Professor Jeff Davis always planned to be a lawyer; he just wanted to experience a different career first. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physics, Davis worked as an engineer in the defense industry for four years in the 1960s.
While he enjoyed being an engineer, the ‘60s were a turbulent time for the defense industry, and he felt his livelihood was being defined by the national political will. Davis began attending law school at Loyola University’s School of Law in Los Angeles, and by the time he graduated he knew he wanted to teach law, not practice it.
“As a first-year law student, I thought my Contracts professor was a wonderful teacher and I was fascinated,” Davis said. “I felt it was the most exciting educational experience I’d ever had. Then as a third-year law student I taught Legal Writing and Research and Appellate Advocacy. Although I always assumed I would practice law, I found teaching really exciting and I had enormous energy for it.”
Since coming to UF Law in 1981, Davis has written numerous articles for various law journals and received several noteworthy awards, such as the Editor’s Prize from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Business Section of the Florida Bar Association.
However, despite his accomplishments, Davis feels his greatest accomplishment is getting law students excited about the courses he teaches, which are primarily Contracts and Bankruptcy Law.
“Most students expect Contracts to be full of tedious detail, but it’s really about people trying to take advantage of one another — which, to their amazement, is pretty interesting. In bankruptcy, it is always gratifying to see how many students sign up for and enthusiastically participate in the Advanced Bankruptcy course.”