Family Trees Intertwined with UF LAW
Submit your family’s story
We will post up to two photos and 300 words for each family. Send your story and photos to UF LAW editor Richard Goldstein, Goldstein@law.ufl.edu or Attn: Law in the Family; Communications Office; P.O. Box 117633; Gainesville, FL 32611.
Medea Isphording Bern (JD 81) and Roger O. Isphording (LLB 60)
My dad attended UF on the GI bill after a three-year stint in the Army. He served as a telephone lineman and sentry in the oom-pah-pah bosom of Germany. He later moved to steamy Gainesville to start his student life, replacing steins of beer for cups of coffee and pacing barbed wire fences for sitting in smoky libraries reading pounds of case law. But the discipline and rigor of military service trained him well for the demands of a law school curriculum.
Dad had suffered his fair share of tongue-lashings from judges as a boy – for hopping freight trains or for “borrowing” neighbors’ holly berries and repurposing them as wreaths then selling the wreaths to those same (unsuspecting) neighbors. Deep down, though, he was a respectful kid who worked from the age of 10 and paid his parents for his support from that first job through his time in service of his country.
I was born in Gainesville during his second year’s final exams. After graduation, we moved to Venice, a sleepy town on the Gulf coast. I grew up here, working in dad’s office during the summers. As I wended my way through college, career options flitted around in my head. Diplomat. Geneticist. French professor. Botanist. Torch singer. It’s no wonder people consider college “the best four years of your life;” everything is possible, nothing seems absurd.
But memories of those summers in dad’s office kept intruding: the scent of leather and aftershave, and the satisfaction and respect dad had gained from his career as an attorney. I sat for the LSATs.
I entered my first year at UF Law seventeen years after my dad’s graduation. Both of us slaved over tax classes taught by Jack Freeland. But his instruction took; dad has practiced estate and trust tax law for fifty years. My estate planning career didn’t last quite that long; after working in the field for eight years, I moved to California and became a writer. Regardless, we agree on the enduring value of our UF Law education.
— Medea Isphording Bern
Bruce H. Bokor (JD 72), Brian K. Bokor (JD 06) and Amy N. Bokor (JD 06)
UF Law has always been part of my family. My father, Bruce H. Bokor, graduated from UF Law in 1972. After graduation from UF Law, my dad remained committed and involved in the success and future of the law school. As a child, I remember my mother dropping my dad off at the law school many mornings for UF Law board and committee meetings, and my mom and I then went to shop for Gator gear. My dad has always been involved in philanthropic endeavors and has dedicated much of his life to serving important charitable organizations. However, he has never forgotten that UF Law is the foundation for his career. He still carries the leadership skills that he learned while a UF Law student, including his days as the editor-in-chief of the Florida Law Review.
My dad’s appreciation for UF Law made my choice of law schools easy. During my time at UF Law, my dad served as chair of the UF Law Board of Trustees. He would often discuss issues the law school was facing with my fellow law students and me in order to obtain a student’s perspective on an issue. It was always a unique, but pleasant, surprise to occasionally run into my dad in between classes on “my” campus. One of the proudest moments of my life was when my father met me on the graduation stage for UF Law to flip my tassel, the symbolic act that represented that I had successfully graduated from law school.
UF Law also holds a special place for other reasons. I met my wife, Amy N. Bokor (Greenfield) while in law school. After graduation, Amy and I moved to Charlotte, N.C., passed the North Carolina bar exam, and have each practiced for five years. We had our first child, Brennan Kennedy Bokor, in March 2010 and we are hoping that he will follow in his family’s footsteps and be a graduate of the University of Florida as well. We try to make it to Gainesville as often as possible so that he can learn to love the University of Florida as much as we do. Like my father before me, I plan to remain involved with UF Law to help ensure its success for many years in the future.
- Brian K. Bokor
Ralph Artigliere (JD 77) and Adam Artigliere (JD 06)
Ralph Artigliere (JD 77) has been a proud Gator for decades. Attending the University of Florida College of Law after serving in the U.S. Army and working in business, Ralph was 27 years old when he arrived in Gainesville.
His regimented undergraduate years at West Point during the Vietnam War years stood in stark contrast to the academic and personal freedom and diversity of a UF education. Adam’s loyalty to UF began as a child in Gainesville during Ralph’s law school years. Like his father, Adam attended an all-male undergraduate college (Hampden-Sydney) and experienced several years in the business arena before matriculating to law school at Barry University and then transferring to the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Both Adam and Ralph were married and raising two children while in law school. Both relied heavily on their spouses to help keep the family functioning and financially afloat during law school.
Both applied themselves with unabashed and unabated commitment to the study of the law. Both were student research assistants to Prof. Winston Nagan; Ralph was Professor Nagan’s very first student research assistant. Ralph practiced as a civil trial lawyer for 24 years before being appointed circuit judge by Gov. Jeb Bush. Ralph is now “retired” to Blue Ridge, Ga., writing books and legal articles and teaching in the Florida Judicial Colleges and in Florida CLE programs. Adam’s career is transitioning from new lawyer to bar leader as he works as an Associate at The McNair Law Firm in Anderson, S.C., which is about two hours from Blue Ridge: plenty close enough for family fun together.
Ralph and Adam share the view that UF provides the opportunity for an excellent education in the law. Time has not changed that. Both remain proud Gators.
Roger Lambert (JD 75) and Alexis Lambert (JD 04)
My father and I graduated from UF law 28 years and 11 months apart, to the day. Roger Lambert practiced civil and commercial litigation in West Palm Beach for just over three decades before retiring to Gainesville and becoming an adjunct professor at UF Law. After I graduated in 2004, I worked in politics as a fundraiser and served as deputy general counsel to former Attorney General Bill McCollum (JD 68), specializing in sunshine and public records law. I’m currently an attorney for the Senate Reapportionment Committee and an adjunct professor of mass media law at the Florida State University College of Communications.
My father and I have many things in common: a tendency to yell at the television every time Sam Waterston’s character commits reversible error on Law and Order, a categorical refusal to ever accept Pepsi in place of Coca-Cola, a deep and abiding love of football, a complete and utter lack of fashion sense, a weakness for barbecue, and a firmly held belief that an ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure. But there is something uniquely special about the day a father returns to his law school to watch his daughter graduate.
The circle does go ’round, doesn’t it?
- Alexis Lambert (JD 04)