After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University, Dan Daley, bitten by the political bug, ran for and was elected Commissioner of his hometown of Coral Springs, Florida. "I had a great childhood due in part to Coral Springs, and I want to make it an even better place to live so I can ensure others will have great childhoods there for generations to come," Dan says.
As an undergraduate, Dan landed a job as a legislative aide to Ari Porth, a 1995 graduate of NSU Law who served in the Florida House of Representatives at the time and is now a Circuit Court Judge in Broward County, Florida. During this time, Dan learned how to navigate legislative matters and bills, and used the networks he created as a legislative aide to Porth to help launch his own political career. Dan was elected in 2012 with 56% of the vote, and was reelected unopposed in 2014 for his first, full four-year term. He is the youngest person ever elected to office in Coral Springs.
Law school was always the plan, but after graduating from FSU, running for office took precedence. When the time finally came for Dan to choose a law school, he chose NSU Law "due to its reputation within the legal community, the prestige of its alumni, and the overall relationships that are fostered and maintained among students, alumni, and friends of NSU." While working with Porth, Dan met several NSU Law alumni and knew the College of Law's excellent legal reputation well.
In the summer between first and second year in law school, Dan interned with Judge Melanie May, a 1981 NSU Law alumna, in the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal. He met Judge May while working for Porth. "I had been leaning toward becoming a prosecutor," says Dan, "but after working with Judge May I have a true appreciation for the appellate route."
Currently, he is vice-chair of the Urban Administration Committee of the Florida League of Cities. There, Dan works on a variety of issues ranging from red-light cameras to medical marijuana. Recently, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for changes in how municipalities are compensated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) after hurricanes and other disasters. "We create talking points with the state legislature to preserve city rights," summarizes Dan. "Being a student at NSU Law has helped to increase my awareness of legal processes and policies, and helped me be more successful in my various political roles. Service is my passion and a lifelong calling," he says, and it is clear that Dan will use his J.D. degree to help others through service.
"Few people understand the value of a law degree. Law is in every facet of life, from the time you are born to the time you die. There are so many other things you can do with a J.D. degree that don't involve becoming a lawyer," he confesses. Already a businessman-Dan runs his own company selling horse supplements-and an elected official prior to coming to law school, Dan understands that the analytical skills he is learning at NSU College of Law will help him be successful in any endeavor. "Earning a J.D. degree teaches you to think critically. Is it black, or is it white? Well, that really depends on how you look at it. The experience has truly reshaped my mind."