Federal Judges Visit FSU Law

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, FSU Law had the honor of hosting Judge Stephanie Thacker, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. During her visit, Judge Thacker attended Judge Lewis’s Evidence class before speaking to student co-curricular members during a special lunchtime event. Judge Thacker spoke about the collegial environment at the Fourth Circuit and emphasized the importance of always being respectful toward colleagues. She told students that the Fourth Circuit court is not only extremely collegial but is also one of the most efficient appellate courts in the country, with an average of about four months between the end of arguments and publishing opinions. Additionally, Judge Thacker offered students advice regarding applying for clerkships and noted that she is the only one to review applicants’ resumes, handpicking her clerks one year in advance. Judge Thacker also met with faculty members of the Judicial Clerkship Committee and ended the day over tea with students from the Women’s Law Symposium. 

In March 2023, we hosted the Honorable Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. While on campus, Judge Mizelle attended Professor David Landau’s Constitutional Law I class and met with different groups of law students. During her lunch with students, Judge Mizelle spoke extensively about her experiences clerking for a U.S. Supreme Court justice and federal judges, including the the skills and mentoring she received; gave advice on post-graduate employment searches; provided tips on how to be successful during the first years after law school; and answered a variety of student questions. 

On Thursday, February 23, 2023, FSU Law hosted the Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton during a Raising the Bar: Professionalism+ Program lunch event. Judge Sutton is chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Florida Supreme Court Justice Jamie Grosshans introduced Judge Sutton, who then presented “Who Decides? States as Laboratories of Constitutional Experimentation,” a discussion on how American federalism allows the states to serve as laboratories of innovation for protecting individual liberty, property rights, and structural guarantees. Judge Sutton engaged students in the conversation, encouraging them to ask questions and participate. 

The Honorable Stephanie Thacker talks to students over lunch

The Honorable Stephanie Thacker talks to students over lunch.

The Honorable Kathryn Kimball Mizelle talks to Professor Landau's Constitutional Law I class.

The Honorable Kathryn Kimball Mizelle talks to Professor David Landau's Constitutional Law I class.

Federal Judge Jeffrey Sutton addresses packed audience

The Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton speaks to students at lunch event.


On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, we hosted the Honorable Wendy Berger (’93), of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. During her visit to campus, Judge Berger met with students for coffee and lunch, and with faculty members on our Judicial Clerkship Committee. She also participated in Professor Chuck Ehrhardt’s Evidence class, where she made remarks on the value of taking a course in evidence and answered questions. During her visit, Judge Berger talked to students about a wide variety of topics, including the importance of professionalism and being kind, the application of Daubert in federal court, taking career risks, her career path, and characteristics judges look for when interviewing clerkship applicants. During her lunch remarks, Judge Berger commented about reputation being the single most important asset for a lawyer. 

In November 2022, we were honored to host Judge T. Kent Wetherell II (’95), of the United States Court for the Northern District of Florida. Judge Wetherell met with students and faculty members and attended Professor Rob Atkinson’s Property class. His sessions with students included lunch remarks with the student body, where Judge Wetherell provided career advice and insight into what he looks for when hiring law clerks. The interactive lunch also included opportunities for students to ask questions. 

We are grateful that these judges spent so much time with our students and imparted valuable wisdom and advice!

Judge Wendy Berger talks to students during a coffee session hosted by the Career Services Office and Women's Law Symposium.

Judge Wetherell speaks to a packed room of students during lunch.