Mackie Taranto

Taranto photo
3rd Year
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Charlotte, North Carolina
Area of Interest
Naval justice, environmental law, public interest law, international law

Why did you choose the College of Law?
When I was calling law school admissions offices back in my junior year of undergrad, before knowing anything about me, the Office of Admissions treated me like a human being who could add value to the community, which wasn’t the feeling I got from other law schools. FSU was also the only school that had professors and administrators text or email me to offer help with the law school transition, which was super important to me as a first-generation law student. You will not be able to find a more wonderful group of faculty, staff, or students at any other law school.

What do you feel is unique about Tallahassee and/or the College of Law?
The environment that the people create. If you need help with a subject or need advice on anything law school related, multiple people will jump in and help you out. We are graded against each other, yes, but we have created and sustain such an open, helpful, and familial environment. We all get along and work together to improve everyone’s law school experience; it is not "everyone for themselves" like other law schools.

How have you interacted with our alumni network?
We have such a generous and expansive alumni network! I have reached out to alumni who are currently Navy JAGs for advice and guidance on how to achieve my dream job. So many attorneys in Florida are FSU alumni, so it is always a great talking point in interviews that allows you to connect with a potential employer.

Which professor has been particularly helpful to you during your time at the College of Law?
There are just so many for all kinds of reasons! Professor Sevier with his energy, care for his students, and compassion really made my first semester during COVID special. Dean Bayern went way beyond the extra mile to help us, both as a professor and as a dean, which really made the year so much better. Professors Cahill, Lee, and Seidenfeld were always friendly during office hours and always available, which helped us establish personal connections, even if it was mostly over Zoom.

What did you do during your 1L summer?
I lived my dream over the summer! I worked for the U.S. Navy JAG Corps aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville and was a TA for FSU Law’s Juris Master Program.