Judge Huck hosts 85+ UF Law students in chambers for professional development
“The legal market is changing, and law students and new lawyers must be vigilant and take charge of their own careers,” said UF Law Center Association trustee and U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck (JD 65). For that reason Huck held an Aug. 1 professional development program in the federal courthouse in Miami for more than 85 UF law students.
The inaugural program — sponsored by local trustees of the LCA and entitled the UF Law “NaviGators Program: Charting the Course of Your Career” — opened with a mix and mingle breakfast, where the students had the opportunity to network with UF Law alumni, including South Florida practitioners, law clerks, and federal judges. Afterward, the students were ushered into Judge Huck’s courtroom, where he and Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis (JD 85) welcomed the students with opening remarks. This was followed by two hour-long question-and-answer panel discussions about how to successfully navigate law school and the job market.
The first panel discussion was entitled “View from the Wheelhouse: Plotting Your Professional Voyage,” and was moderated by Judge Huck. Panelists included Rob Birrenkott (JD 05), assistant dean for Career Development at UF Law; Oscar Sanchez (JD 82), partner at Akerman Senterfitt and LCA trustee; David Block, legal recruiter at Hertner, Block & Bowser Inc.; Esther Rodriguez, recruiting coordinator at Holland & Knight; and Pettis.
The second panel discussion was entitled “View from the Deck: Things I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then,” and was moderated by Pedro Allende (JD 07), associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Miami. Panelists included Andrew Brown (JD 11), associate at Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman in Miami; Claudia Edenfield (JD 11), staff attorney at the Institute for Justice, Miami Chapter; Erica Perdomo (JD 13), incoming associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C., and future law clerk for Judge Huck; Mark Schweikert (JD 09), law clerk for Judge Huck and former associate at Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Miami; Lisa Thelwell (JD 12), assistant state attorney at the State Attorney’s Office, 11th Judicial Circuit.
“The driving force behind the creation of the program was a desire to give back to our law school. The hope was to create a dialogue by which students could learn from those who had once stood in their shoes, so that they could begin to prepare to successfully navigate the realities of today’s competitive job market.”