Wyndel G. Darville is a lawyer with a focus on criminal law located in Sarasota, Florida. Growing up in a town called Belle Glade in South Florida, Wyndel would go on to graduate high school and then receive a Political Science degree from Palm Beach Atlantic College.
As application season for law school starts creeping up, applying might seem like a daunting task for most future lawyers hoping to get into their dream school. However, Wyndel has gone through the process and has overcome the many emotions that come from applying to law school: fear, excitement, stress and more. I was fortunate to be able to ask Wyndel about the application process and the steps that he took to become the lawyer he is today.
Her Campus (HC): Before going to law school, what did you do?
Wyndel G. Darville (WD): After attending Palm Beach Atlantic College and receiving a degree in Political Science, I would go on to teach high school for a year, and then I decided that I wanted to go to law school. I attended Southern University Law School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and graduated in 1996. I was licensed to practice in Louisiana in 1996 and Florida in 1997.
HC: What area of law do you practice?
WD: I have been in criminal law for most of my career. I started as a prosecutor in Sarasota, Florida in 1996 and then I was a Judge Advocate for the Army Reserve until 9/11/01. After that fateful day, I decided to transition into the full-time active-duty JAG Corp, where I spent three years assigned to the First Cavalry Division out of Ft. Hoot, Texas, with a deployment to Iraq as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. That was the most fulfilling law I have ever practiced alongside warfighters. Presently, I have a private practice in Sarasota where I handle mostly criminal and family law cases.
HC: What was your biggest hurdle and what advice would you give to students looking toward applying and going to law school?
WD: Starting with the advice, I would not commit to a particular career trek from the start. Your eyes will become open to so many areas. It would be good to experience one or two internships before committing to litigation, contracts, criminal law, or any other field. I would also focus on the fundamentals of law school like reading, organizing, analyzing and communicating information to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. If you are not familiar with the art of rhetoric, become familiar with it and what it means. My biggest struggle in law school was dealing with the stress. I am not sure if it is the same today, but when I was in school, your grade would rest with one writing exam. Usually, the exams took several weeks to prepare for, and your grade came down to four hours.
HC: Do you have any tips for students going into law school?
WD: Law school will be the best three years of your life if you are prepared. Grades and LSAT scores are paramount if you want to go to the best schools. Scholarships are competitive, so make sure you have a plan for how you intend on paying for your education. Outside of that, focus on the fundamentals of reading and writing, a few internships and extracurriculars would not hurt to separate you from the pool of applicants.
HC: Lastly, what inspired you to go to law school?
WD: My desire to help people brought me to law school. I have always viewed myself as a champion for people that did not have a voice. I have been practicing for over 20 years now, and I have seen improvements in diversity, but the legal system still lacks in providing citizens with qualified affordable legal representation. It is sad that many times, the winner of a case is determined by which side can throw the most money at it. We have a long way to go in that respect.