preLaw - Winter 2011 - 18
to take at least two workshop/practicum courses — skills-related courses centered around discrete practice areas — before graduating. “Historically, Nova has been committed to preparing students for the actual practice of law,” Steele said. “Hence, it has a curriculum that begins with skills preparation from day one in our Critical Skills and Lawyering Skills and Values program, an integral part of the first- and second-year curriculum.” Additionally, Nova offers students opportunities for traditional in-house clinical or total emersion in full-time clinical experiences. It offers more clinical opportunities than any other school in the region. It is also working through its strategic plan to offer more inter-disciplinary study opportunities within the University and with its partners. The goal, Steele said, is “to foster greater student interest in our international joint degree programs in Barcelona, Prague and Rome. More importantly, however, we are moving to identify new skills necessary to meet the evolution of the competencies lawyers need in an ever-changing world and infuse them into the curriculum.” The Law Center is ranked 16th most diverse school by U.S. News, a Top Five Law School for Hispanic Students by Hispanic Outlook for Higher Education, a Top 10 by Hispanic Business, 8th in Hispanic J.D.s, and 43rd in African American J.D.s by Black Issues in Higher Education.
services to more than 6,500 immigrants annually. In addition, St. Thomas has special J.D. and LL.M. programs in both international human rights and environmental sustainability, which attracts students from across the country and the world and prepares them to be leaders in these fields. The law school has a diverse student population and Princeton Review ranks St. Thomas third in the country for best atmosphere for minority students and fourth in the country for quality of law student life, citing faculty and staff accessibility and helpfulness.
Stetson University College of Law
LSAT: 153-158 GPA: 3.19-3.65 Enrollment: 1,027
Stetson University College of Law is the first law school in Florida to establish a pro bono service requirement for students and faculty. Students entering this fall at Stetson Law are required to complete 60 pro bono hours to graduate. Over each of the past few years, Stetson
law students completed more than 14,000 legal and non-legal hours of pro bono service, assisting people at more than 100 locations in Tampa Bay and across the state of Florida. In 2009-2010, students completed more than 19,000 hours of pro bono. Stetson Law also is home to other lawschool firsts and best-in-class programs, said Cathy Fitch, director of career development. It has long set the standard for advocacy education, ranking first or second in advocacy since the U.S. News began ranking the specialty in 1995. The school boasts the lowest student-tofaculty ratio in the region and the highest job placement rate — 93.5 percent. Students also hone their advocacy skills in seven teaching courtrooms, including the nation’s first model elder-friendly courtroom. Students have an opportunity to watch the appeals process in action at the Second District Court of Appeal, one of few working courts in the country to share space with a law school. The court is located at Stetson’s Tampa Law Center, in a hub of legal activity that includes top area law firms and the Hillsborough County Bar Association.
St. Thomas University School of Law
LSAT: 150-153 GPA: 2.90-3.19 Enrollment: 639
Stetson University College of Law
St. Thomas University School of Law is committed to helping students be “practiceready” and has the most clinic programs among Florida law schools, said Douglas E. Ray, dean and professor of law. The school provides an extensive legal writing program, immigration and tax clinics, an elder law clinic, externships and internships with public service employers and the United Nations, and several upper level skills courses, all designed to help its students train for and take advantage of today’s national and global opportunities. Students in its pro bono, clinical and externship programs are fully engaged in the legal communities of Miami-Dade County, Fort Lauderdale-Broward County and West Palm, Ray said. The Human Rights Institute, for example, provides legal 18
Ave Maria School of Law
Nova Southeastern Law Center St. Thomas University
Florida International University
University of Miami Law School