As any Legal Studies student at NSU will attest, finding the right study partner or group can be an invaluable resource. Sometimes, those bonds forged while spending long nights in the dorm or library continue past Commencement to form lasting friendships.
Such is the case with Sandra Brown (B.S. '91) and Shira Thomas (B.S. '91). Brown and Thomas met at an on-campus housing event and became friends through their involvement in the same extra-curricular activities and their legal studies major. This included taking afternoon breaks from class or on-campus work study to chat at the local IHOP on University Drive. Since then, Brown and Thomas “have been each other’s support system in life and law."
Brown and Thomas enjoyed NSU for the personal nature of its classes and family atmosphere. “You knew your professors, you knew the administration…you were able to form a bond with the university," says Thomas. Brown has visited the campus on several occasions and agrees; “NSU hasn’t lost that feeling of a community."
Both agree that NSU’s Legal Studies program fit their learning styles, prepared them well for law school (Brown and Thomas attended Florida State University College of Law together), and that “learning was never a painful process”.
Today, Sandra Brown works in Atlanta at the Law Offices of Sandra L. Brown, P.C., specializing in entertainment law, entertainment contracts, music copyright, music publishing, and corporate law. Her esteemed clientele include Platinum selling recording artist Akon, international recording artists in countries, such as Jamaica, and other songwriters and producers who have created hit songs for American Idol rock star Chris Daughtry, R&B recording artist Ciara, and Hip Hop star T.I.
She also acts as General Counsel to various companies supervising not just music related legal issues, but overseeing all legal matters, such as corporate law, trademark uses, and civil litigation. Recently, Brown was in Los Angeles attending the Grammy Awards.
Shira Thomas serves as Deputy General Counsel at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and handles transactional matters. As second in command to the General Counsel, Thomas serves to support the university and its students, faculty and staff. While never a “typical day," her work includes matters involving: employment, student and alumni affairs, information technology, sponsored research, intellectual property, purchasing, and construction bids.
Brown and Thomas concur that they could “never fully retire," and see themselves teaching at the collegiate level after their time in the legal profession comes to an end. Thomas also has aspirations of entering the mediation field. While both enjoy their current success and look forward to the future, Brown states “I enjoyed every day of my college experience, my classes, my activities and my friends.”
Despite their busy lives, Brown and Thomas find time to vacation together annually and continue to be each other’s source of support. Both hope one day to return to NSU together for a campus visit…and perhaps one more trip to IHOP for apple crepes.