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Growing in the Field

[Stetson University College of Law Spring 2018 Commencement, May 19]

Vanessa Moore, third-year graduating student at Stetson Law: “We need smart people working on [environmental] issues, and I would like to be one of them.”

After graduating in May, Vanessa Moore, a third-year student at Stetson Law, plans to launch her legal career  in Washington, D.C., where she will join the Attorney General’s Honors Program.

Moore will work in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

“That’s what I came here to do, to pursue environmental law,” said Moore, a student in Stetson’s environmental law concentration program. “I thought it was such an important area.”

Moore hasn’t always been interested in environmental issues or conservation. Growing up in Mobile, Alabama, she took having a clean environment for granted, and she didn’t start to question her attitudes until her first year of college, when her roommate chastised Moore for throwing recyclable items into the trash in their dorm room.

Moore’s interest in environmental work began to flourish after college. While working in corporate communications and marketing at Raymond James Financial in Tampa, Florida, Moore immersed herself in books, news articles and documentaries related to ecological concerns, and realized the importance of environmental conservation.

“We need smart people working on these issues, and I would like to be one of them,” Moore said.

Seven years after graduating from college, Moore decided it was time to go back to school, and headed to law school at Stetson in Gulfport, Florida.

“I wanted a new challenge from a professional standpoint, and to work on issues that are meaningful and important,” Moore explained. “I’ve loved learning new things on a daily basis since I’ve been in law school. That was one of the things that drove me to a new career path, because I felt there were so many more opportunities for me to learn and grow.”

During her time at Stetson Law, Moore has served on Stetson’s national environmental law moot court competition team. In addition, she was vice president for the Environmental Law Society, along with being an articles and symposia editor on the Stetson Law Review, a teaching assistant for three research and writing courses, and a fellow with the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy.

For good measure, Moore also has interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa and for Judge Susan Bucklew (senior U.S. District judge for the Middle District of Florida), as well as at the Center for Biological Diversity. In addition, she completed a clinic with the St. Petersburg City Attorney’s Office and a summer internship with a private law firm.

“I got a really great experience here with the clinical education department,” Moore commented. “Those were some of my favorite experiences during law school because I got to see so many different forms of practice.”

Graduating from Stetson, Moore concluded, will be bittersweet.

“I am looking forward to moving ahead and starting to practice, since that’s obviously what I came here to do,” Moore said. “However, I’m also really going to miss law school. I’ll miss the campus, the students and the professors at Stetson. Everyone here is so nice. It’ll be sad but also exciting.”

-Bianca Lopez