WMU-Cooley Law School Hosts “The Art of Communication” Panel Discussion
On Feb. 1, WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus held a panel discussion, “The Art of Communication,” that featured local legal professionals. The panelists spoke to WMU-Cooley law students about what attorneys look for in resumes and interviews, and provided advice on searching for a job.
Panelists included Bernard Walsh, founder and president of the Manasota Trial Lawyers Board; Santo Steven BiFulco, physician and personal injury case expert; John Fox, executive director of Policyholders of Florida; Daniel Murphy, associate at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh; Kevin Gallagher, partner at Gallagher & Hagopian; and David Hall, attorney at Gallagher & Hagopian.
Gallagher and Walsh, who have practiced law in Florida for over 20 years, spoke about what they look for in new attorneys and provided career advice to over 60 students who attended the discussion.
“When interviewing attorneys, I look at if the candidate has researched the firm,” said Gallagher. “When you are networking with lawyers, you should also be on your best behavior. Attorneys talk and your name is all you have.”
“In your career, if something doesn't feel right in your gut, act on it,” said Walsh. “It could make a difference.”
In addition to his role at the Manasota Trial Lawyers Board, Walsh is a board member of the Florida Justice Association, and The Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. He is an active member of the Manatee and Sarasota Sheriff's Advisory Board, the Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council and the One Hundred Club for Law Enforcement. Recently, The National Trial Lawyers Association appointed Walsh as an Executive Committee - Top 100 Trial Lawyer.
Dr. BiFulco, who works closely with Walsh in the area of personal injury, spoke to students about his medical practice and the correlation it has with the legal profession. BiFulco is certified in interventional pain management and radio-frequency and intra-discal therapies and is licensed by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. BiFulco’s professional career includes decades of clinical practice treating patients with all manners of chronic and catastrophic injuries and illnesses.
Gallagher practices personal injury law and is a member of the Superior Lawyers of America, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, The Florida Bar, and more. He has been recognized as an elite litigator for his achievements and abilities in obtaining verdicts. He is a WMU-Cooley Law School alumnus (1995) and was a member of the school’s Law Review.
Murphy, a 2015 graduate of WMU-Cooley Law School, spoke about his recent experience entering the job market as a new graduate. “When searching for a job, keep it simple. The market is tough,” said Murphy. “You need to network and get involved in the local bar association and federal justice associations. You can make invaluable connections with attorneys and pick their brains.”
In addition to being an attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh, Murphy is actively involved in the Florida Justice Association, Manasota Trial Lawyers Board, and Sarasota County Bar Association.
Hall, a civil trial lawyer, joined Gallagher & Hagopian 10 years ago. He is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Florida Justice Association, The Florida Bar, and more. He also is a WMU-Cooley Law School alumnus (2002).
Fox previously was the statewide Deputy Finance Director for the 2012 merit campaigns of Florida Supreme Court justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince. Fox is also a member of the West Florida Fund Development of Florida Justice Association.
About Western Michigan University Cooley Law School: WMU-Cooley Law School resulted from the 2014 affiliation that combined WMU's status as a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and WMU-Cooley Law School operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.