College of Education > News and Publications > 2019: 01-03 news > Joseph Glace: Helping clients achieve favorable outcomes

Joseph Glace: Helping clients achieve favorable outcomes

The Alumni Spotlight is a monthly feature in Bridges, highlighting College of Education alumni who are making a difference in the lives of the people around them. This edition features Joseph Glace, who's love of education led to a career as a lawyer.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Teaching has always been one of Joseph Glace's greatest passions. In order to pursue that passion, the Philadelphia native attended Penn State to earn a bachelor's degree in secondary education.

Joseph Glace
After earning a degree in secondary education from the College of Education, Joseph Glace took the advice of a school board member and applied to law school because, as he puts it, "...lawyers would be key to advocating on behalf of students."IMAGE: submitted
But a chance encounter with a school board member, who also happened to be a lawyer, during his student teaching practicum prompted Joseph to consider an altogether different career path.

"The economy was in a downturn, and people were concerned about funding for public education," said Glace. "This school board member convinced me that lawyers — and their legal teams — would be the key to advocating on behalf of students, faculty and administration, to keep programs alive."

After graduating from Penn State in 2009, Glace taught geography at Springton Lake Middle School in Media, Pennsylvania, and Spanish at Collegium Charter School in Exton, Pennsylvania. However, he had not forgotten the crux of his conversation with that school board member. Glace decided to take the Law School Admission Test and was offered a full academic scholarship to Florida International University (FIU) College of Law.

"I truly enjoyed teaching, but I also recognized that this was an excellent opportunity to 'make a go' of a law career," Glace said. He earned his juris doctor degree from FIU in 2013.

Today, Glace is a partner in the law firm Vargas Gonzalez Hevia Baldwin, LLP in Miami, Florida. The firm provides professional counseling and strategic advice, in addition to full-service litigation and trial representation. He enjoys combining both of his professions — teacher and lawyer — as a coach for FIU's College of Law Trial Team.

Asked what he enjoys most about his career, Glace said it's obtaining the best possible results for his clients, who range from individuals involved in catastrophic personal injury cases to homeowners with unsettled property claims.

"The legal system can be quite challenging. When you help someone out of a difficult situation, it's extremely rewarding," he said.

Glace lives in Miami. His sister Lindsay Glace, a 2006 alumna, and a cousin also are Penn State graduates.