Practical Law and AP Government Students Learn from Individuals in the Field

For the past few weeks, Mrs. Sesi’s Practical Law and AP Government classes have been fortunate to hear from several individuals in the FJA community about their real world experiences in the field of law. At the beginning of February, students met virtually with state appellate judge and FJA parent Jonathan Tukel, who compared state vs federal courts, in particular highlighting the difference in how judges are elected at the state level, but appointed at the federal level. He helped students understand more about the structure of jurisdiction of each level of courts in the US, particularly at the state level. He also discussed his own experiences and key cases he’s been a part of. 

The following week, students met with FJA parent Evan Caminker, Dean Emeritus and Branch Rickey Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. Professor Caminker shared stories from his experiences as a US Circuit Court and US Supreme Court clerk, particularly his time at the Supreme Court clerking for Justice William Brennan. He helped students understand more about the court system and how cases get to the Supreme Court, along with some anecdotes and “behind the scenes” information and how the justices work. 

Last week, students met with a panel of attorneys from various backgrounds to learn about different fields of law, what to expect in law school, and what some key experiences have been like for each panelist. Each panelist had a connection to a staff/faculty member at FJA.

A huge thanks to the following guests who took part:

Aviva Surugeon-(sister of FJA Admissions Director Arielle Endelman)-a civil litigator for Nixon Peabody in Chicago, IL who represents large corporations in various business related disputes and lawsuits

Simon Zagata-(brother of FJA faculty Leroy Zagata)-a disability rights attorney at Disability RIghts, MI in Lansing

Adam Strong-(friend of FJA faculty Leroy Zagata)-a criminal prosecutor for Eaton County, MI

John Allen-(brother in law of FJA faculty Melane Sesi)-a civil litigator in for Goldberg Segalla in St Louis, MO who focuses his practice on defending employers and their insurers in a wide variety of workers’ compensation claims and defending businesses in various lawsuits

Elliot Crowder-(friend of FJA faculty Melanie Sesi)-an attorney at Stevenson & Bullock, P.L.C. in Southfield, MI who focuses on insolvency law and issues related to bankruptcy.

Paul Klein-(friend of FJA faculty Melanie Sesi)-Deputy General Counsel for Stifel Financial Corp., an international investment brokerage firm with roots in St. Louis, MO with a focus on employment law.

All participants, which included panelists, faculty, and students, enjoyed the hour long Q&A session and walked away with new knowledge and understanding.