Veterans Day Featuring S2S Ambassador Steven Arango

arango steven

Hometown: Tampa, FL

How did you hear about S2S? A mentor and friend of mine, LT Josh Fiveson, USN (who also serves as an S2S ambassador), told me about it a little while back.

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have six brothers.

What did you do in the military? I’ve followed a bit of an unconventional path during my military career. Following graduation from Newberry College, I attended the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School. After I graduated and commissioned, I went straight to the University of Alabama School of Law. In fact, I was a few days late, but fortunately admissions felt I had a valid excuse.

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? Most Marines return to active duty and head to The Basic School (TBS) once they graduate law school, but I decided to pursue a federal clerkship before returning to active duty. I did so for two reasons. First, a clerkship provides incredible experience for any aspiring attorney or Judge Advocate. And secondly, TBS has a waitlist of about 7-9 months right now, so I felt this would be the best use of my time while waiting to return to active duty. Currently, I am clerking for U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. in the Southern District of Texas and I have loved every minute of it. He’s an incredible mentor and I am blessed to be here.

What was the best part of S2S for you? The best part is helping people. I wouldn’t be where I am today without mentors sharing their knowledge and wisdom with me. Hopefully, I can do the same for S2S applicants.

What advice would you give to future applicants? Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Many people told me I didn’t have the grades or credentials to clerk for a federal judge. I appreciated their honesty, but I wholeheartedly disagreed. To be sure, I had to send out over 150 applications (I realized quickly that postage is not cheap). And I only received a handful of interviews and one clerkship offer. But that is all I needed: one person to believe I was right for the job.

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Service to School (S2S) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides free college and grad school application counseling to military veterans and servicemembers.

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