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
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
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