Meet the 52 Florida Bar Board Certified Members
in International Law
Pamella A. Seay
Pamella A. Seay began practicing in international law in 1989 at a small boutique law firm in South Carolina. After moving to Florida, she became involved with the International Law Section of the Florida Bar, learned about certification, and by 2005 had become certified in International Law. Her firm, Seay Law International, PA, provides consultation and advice focusing on public international law, aviation, constitutional and criminal law. In addition to practicing law, she is a full-time professor teaching international law, globalization and the rule of law, and other courses at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her practice and her teaching have taken her to over 50 countries and counting.
She is a frequent commentator on Court TV and other news outlets and has been a guest lecturer in international law and ethics at the University of South Carolina, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and UFMG School of Law in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Among other accomplishments, she has received a Fulbright award and was also invited to speak at Oxford University.
She previously served as a member of the Florida Bar International Law Certification Committee, including one year as chair of that committee, and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar. Prof. Seay has published numerous articles and books on ethics, international law, and international business.
She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law where she was a member of the USC Law Review, and earned her LLM, cum laude, in International Law from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. She holds a BFA from Kendall College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has also earned certifications in mediation and business administration.
Why did you become Board Certified in International Law?
When I first learned about certification, I thought, “who in their right mind would want to take another bar exam!” But after some consideration, I began to realize that the benefits of certification might be worth the effort. For one, it would solidify my own belief that I was more than competent in international law and it would provide a means for clients to assure that they were engaging a capable and knowledgeable attorney. Besides, the wave of the future, particularly here in Florida, is definitely international in scope. Certification is that next step to assure being ahead of the curve and not behind the eight ball.
What are some benefits you received from being Board Certified?
As a marketing tool, it helped me to stand out among other attorneys. When a potential client is weighing unknowns, credentials become quite important. Certification tells a potential client that your peers have evaluated you for your integrity and the Bar has tested you for your knowledge. It helps with that introduction and first step towards acceptance. Many other benefits were quite unexpected. It opened new doors for me outside the practice of law that increased awareness of me as an international lawyer. As colleagues learned of my certification, they contacted me about participation in overseas educational programs and retreats for attorneys, traveling to places such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Nosara, Costa Rica, and across the US from Miami to LA. These programs have led me into new avenues, apart from the practice of law, where knowledge and expertise are equally respected. One of my current undertakings is a CLE program on health and wellness for international attorneys that takes place in Costa Rica.
Any best tips or advice to ILS Members preparing for the Certification Exam?
Though all of us who practice in international law believe we are well-versed in the field, the fact is, we focus on our personal interests and areas of specialized expertise. So, when that exam question comes up about immigration, or import/export, or estate planning, it might throw a curve if our primary area of practice is business transactions. To fill those gaps, get the book. The book is the International Law Deskbook (and, in full disclosure, I’m the editor but receive no compensation!). It’s been years since there has been a reference text of this kind and it offers a wealth of knowledge designed to provide guidance and information in most areas of an international practice. Read it. Ask questions of your colleagues. Talk to others who have taken and passed the exam. If there are specific areas of knowledge in which you haven’t worked on in a while, refresh yourself with the Deskbook and articles from the International Law Quarterly. Plus, make sure you know and understand the format of the exam so there are no surprises on exam day. Make outlines and study. Be prepared and you’ll do great.
To learn more about being Board Certified in International Law, visit https://www.floridabar.org/
about/cert/cert-applications- and-requirements/ or email Pam at email@example.com.