Working with the Student Government on campus, Dana has a lot os responsiblities that directly involve UNF. She has surrounded herself with the work that she hopes to pursue in the future, and we are glad to have her representing UNF as she does so!
Name: Dana Baker
Major: Political Science: Concentration- Public Law
Minor: Writing Studies and Economics
Career Goals: To be an attorney
HC:Why did you choose your major /minor?
DB: I choose a Political Science major because it offered a wider selection of legal related courses. I choose Writing Studies because I wanted to increase my writing skill, which is very important for law school, and Economics because I really enjoy that particular subject.
HC: How are you active on the UNF campus?
DB: I’m President of Phi Alpha Delta, which is an international law fraternity for both Pre-Law and Law students. I’m also Attorney General for UNF’s Student Government. My responsibilities as Attorney General is to serve as lead prosecutor for all Student Government matters, to ensure the Student Government Constitution is upheld, to offer legal advise to any Student Government member, and to offer any legal interpretation of UNF’s Constitution and Statues.
HC:Who do you look up to?
DB: I owe everything to my good friend Ben Jaeger. He was an officer for Phi Alpha Delta when I first joined UNF and was the officer in charge over my first trip with PAD. During our drive to Gainesville to tour UF’s College of Law, he told me about the great opportunities within PAD and got me excited to run for an officer position during the next election. My first position was Chapter Marshall and Ben was the new President. I worked hard and became more involved with the Chapter. When Ben wanted to step down to be more involved in Student Government, I decided to run for the President position and won. As for Student Government, Ben is also responsible for my involvement. Ben was already an Associate Justice when I met him and then became Deputy Chief Justice under Daniel Powers. He told me to file an application for the Associate Justice position and after a few interviews; I was appointed by President Joseph Turner and then confirmed by the Senate. Just like with PAD, I became really involved with the Judicial Branch. My first semester on the branch was actually the busiest the branch had ever been. Compared to the few cases the branch hears during an average semester, we heard close to 10 Judicial Reviews and Complaints. After the semester, the Chief Justice at the time was given a great opportunity to intern with the police department he would like to work for after college, and Ben was voted in as the new Chief Justice. As Chief Justice, he’s responsible for appointing his Deputy Chief Justice, and because we already had experience working together and he knew what my work ethic was like, he appointed me as the Deputy Chief Justice. However, I wasn’t Deputy Chief long before I applied for the recently vacated Attorney General position. After a grueling interview process I was appointed once more by Joseph Turner but for the Attorney General position this time. I go before UNF’s Government Oversight Committee and Senate for confirmation on Monday, February 23, 2015. By the end of everything, I will owe Ben my career.
HC:What are your responsibilities as President of Phi Alpha Delta?
DB: As President of Phi Alpha Delta, my main priority is to help UNF’s Pre-Law Students. I help students create a timeline for the law school application process, and also help then step by step through the process. I hold personal statement workshops where we ask Stetson’s Admission Director, Ms. Laura Zuppo, to come and help students write their statements. I also help students prep for their LSAT with mock LSATs and workshops where we work on the individual questions. I bring in guest speakers to give their accounts on what its like to be a lawyer and to offer guidance to our members. I also, meet with UNF students to share what great classes and opportunities Professor Edward’s Pre-Law Program has to offer. Unfortunately, it seems that UNF has a lot of students who are interested in law but aren’t aware of the opportunities our campus has to offer, so I try to inform as many students as I can. One thing I would love for our fraternity to create is a mentor program where students can meet one on one with lawyers and shadow them throughout their day. Mentorship is very vital in the legal profession and it’s never too early to start making those connections.
HC: What are your responsibilities as Attorney General of Student Government?
DB: As Attorney General my main focus is to ensure UNF’s Student Government upholds its integrity. Thankfully, this is actually a lot easier than it seems it would be. UNF has one of the most autonomous student governments in America and we have some great Student Government members. These individuals are hardworking, focused and take their positions very serious, which make my position very easy. However, I’m still getting a great experience working with these people, which will help my future endeavors in law school and as an attorney.
HC: What do you see yourself doing in the near future?
DB: My future career goals are to attend UF’s College of Law to ultimately become an attorney. I want to practice on the civil side of law, particularly wrongful death and liability. When I was young my mother was shot and the lawyers on our case helped my dad through the whole process. My dad, being a high school dropout was out of his league when it came to the lawsuit and if it wasn’t for our attorneys, Pajic &Pajic, I’m not sure how my dad would have done. It was during this time I realized just how important a good attorney is and just how much help they can offer to the community. If I’m dreaming big, I would love to own my own firm before I turn 40, but that takes a lot of hard work and determination.