Beverly Meyers is a member of the adjunct faculty in JFK University’s Legal Studies Program. Ms. Meyers has been practicing law for over 33 years. She began her distinguished legal career as a Deputy City Attorney and worked her way up to a Deputy Attorney General, where she practiced for the bulk of her career. She recently retired from her day job, and is joining forces with Lisa Hutton, the Legal Studies Program Chair, to revamp the legal writing portion of the Legal Studies curriculum.
Q: Besides teaching here at JFKU, what hobbies and special interests are you pursuing now that you are retired?
In terms of hobbies, I am an avid tennis player, and also enjoy two-step, swing, and salsa dancing.” I spend my mornings, exercising; usually playing tennis, cycling or practicing yoga.” In the afternoons, I prepare for teaching or perform other volunteer projects.” I am on board committees for 10,000 Degrees, a nonprofit, that provides support and services for first-generation college students to attend college, graduate, and become future community leaders.” Also, I am an editor and grant writer for MathAction, another nonprofit, that teaches K6-9 pre-Algebra math skills by using global examples.
Q: With an already demanding career and impressive list of extracurricular activities, why did you decide to add teaching into your busy schedule?
More than twenty-five years ago, I traveled to the St. Mary’s College’s Paralegal Program, in order to recruit paralegal interns for the Attorney General’s Office.” The Director of the Paralegal Program asked me if I would like to teach Criminal Law. The rest is history.
Q: We know that you started with Criminal Law, but did not stop there. You have also successfully taught Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Law and Social Justice, and Legal Writing I and II. Based on the numerous years and subjects you have successfully taught, there seems to be a passion with regard to teaching. Can you tell us what those passions are?
I love to teach “pop law” and writing. Teaching “pop law” means I use major cases in the media to teach legal concepts. For instance, I use the Barry Bonds steroid case to teach perjury. Also, I teach legal writing throughout the curriculum, meaning I teach legal writing in each of my substantive law courses. My passion has been in teaching basic and legal writing because I think it is so important for students to leave JFK with fine writing skills, which will enable them to find jobs and move up the ladder once in their job.
Q: What do you hope students get out of your classes?
First and foremost, I hope students become much better writers, for having taken my classes. Students should leave the JFKU Paralegal or Bachelors Program with foundational skills in grammar, essay writing, and legal writing. Good writing is not writing as intellectually as possible; it is the opposite–writing in plain English and making arguments clear and straight-forward. This does not mean writing in colloquial expressions either. The tricky balance is in the middle.
Q: If you could give students the top three “Bev tips” about working in the legal field, what would they be?
Write well, write well, and write well!
We thank Bev for her years of exemplary service, and for taking the time to let us get to know her better!