By Katarina Fiorentino, B.H.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders ’21
Taylor Oliver is a UF College of Public Health and Health Professions alumna from Lakeland, Florida, who holds a Bachelor of Public Health degree. She is a double Gator, currently pursuing graduate studies for a Juris Doctorate at the UF Levin College of Law.
Taylor shares insights about her career journey, her time at UF, and how her B.P.H. degree led her to the field of law.
Why did you choose to pursue a Bachelor of Public Health?
I investigated all the different majors at UF, figured out which ones I did not want to do, and I landed on public health. I was drawn to the B.P.H. degree because it was a smaller knit and newer program. From there, I applied to the program and really ended up loving the coursework.
How did you decide after getting your B.P.H. that you wanted to transition into law?
During my junior year I was exploring different options, such as the Master of Public Health and Master of Health Administration. These are both amazing programs, especially at UF. I am very close to my family, and my mom brought up the idea of a joint degree program, where you can get an M.P.H. alongside a juris doctorate degree. I was always interested in law and had it in my back pocket as an idea, but when I knew I could combine my interest in public health with law, that’s when I started preparing to take the LSAT. Ultimately, I decided to focus on just my J.D.
What inspired you to be a lawyer?
Part of the reason why I wanted to attend law school was an experience from undergrad. I interned in the corporate office at Publix, working for the attorneys in the legal department. I specifically worked with the employment law department, and I really loved that type of work. In my second year of law school, I took employment discrimination and employment law, and I absolutely loved these classes. I felt this was my niche, especially due to the intersection between employment law and health law. In employment law you have the healthcare industries, and COVID-19 now impacting the workplace and workplace safety.
What was your favorite part about your internship?
I had the opportunity to take what I learned in school and apply it to real life clients. I was working on cases that involved real people’s lives, real issues, and I got to see the work that I did be used in court, which felt really rewarding.
Do you have a favorite club or experience from your time at UF?
I was super involved in the UF club tennis team all throughout my undergrad years, and that will always have a special place in my heart. Coming in as a freshman and trying to find my place on campus and be involved, I found that everyone really welcomed me with open arms. It allowed me to continue to have a hobby that I loved, to get away from school when school was stressful, and to go out and play tennis with friends or travel to tournaments. The club team brought me great memories, and I keep in touch with teammates that have since graduated and moved out of Gainesville.
What is your favorite place in Gainesville?
The Swamp. For a few different reasons! For one, I’ve grown up as a Gator fan; my entire family – we’re huge Gator fans. I grew up cheering for the Gators on Saturdays and being able to attend the football games as a student has really been special. It’s been a full circle moment attending the games as a student with family and friends.