John Germany Pic
John F. Germany Jr.
UNF Degree: B.A. – ’81
Employment: Deputy General Counsel, Government Operations and Commercial Law Department, City of Jacksonville

Smaller classes key to Germany’s legal career

 It’s not difficult to understand why John Germany found UNF such a drastic change from another university he attended.

Germany, who is a deputy general counsel for the City of Jacksonville, spent three years at the University of Florida. “I can remember one class which literally had 350 students. Another class had a live teacher if you went to the first class at 8 a.m. If you attended any other class that day you watched a videotape of that teacher.”

 

Germany got married, had a child and needed to return to Jacksonville to find a job and attend school part time. “When I came to UNF, there were 15 students in the class. It was like heaven. You could actually engage in a real discussion and get to know the professor.”

 

That opportunity for individualized attention allowed Germany to get to know several professors, including Allen Tilley. “Those faculty relationships inspired me to want to pursue graduate work in literature, but the economic demands of family life required me to get a full-time job after graduation and later led to the decision to attend law school.”

 

He graduated from UNF in 1981 with a degree in literature. After working as a technical writer and a stockbroker, he enrolled at the University Florida College of Law. He graduated in 1989 with honors and was admitted to the Florida Bar the same year.

 

Germany worked for Kirschner, Main, Graham, Tanner & Demont P.A., which eventually merged with international law firm Holland & Knight LLP, where he was a partner. In 2002, Germany had an opportunity to become part of the city’s legal team. “When I met the people here I knew I wanted to work here. I was impressed with the many outstanding lawyers on the staff, many of whom were former partners in major law firms.”

 

The clients of the General Counsel’s Office go well beyond the Mayor and City Council. Germany and the other 39 attorneys in the office serve the legal needs of the Duval County School Board, JEA, Jacksonville Seaport, Jacksonville Aviation Authority, Jacksonville Housing Authority, Clerk of the Court, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and numerous city boards and commissions.

 

One of Germany’s clients is the Duval County Research and Development Authority, which has handled the development of the First Coast Technology Park adjacent to the UNF campus.

 

“I have enjoyed working with President Delaney and Earle Traynham and maintaining my connection with UNF.” Traynham, the former dean of the Coggin College of Business, is the Executive Director of the Research and Development Authority.

 

When not working for the city, Germany helps his wife, Janet, with her historic renovation business. The two continue to enjoy the UNF campus when they occasionally take walks on the nature trails.

 

“What a great place to get a college education. Students have everything from nature trails to great entertainment and shopping,” he said referring to the nearby St. Johns Town Center. The campus has certainly changed since Germany was a student, but he’s glad it still maintains its emphasis on individualized attention.