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Ben Gibson: A Leader for His Time
by Mahsa Khalilifar
Now attending Florida State University College of Law, Gibson is definitely tackling challenges, especially as his school's student bar association president. He enjoys it all, though; his passion for the subject was obvious as he described his outlook on the legal system:
"I think it's remarkable that our founders chose to create a nation and a society that would adhere to the rule of law. Justice and the idea that no man is above the law is a cornerstone of what we hold dear in America. The rule of law is essential to an enduring society, and the fact that we have decided as a country to settle our disputes not on the streets but in the courtroom is what separates us from many other nations...An understanding of law, I believe, therefore, is essential to an understanding of America and who we are as a nation," he said.
Last year, Gibson took part in a graduate internship program with the Florida House of Representatives.
"I worked with the Economic Expansion and Infrastructure Council and performed staff analyses on numerous pieces of legislation," he explained.
The internship also paid for an entire year's worth of law school tuition, and Gibson said it provided a great hourly wage, which made the program even "more attractive."
Gibson is also the vice chair for student bar associations within the ABA Law Student Division.
"In this capacity, I serve as the representative of the student body presidents at all 196 ABA-accredited law schools. These presidents, in turn, represent all 150,000-plus law students in the country," he said. "My job is to serve as a resource for all SBA presidents and to help facilitate communication, programming, and idea sharing amongst the presidents of America's law schools."
Leaning toward real estate law, Gibson is looking forward to what a future in that field will entail.
"Real estate in many ways drives the economy of Florida, and I've always loved the idea of helping to develop a project and improving a piece of land for others to enjoy. [The real estate field also] has an entrepreneurship aspect to it, which I really enjoy," he said.
Gibson stressed the importance of being involved in school activities while at law school:
"Getting involved in student organizations is one of the best things you can do during law school. Law school organizations allow you to network with other students who share the same passions and ideas as you do. Serving as a leader of a law student organization also helps you to develop leadership skills you will call on as an attorney."
Although it is not easy to budget time between his position with the student bar association and his law school work, Gibson is determined to get what needs to be done done.
"At times it is a juggle, but I would have it no other way. You have got to love what you do, which I do, or else you won't be able to deal with the late nights and ups and downs of being a leader," he explained. "Time management and discipline [are] key and making sure that you take care of yourself...have a real balance in all areas of life—spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially."
Even though Gibson has had a busy schedule, he recommends that current fellow students and upcoming students cherish their law school years despite their hectic schedules.
"Law school goes by incredibly fast, but you, as law students, have a great opportunity in front of you during this time in your life," Gibson said. "Don't hesitate to jump right in and take plenty of risks. Make the most of the opportunity that is laid before you. I guarantee when you look back on your law school career you won't regret it."
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