ORLANDO, Fla. – As Sarah Diekman grew up in Dyer, Indiana, it’s safe to say she was truly daddy’s little country girl.
“I was always very close to my dad. I still remember the time he built a hutch for some orphaned ducklings in our rural neighborhood,” Sarah recalls. “We also built a clubhouse in the woods and some great snow forts. I have fond, fond memories of my life with dad. We had a lot of great times together.”
The father and daughter have another major accomplishment. Sarah Diekman and her father, Franklin Diekman, are both candidates for graduation in the Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Class of 2020.
“I presented my parent with my plan to go to law school like the scene from the movie, “Love Actually,” when he holds up the cards because the information presented was so jarring. I let the shock settle and then I challenged dad to take the LSAT with me. I knew he would do great and figured at that point he would be all in,” said Sarah. “I researched law schools and knew FAMU Law was the right one. We talked about others, but FAMU Law always came out on top. Speaking for myself, it was the best decision of my life.”
Franklin Diekman said he always wanted to attend law school, but life interceded.
After receiving his bachelor’s, he worked in business, first in sales, and then in administration. During that time, he received a post-baccalaureate degree in accounting and later, an MBA. He later became a Certified Public Accountant.
“Sarah decided that she wanted to go to law school and challenged me to take the LSAT,” he said. “After that, I applied to FAMU Law and here I am.”
His daughter was already accomplished before law school. She received a Master of Science and a Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University.
“I wanted to learn more about the law and how it affected healthcare and the health care work environment. I am happy to say that goal was accomplished at FAMU Law,” she said. “I feel prepared to help legislative and legal initiatives that will make healthcare safer and more effective for everyone.”
FAMU Law Professor Patricia Broussard taught both of the Diekmans in her Constitutional Law class.
“Sarah is such a lovely person who is very generous with her time. She was President of the student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and participated in campus activities with a smile,” said Broussard. “Franklin is a lovely person, a dedicated student and a joy to teach.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Universities are not hosting in-person graduations at this time. But the new normal is the Virtual Commencement, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, for all FAMU graduates. As the Diekmans await graduation, they are reminded of the strong bond they have as father and daughter and just how important that is to them.
Sarah’s plans after graduation are settled, while Frank’s journey is still evolving. Both of them are planning to take the bar exam.
After graduation, she will start a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in occupational and environmental medicine. That means she will be participating in the COVID-19 pandemic response.
“There is a lot of overlap between medicine and law in this field, especially during a pandemic where quarantine has been an issue,” she said. “I think COVID-19 will be a focus of mine for a long time.”