UCF Prepares Alumnus for Life in Law
University of Central Florida alumnus Bennett Lessmann, ’07, is a partner at his own law firm in Boca Raton, Florida. Law Offices of Kleinman & Lessmann focuses on personal injury and medical malpractice cases, with Lessmann using skills that he gained from UCF in every facet of his work.
“My UCF degrees helped tremendously in my career in both tangible and intangible ways,” Lessmann, who double majored in political science and history, said.
One of those ways is having inspired him to pursue a career in law – and preparing him for the day-to-day procedures to come.
“I was fortunate to learn what I would be facing both through law school and in daily practice through my conversations with my professors,” he said. “The faculty in the Department of Political Science served as incredible inspiration and mentors.”
Lessmann also credits his political science courses and internship opportunities for preparing him for law school.
“The intangibles of learning critical thinking, organized analytical writing, and research skills through my academic course load benefited me tremendously in the practice of law,” he said.
Lessmann explained many people do not take personal injury lawyers like himself seriously, and that it is sometimes hard to hold his head high in the profession. It’s all worth it to him, though, when he is able to help a client.
“When you help someone who was wronged by another’s negligence, the sense of satisfaction is thrilling and energizing,” Lessmann said. “My clients are always grateful to have a diligent lawyer fighting for their rights. The expressions of gratitude from those who would otherwise feel helpless is reward enough.”
UCF was near and dear to Lessmann from the very beginning – literally. He grew up in Central Florida and went to Oviedo High School. He said that the political science department immediately drew his interest, and he ended up double majoring in political science and history.
“The atmosphere on campus during visits was electric and sucked me in immediately,” Lessmann said.
One of Lessmann’s fondest memories is a mock “Supreme Court” argument in a class he took. He was chosen to be a judge and didn’t own a suit, so he improvised.
“I did what any great Scotsman would do. I wore my family’s kilt,” Lessmann said. “My professor had a great sense of humor about it all, calling me ‘Justice McIntosh’ for the remainder of the day.”
Along with his memories in class, Lessmann remembers chaperoning for the Lou Frey Institute Symposium on campus.
“I had the pleasure of watching excellent politicians speak at that event and was fortunate to sit in a waiting room with then Governor Jeb Bush,” he remembered. “It was an invigorating experience to be a ‘fly on the wall’ overhearing conversations with the Governor and other representatives.”
After graduating from UCF in 2007, Lessmann went on to law school at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. While in law school he met his current business partner, Ian Kleinman, while clerking for a firm in Fort Lauderdale. The two remained in contact after Lessmann’s graduation in 2011 and created their own practice in 2015.
Lessmann’s work has led him to respect and admire the judicial system. He described going to trial as being stressful and rewarding at the same time.
“Having the training and experience to step into a courtroom to tell the ‘big guy’ that they’ve done wrong and should be held accountable is the ultimate embodiment of the judicial system,” he said.
Lessmann doesn’t intend to stop fighting on behalf of his clients any time soon.