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November 15, 2013
CARA FRASER

CARA FRASER, a third-year University of Florida Levin College of Law student, grooms a horse October 12 at Mill Creek Farm for Retired Horses. UF Law students perform periodic community service in and around Gainesville.

Service is built into the UF Law experience

University of Florida law students made the most of a recent Saturday by participating in an ongoing community service volunteer effort that included a visit to a farm for retired horses to groom and check their health.

The program for all classes at UF Law is an extension of a community service day for first-year students that Dean Robert Jerry began when he came to the college a decade ago. First-year UF Law students engage in community service under the auspices of Introduction to Law School and the Profession. Between the two programs, UF Law students have performed 1,165 hours of community service. That figure does not include time spent volunteering by individual students and by law student organizations.

Jerry said community service is good for the community, good for the image of the law school, and also helps to build a community within the college of law itself.

“When students spend three hours together painting a Habitat for Humanity house, they get to know each other very well, very quickly,” Jerry said. “It creates friendships and bonding and helps create a sense of community within the college.”

The horse farm is among several locations that UF Law students perform community service. Others include the Children’s Home Society, the Alachua County Humane Society, and Habitat for Humanity.

The next community service day is set for November 16 when law students will team up to work on a house for the Alachua Habitat for Humanity.

During a recent service day, nine UF Law students groomed the horses and donkeys of Mill Creek Farm for Retired Horses. It’s a weekly ritual to keep the retired service animals healthy and happy at the sprawling 335-acre farm. Students can sign up and log hours to earn a community service certificate.

Cara Fraser, a third-year law student, expressed hope that the more robust version of community service program that she is spearheading lives on at UF Law.

“One of the goals in our law school is to turn us into leaders in our community,” Fraser said. “Hopefully, this continues 20, 30 years, at least.”

[Revised: 03-02-2014]