Career Corner: Be patient and wait for a good fit
Howell “Web” Melton III (JD 06), a third-generation University of Florida Levin College of Law graduate, knew he wanted to be in the courtroom. That is why when a job at Bush Ross, P.A. was advertised through UF Law’s Center for Career Development, he was quick to jump at the chance.
“I did some on-campus interviewing and my job came from that,” Melton said. “Bush Ross was good fit for me and they got me in the courtroom quickly and early.”
Bush Ross, founded in 1981, focuses on commercial litigation and commercial transactions. Melton represents individual and corporate clients both in state and federal courts. He primarily practices civil litigation involving community association law, real estate litigation, foreclosure litigation, deed restriction enforcement, contract disputes, regulatory takings, eminent domain, construction defects and collections. Melton also routinely handles arbitration and mediation cases.
Despite all this, he still considers himself a young attorney getting acclimated to the practice of law. The “substantial learning curve” is one of the biggest challenges he faces.
“Take as many classes as you can to learn a wide range of information about the law because figuring out how the day-to-day legal system works is the hardest to get used to,” he advised students.
Melton finds that getting to know his clients on a personal level is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. He also is proud of the work he has done on pro bono cases involving keeping children out of foster care.
“Bush Ross promotes a really good work and life balance, and provides an opportunity to learn from some exceptional attorneys” Melton said. “I’m able to focus on the law and develop my own client base, which is ultimately what I want.”
Outside of work, Melton is an avid sports fan. He also likes to travel and dive, and spends time tending to his aquarium.
Melton graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2003 with his Bachelor’s of Science in both political science and history. Before joining Bush Ross, he worked for Sen. Christopher J. Dodd in Washington, D.C., and for MTV Networks in New York City.
“There are a lot of jobs out there that aren’t necessarily advertised,” Melton said. “Be persistent. Go to bar events and social gatherings, but don’t take the first job that comes your way. Be patient and wait for a good fit.”