“It is important for me to work here with our students because I represented a lot of parents like theirs in bankruptcy during the recession and I felt like that was far too limited a scope of reach,” said Jon Perdue, director of Florida A&M’s Legal Scholars program.
Perdue is a 2001 graduate of FAMU. He also received his master’s in 2003, and continued his education at the College of William and Mary-Marshall Wythe Law School in 2006. He was previously a bankruptcy lawyer.
“I’ve been running around campus visiting classes, making sure students understand this is a way that they can be a part of addressing all of their concerns,” Perdue said Tuesday. “From ridiculous stop-and-frisk issues with police officers, to landlord and tenant issues that students on campus have to deal with, and this is a profession that can give you a lot of power.”
He put on an event called “Law Day” at FAMU to give students the opportunity to connect with different representatives. There were 81 institutions with approximately 300 students in attendance at the event.
Victoria Sconiers, a third-year political science student, said the event was helpful. “With talking to different law schools, I learned ways that would make me stand out compared to other applicants and what I would need to do to prepare myself for law school,” she said.
Students were able to network with a variety of law schools that they may have been thinking of attending. She received tips from institutions on how to make herself well known in the legal community, so whenever she applies, they will know her name.
After getting her bachelor’s in political science, Sconiers will continue her education with FAMU’s master’s program in political science then take a year off to study and prepare herself in law school. She plans on attending Florida State University’s College of Law.
“We hope to educate and engage students to get interested in law school,” said Erika Hill, director of admissions and recruitment for FAMU’s College of Law. “To get them the information they need to apply to law school, let them know what the procedures are and that we’re here to help them in the process of preparing for law school and the Law School Admission Test.”
Hill explained that the LSAT is a required exam for law school, similar to the ACT or SAT if someone were to attend any college or university. Students may prepare for the LSAT by taking a prep course provided through a commercial company or having enough discipline to study on their own.
Hill also informed students about the three plus three program, which requires three years of undergrad and three years of law school, so a student’s senior year of college would be their first year of law school.
“To qualify for that you would have to start the program the second semester of your freshman year, but we are currently in the process of revamping the program along with the curriculum to make sure that students are well prepared,” said Hill.
Perdue said any student trying to pursue a career in law should start early and interact with different people. He urged students to know that law schools are on their side, and they want them to be a part of their profession. All it takes is a step into the right direction, he said.