Faculty Profile: Teresa Rambo

Published: November 1st, 2004

Category: News Briefs

Who has the best seats in the Swamp on football game Saturdays?


Unless you long for an air-conditioned box, the answer is, undoubtedly: Teresa “Tracy” Rambo and her husband. You can find them along the sidelines of the student section, chatting with the players, cheering on the Gators, and checking the atmospheric conditions.


Rambo’s husband, Keith, a lightening expert, is the Gators’ official gameday weatherman – it’s his job to call a timeout during hazardous weather. (Remember the Eastern Michigan game?) Professor Rambo works right alongside her husband, checking the computer screens for nearby lightning strikes and monitoring the skies.


“On a cloudy, bad-weather day, we’re sitting there staring at the screens for little white dots, or I’m out looking at the clouds,” Rambo said. “If it comes within six miles of the stadium, we have to stop the game.”


During the week, however, Rambo usually can be found in the Legal Research and Writing office or in front of a class of first-year law students. After several years in California, Rambo returned to her roots as a Florida Gator and chose a career teaching legal writing because she sees those skills as essential to a lawyer’s professional success.


Success is something Rambo knows something about. A Native American, she spent her formative years outside, learning to shoot a bow and arrow, building playhouses, climbing trees, and discovering an appreciation of nature.


After graduating at the top of her high school class and excelling at the University of Florida – where she earned a 4.0 GPA as a Four Year Scholar – Rambo moved to California with her husband and attended the University of Santa Clara Law School on scholarship. She graduated first in her law school class, and joined a prestigious San Francisco firm to work on high-profile environmental cases.


Although Rambo enjoyed her job and believed she was doing good work, she and her husband ultimately decided to return to Florida to raise their family. Rambo says her two sons, Thomas, age 16, and Matthew, 13, are the most important accomplishments of her life – above all else, she says, she is a mother. Her family is her top priority.


Rambo’s pride in her family extends to her law school “family,” and she delights in the successes of the students she teaches. “I love my students,” she says. “I know that sounds corny, but they’re wonderful. I’m hard on them, but they know I love them.”


Rambo combines legal theory and practical skills in her classroom, where she teaches students through lectures, class discussion, and the occasional fencing analogy. That’s right, fencing. Rambo’s third love, just behind her family and the Gators, is a sport of deft maneuvers and high precision – which fits in nicely with a discussion on building the case and attacking the adverse party’s arguments.


“There’s so much more to law than what you get out of the books,” Rambo says. “You really have to develop the full person. I try to teach my students that, too.”


Like her other commitments, Professor Rambo takes her job seriously. She hopes her students will look back fondly on their days at the Levin College of Law. Rambo encourages her students to try their best in all they do, and over the course of a year she helps them develop their research and writing skills – and often a top-notch writing sample to show potential employers.