Coastal Law student earns ABA essay award

Jessica Hoffman, a family law student clinician and juris doctor candidate slated to graduate in December, is an active contributor on the national Assisted Reproductive Technology scene. She recently produced a session for the ABA’s Family Law section's Las Vegas conference in 2011, and has very recently won the ABA Family Law Section’s National Essay Contest Award.

Her paper also is in now in the running for publication in the Family Law Quarterly, a prestigious journal published by the ABA Family Law Section. Read on for the full story.

Hoffman began her studies in Professor Quince Hopkins' Adoption course, and wrote her first paper about ART. Through her research, Hoffman said she realized there were very few ART legal counselors in Jacksonville — but a growing consortium around the country. She investigated attorneys and firms who were players on the national ART scene and discovered a serendipitous upcoming event - a committee of ART attorneys were meeting locally to brainstorm revisions to the ABA ART Model Act.

"Sometimes before I know what I'm getting myself into," she said. "But I have worked and shared meals with the people across the globe who are making ART possible. I feel so energized after these meetings and with the mentorship I receive and I can't wait until the next conference in the fall.

"The experience has been an invaluable networking opportunity for my career and a practical supplement to my legal education."

Professor Hopkins called Hoffman’s story “fascinating.”

“Here you have a burgeoning young professional who is on the cutting edge of this new field even before she graduates,” she said. “Most faculty do not have the honor to be asked by the ABA to be so involved in a committee, and almost never are students EVER (from any school) asked to participate in any ABA committee the way she has been.”