Student Profile: Tim Moran
UF law student Tim Moran, 26, graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida in 2001 (double major: political science and legal studies) and entered the UF College of Law in 2002. He is now in his fourth semester, has honors level grades, earned the Book Award for Professor Baldwin’s Police Practice course, and recently graded-on to UF’s Journal of Technology Law and Policy.
He also has Cerebral Palsy. But for Tim, that is just one aspect of his busy life, no more important than the color of his kind and inquisitive eyes.
Tim has a smile for everyone. Ask him how he’s doing, and the answer is always the same, “Life is good.”
His family has helped him develop his positive attitude as well as his intellect.
“When I was a kid in Syracuse, my dad built a sled with supports and a head rest and took me sledding like other kids. My parents showed me that I could take part in anything, and that’s always been true for me,” said Tim.
Tim also enjoys snorkeling in addition to less active hobbies, such as theater, music and reading law, science fiction, and history, particularly regarding the Napoleonic Wars period.
“Cerebral Palsy means different things to different people,” Tim said. “I may not walk or write by hand, but I’m able to do what I want.”
“Disabilities aside, if you have a dream, you have to try for it,” he added. “You’d be surprised how many people, like those here at the law school, are willing to help make it work.”
“Tim is an inspiration to everyone,” said Associate Dean for Students, Professionalism and Community Relations Gail Sasnett. “Particularly those of us in Student Affairs, who have worked with him so closely.”
Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs Patrick Shannon was assistant dean for student affairs when Tim started, a position now held by Richard Ludwick.
“Before I started school, Dean Shannon and I toured the law school looking for difficult-to-access areas. When school began a few weeks later, he’d made sure I had access to everything,” Tim said.
Every problem had a solution. Law books, for example, were too heavy for Tim to manipulate. So Shannon divided Tim’s books into smaller sections and rebound them.
“Dean Shannon made a long list of things to do,” Tim recalled. “And it all came to pass. He has been incredible, and Dean Ludwick has picked up where he left off.”
“My parents are phenomenal, and my whole family is very supportive,” said Tim. “My uncle comes to give my parents time off, and my grandmother and aunts visit and call regularly.”
Phenomenal only begins to describe the efforts his parents, Sandi and Mike Moran, have put into facilitating their son’s education. As an undergraduate, Tim had difficulty with buses, so Sandi gave up teaching to become Tim’s driver.
“We make a great team,” said Sandi. “Tim is positive and upbeat every day. It makes what we do together worthwhile.”
When the UF College of Law accepted his application, the Morans did not hesitate to relocate from Orlando to Gainesville to see him through the three-year program.
“Florida’s number one law school accepted Tim and has worked with him beyond our expectations. The people here limited the disabilities’ impact so Tim can focus on learning law. We’re thrilled it has worked out so very well,” said Mike.
In Spring 2004, Tim plans to do a mediation externship at the Eighth Circuit Court. As a graduation present, his aunt has promised to take him to the British Royal Naval Museum.
“I’m incredibly blessed,” Tim said.