In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 6 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in economics or international affairs), J.D./M.S. L.I.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in library information studies), J.D./M.S.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning), and J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work).
The College of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, intellectual property law, international law, litigation, tax law, and law, business, and economics. In addition, the college offers more than 60 externship placements, either full- or part-time, including judicial clerkships, administrative agency placements, and many civil and criminal lawyering programs. A variety of specialized seminars is offered, such as business reorganization, cyberlaw, and energy law. The college offers an in-house legal clinic, the Public Interest Law Center, which represents children, persons with disabilities, and victims of domestic violence. Twenty hours of pro bono service in the field is required for graduation. Special lecture series include the Mason Ladd Memorial Lectures, Distinguished Lectures in Environmental Law, and numerous Faculty Enrichment Speakers. Study abroad is available during the summer terms at Oxford University in England through exchange programs with Griffith University in Brisbane Australia and Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Minority programs consist of a summer program for undergraduate students. The most widely taken electives are Evidence and Business Associations.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 36 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum grade average of 69 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Legal Writing and Research I and II, Property I and II, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a skills training course, a writing requirement course, Constitutional Law II, and Professional Responsibility. All students must complete 20 hours of civil pro bono work. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 2-day program that includes an introduction to legal education, research and writing, and ethics/professionalism.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a minimum grade average of 69, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, 20 hours of pro bono work, the 6 semester residency requirement, and the skills training requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3296 applied, 785 were accepted, and 194 enrolled. Sixty transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 81; the median GPA was 3.55 on a scale of 4.0. The highest LSAT percentile was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include GPA, LSAT results, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $30, and 2 letters of recommendation. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 85% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $18,000; maximum, $18,500. Awards are based on need and merit. Approximately 35% of the entering class received a scholarship for the first year. Awards range from $3,000 to $25,000. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include diversity enhancement scholarships. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 40% of the student body are women; 17%, minorities; 5%, African American; 4%, Asian American; 6%, Hispanic; and 1%, Puerto Rican. The majority of students come from the South (92%). The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 20 to 34. About 3% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 97% remain to receive a law degree.
The primary law review is the Florida State University Law Review. Other law journals include the Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law, begun in 1983 and the state’s first and only student publication in environmental and land law use. Students also edit the Journal of Transnational Law and Policy. The Florida State University Business Review is a joint effort between law and business students. The college’s moot court team participates in about 10 regional and national competitions each year, including the Florida Bar Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition, Juvenile Law National Moot Court Competition, and the John Gibbons National Constitutional Criminal Law Moot Court Competition. The college also takes part in 3 mock trial competitions each semester. Law student organizations, local chapters of national organizations, and campus organizations include Spanish-American Law Students Association; Women’s Law Symposium; Dispute Resolution Society; Phi Alpha Delta; Christian Legal Society; and Entertainment, Art, and Sports Law Society.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.