Student presents with judge at Tampa Bay Lawyers Guild’s Law Day


(L-R): Judge Edward C. LaRose, Mary Gantert and Dean Kent of Trenam Law. Photo courtesy Jesuit High School.

Second-year Stetson Law student Mary Gantert recently joined Judge Edward C. LaRose to address Jesuit High School students in Tampa on the topic of the Fourteenth Amendment during the annual Tampa Bay Lawyers Guild’s Law Day on March 30.

In addition to explaining the Fourteenth Amendment, Gantert and Judge LaRose answered general law questions, questions about law school, and discussed balancing law school and real life, balancing practice and real life, and how to plan for law school.

“It’s a wonderful program, and I’m so glad I got to participate,” said Gantert, who works twice weekly for Judge LaRose at the Second District Court of Appeal.

Through the externship, Gantert is assigned specific cases, and reads and summarizes the records and the parties’ briefs from the lower courts to help prepare the judges for oral arguments.

When parties waive their oral arguments, Gantert has an opportunity to research and write memorandum on the law suggesting answers to the issue the parties are arguing.  Then, when the panel of three judges gather at the “oral arguments waived” panel, Gantert presents to the judges on the issue and what she believes the answer to the issue should be.

“It is incredible to present before the judges. At first it was a little nerve-wracking, but the judges are very encouraging. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I am helping to shape the law every day.”

Gantert applied to the clinics and externships program through Stetson Law this semester. She worked with Professor Lance Long, who helped her decide on the best match.

“I was placed with Judge LaRose and he has been an incredible mentor,” said Gantert.