Spring 2022 Law Week Panels and Workshops Held at FSC

May 3, 2022

by FSC Staff

Florida Southern College pre-law students recently had the opportunity to participate in “Law Week.” For three days, groups of alumni, lawyers, and judges met in panels and workshops to inform and engage with students interested in working in the legal community.

“Law Week grew out of a long tradition of mentorship for pre-law students at Florida Southern by FSC alumni members of the legal community, the Lakeland Bar Association, the Polk County Courts and the 10th Circuit of Florida,” according to Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Bruce Anderson.

Dr. Anderson, whose long list of honors include being the Dr. Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr. Endowed Chair in American History for Government and Civics, and a Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science, said a series of events that had been held ad hoc for years was convened as a single end-of-year instructional conference for all students interested in careers in the legal community, thus becoming "Law Week" in 2019. He said the new tradition was re-started this year as the COVID-19 pandemic waned.

The timing of Law Week is meant to coincide with the end of the academic year, which for many juniors, is the start of an intense period of preparation for the LSAT exam in the coming fall. The purpose of the event is to make all FSC students aware of the career paths available in the legal community. It is sponsored by the Department of Political Science. Participants are recruited annually. The event is organized by a group of Pre-Law and Political Science interns under the direction of the Pre-Law advisor.

This year's event included a panel of judges (County Judge Robert Grode, County Judge Robert Fegers, and Appellate Judge Andrea Smith); a panel of lawyers pursuing traditional and non-traditional roles in the legal community (Pedro Lopez, Rural Legal Aid; Marc Salm, Risk Management, Publix; Cindy Hardin, FSC Business Faculty; and Blake Paul, Peterson and Myers).

The keynote speaker was retired Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis ’69, who spoke about the critical need for ethical attorneys in the constitutional system.

Panels included Stephen Senn of Peterson and Myers; John Hoppe of Lakeland Regional Health; and an FSC alumni panel of local, practicing attorneys Ed Kerr, Keifer Exum, Sabrina Chianese and Nick Sellers.

The concluding events were a panel of Public Service attorneys, including Blair Allen (Senior Attorney with the Florida 10th Circuit Public Defender's Office) and Brian Haas (the Elected States' Attorney for Florida's 10th Circuit) participated.

The final alumni panel followed with Hailey Jenkins, a practicing attorney in Boston, and Alexandra Zimmerman, who will begin law school at Emory University this fall. Both members had attended or contributed to the original Law Week in 2019.

Reagan Orr ’24 of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Honor Society also visited FSC during Law Week.

“Perhaps most importantly, the interns who so adeptly organized the event were seniors Kevin Medina, Katelyn Evans, and Lexi Potter,” Dr. Anderson said.

Go Mocs!