June 27, 2019
College students thinking about pursuing a legal career are making indelible memories at Florida State University’s award-winning Donald J. Weidner Summer for Undergraduates Program at the College of Law.
About 60 undergraduate students from across the nation are enrolled in the program — the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation — and they are gaining valuable lessons about what it takes to become an attorney.
Karoline Barkley, an FSU senior who’s considering going to law school, said she was inspired by some powerful advice from Leon County Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson.
“She emphasized that you need to consider why you want to go to law school because if you’re in it for the money, then you should reconsider a legal career,” Barkley said. “Judge Ashenafi Richardson said if you’re here to help people, that’s a good reason. That advice makes me feel good because it’s why I’m here, and I can see I’m not just a young, naïve idealist. She reaffirmed why I want to be here, and that was encouraging.”
Students have experienced positive revelations like that ever since the Summer for Undergraduates Program was created in 1992 by Donald Weidner, then the dean of the College of Law. Since its inception, more than 1,300 students have participated. The program was renamed in Weidner’s honor when he retired in 2016.