Court system to American practice. This group included Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit , Rex E. Lee, then Dean of the law school at Brigham Young University and later Solicitor General of the United States, and was encouraged from the outset by the Chief Justice of the United States. The first Inn was established in 1980 in Provo, Utah. Since that time, over three hundred additional Inns have been established.

Each Inn of Court is comprised of three levels of participation, “Masters of the Bench” who are noted and accomplished judges and trial lawyers, “Barristers” who are attorneys practicing for less than ten years and “Pupils,” law students invited to participate in Inn activities and to share both the educational and social experience of the Inn. The “Benchers” of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court, for example, currently include two sitting Federal Judges, State Appellate and trial judges, two members of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar as well as the President elect, three past Presidents and past chairmen of the Trial Lawyers` Section of the Florida Bar. In a word, the Benchers include some of the most prestigious and accomplished lawyers in the northeastern part of the state. Barristers are drawn from persons recognized to be superior trial lawyers, although they may not have had the extensive experience of the Benchers. Students are selected from the student bodies of various colleges of law, including Florida Coastal School of Law, by specific invitation of the Masters of the Bench of the Inn.

The Inns meet from six to eight times a year. Each of the regular meetings consist of a dinner with all members of the Inn present followed by an educational component, at which the members of the Inn demonstrate and discuss issues, techniques, problems and ethics of trial advocacy. Students who are invited to participate in the Inn are included as an integral part of all Inn activities. They are expected to attend all Inn meetings during the year, to meet with a select number of Benchers and Barristers in “pupillage groups,” and to take an active part in the meetings and social events of the Inn. Students are selected by members of the Inn on the basis of applications submitted to the Inn describing each student’s interest in litigation and the system of advocacy in the United States.

For those students selected to participate in the Inn of Court, the benefits are great. These students will have the opportunity to work with and to observe the most outstanding trial lawyers and judges in the State and Federal courts; they will have the opportunity to meet and come to know on a personal basis the leaders of the Bench and the Bar in the State of Florida, and they will have the opportunity to learn trial techniques and skills from true masters of their craft. Selected students should have an expressed and, preferably, demonstrated interest in litigation, and must be willing to commit him/herself to attending the meetings of the Inns of Court during the year.  The dues associated with Chester Bedell Inn of Court membership are paid for by Florida Coastal School of Law.


Need Legal Experience?


 Sally Kane writing for has outlined ways to get legal experience during your law studies, or while you are looking for a permanent position upon graduation. 

 Internships, externships and clinics are a wonderful way to get your feet wet in the legal profession and this experiential learning necessity is much touted by Coastal and the Career Services Department alike.  Volunteer positions, both during and after law school, are also great ways to obtain quality experience and the non-profits, public interest organizations and legal aid offices would appreciate the help with tasks that really make a difference in the lives of people and the community.  While still in school, extracurricular activities like moot court, writing competitions, writing clinics and more hone your skills that may help you get your foot in the door of legal employers.  The more experience you gain during law school can only better prepare you for your practice in the future. 

Part-time legal jobs, like file clerks, court filers, data entry clerks and the like may allow you to work in the legal field, or in a particular firm you like until they will consider you for an associate position, if, for example, you are waiting for bar results, or they don’t have an opening.  Temping is another method where you may be placed in short-term assignments through a legal staffing agency.  Temping is a great way, also, to explore a particular firm and vice versa.  Some firms hire temporary employees to recruit permanent staff by testing them out on a trial basis, so keep that option in mind.

Contract jobs are becoming more plentiful in this market as law firms seek ways to reduce costs.  In a contract job, you are not considered an “employee” of the firm, but are an independent contractor hired to work on a contract basis.  Sometimes, these positions may work as a stepping stone to full-time permanent employment with the firm.

Why should you schedule an Informational Meeting?


 Informational meetings are exactly what they sound like–interviews with attorneys to get information, not jobs.  You contact an attorney and ask if he or she can talk to you about a particular practice area, locale to practice in, or merely how he or she got into that field.  You are looking for tips, not a job, so the pressure is off both of you. 

You first make contact by email or telephone, and ask if you could meet to talk about their practice, or refer to something they wrote or perhaps a case he or she tried.   At the end of the meeting, don’t forget to ask the attorney if he could suggest other people you should meet–that way when you call, you can say who referred you, which may lead to another informational meeting.  You can also ask the attorney whether it would be okay if you contacted them again down the road if you had more questions.

Be sure to show up on time (not early or late), and show up with good questions.  Prepare to be there about 20 minutes, unless your interviewer wants to continue your talk, and always always send a thank you note for their time. 

Although this is not a job interview, you are not asking for a job, they are not offering one, and absolutely no resumes are given, there have been many jobs secured down the road after a meeting of this kind.  In the future, that attorney may be looking for an associate, or hear of another opportunity he or she may relate to you. 

To read more of Jay Shepherd’s column, click here.

Just for 2Ls!


Just for the 2Ls!

The Career Services Department presents “The 50 Yard Line,” on October 18, 2012 from 12:00-1:30 in room 365.  This interactive presentation is designed to prepare 2Ls (Spring or Fall Admit) for the upcoming summer, their 3L year and beyond.  The 50 Yard Line will include: a personal assessment designed to help determine a good area of practice for your personality; a discussion on geographic considerations and where it makes sense for you to take the bar; a presentation on the resources available for your job search; and discussion by a panel of students and a recent graduate on successes and challenges in their career search.  Lunch will be provided and CPE Credit (1) approval is pending.

RSVP on Symplicity

Core Competency for the Solo or Small Firm

Core competency is a set of expectations employers now require about knowledge, capability, behavior, skills and attributes.  The practice of law is a profession, but operates on a business model and you must be prepared in many different arenas.

According to Jordan Furlong, a consultant writing for Law21, the necessary and sufficient skill set for attorneys has always included logical reasoning, persuasiveness, analytical ability, attention to detail, sound judgment and writing ability.  Not anymore.  In addition to the aforementioned skills, today’s lawyer must also possess Collaboration Skills, Project Management Skills, Financial Literacy, Technological Skills, Time Management and perhaps most importantly, Emotional Intelligence.

Learning these core skills will allow you to practice law competently, effectively and competively, and in the world of solo and small firm practice, where there may not be extensive training, you will be expected to show up with these skills.   

To read the entire article, click here.