Jenna Gushue first fell in love with the blue-green waters off Florida's coastline as a child deep-sea fishing with her family and friends over summer breaks. The 25-year-old law student is from Hauppauge, NY but was an annual snowbird to the Sunshine State. Later, she spent four years in Tampa, earning her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Government and World Affairs with a minor in Law & Justice at the University of Tampa.
She only considered three cities when applying to law school, but Miami Law was always her dream choice.
"After I finished my undergraduate degree, I had fallen in love with Florida," said the Long Island native and Emmanuelle Chriqui lookalike. "Miami was the most logical choice and I knew Miami Law to be the best school in South Florida."
Miami offered Gushue more opportunity than she had imagined. At the end of her 2L year, she opted into the joint degree program, earning a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Ocean and Coastal Law at this month's commencement.
"I always loved the marine sciences but it wasn't until I came to law school here that I realize that I could incorporate that into a career in law," Gushue said. "I found myself taking courses that were based on my interest in marine science, and marine life generally. By the time I reached my 3L year, I had already taken all of the courses geared toward the Masters degree. It just made sense that my interests led me to pursue this degree."
She was enticed by the stature of Miami Law's superstar faculty – especially Law of the Seas Professor Bernard Oxman, International Law Professor Markus Wagner, and Visiting Professor Daniel Suman, who holds dual appointments at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Miami Law.
"Jenna is a remarkable student: bright, curious, and conscientious," said Professor Oxman. "It was a delight to have her in class." In addition to her classes, she was on the University of Miami Business Law Review, won a CALI Excellence for the Future Award in International Law, Tax Section of the Bar, J.D. Scholarship recipient for the 2012-2013 academic year, and was Vice Admiral of the Maritime Law Society. Gushue was also a member of the International Law Society, the Entertainment & Sports Law Society, the American Bar Association Law Student Division, the Law Student Division of the Florida Bar, and a Kaplan Legal Training Representative.
"Jenna's ability to understand difficult and complex concepts in my international law class made her stand out early on and I was therefore happy to supervise a paper she wrote, which equally showed her impressive analytical skills," said Professor Markus Wagner.
Gushue also was a United Kingdom Legal Intern at Quadrant Chambers in London, interned for Third District Court of Appeal Judge Leslie Rothenberg and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. She has been clerking at the maritime law firm of Foreman Friedman and will become an associate there upon graduation.
When Gushue needs to step away from studying for a few minutes, she picks up her djembe, a small African hand drum, and flows with the beat, takes a stretch into her favorite standing bow yoga pose, or takes her beloved Siberian Husky, Henry, for a walk. An avid animal lover since childhood, Gushue always dressed as some kind of animal at Halloween.
With Gushue's schedule, it is not surprising to learn that if she could have a superpower, it would be the power to slow down time.