As anyone who knows me, even slightly, will attest, I have never been a “school spirit” kind of person. No “rah rah, go team, go” for me. It’s just not who I am. When I decided to pursue my doctorate degree in psychology, I applied to 10 schools and I was accepted for admission to 5: Florida State University, The University of Georgia, The University of North Carolina, The University of Virginia, and The University of Florida. For many reasons, I decided to earn my Ph. D. at FSU, thereby declining the 4 other schools’ offers. Having grown up in Fort Myers, Florida, many of my high school friends attended college (but not graduate school) at the University of Florida. I have never been fond of the orange and blue color combination (or orange, by itself) and garnet just happens to be my birth stone, so the whole “Go Gators” thing is rather tiresome to me, to put it mildly. All of this being said, it occurred to me recently that, despite my absence of fondness for all things Gator, my 5 favorite lawyers have one thing in common: They are Gators! Two of them attended the University of Florida as undergraduates, two attended college elsewhere but got their law degree at UF, and one of them, get ready for it, is a “Double Gator,” meaning he graduated from UF as both an undergraduate and a lawyer! Interestingly, I have written about all of these wonderful attorneys in prior posts, but only recently did I realize their commonality was that school in Gainesville I declined to attend. The names of my 5 favorite attorneys, in order of how long I have known them, are: Pat Geraghty, Kim Hart, Buddy Schulz, Suzanne Dycus, and Charles Morehead. What a funny coincidence and one worth noting! Life has a way of pointing things out sometime and this realization was one of those times for me.
Melissa came to this realization not that long ago, and she had to admit the University of Florida must not be all bad. It is not that she is a “rah rah” Seminole fan, instead, it is only an ironic realization that these 5 attorneys, as well as others who are double or single Gators, have this connection. We laughed about it at the time, and have since. The truth is that neither of us are big sports fans, so the sports oriented school rivalries are of little importance to us. Clearly, it is not trivial to everyone; some of these 5 attorneys have season football and basketball tickets, some are “bull gators” and we have clients whose school spirit includes such things as orange and blue office chairs, rooms decorated in all orange/blue; one client even had a orange/blue van in which he delighted driving Melissa from the courthouse to her hotel. So, it is with fondness for these 5 attorneys and many other Gators with whom we have worked that we reflect on this realization. And, as we write this, we are planning our participation at the annual Florida Bar Advanced Trial Advocacy program hosted by the terrific staff at the University of Florida Law School.