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Florida State University (College of Law)

According to U.S. News & World Report, one of the biggest complaints college students have about their educational experience is the lack of access to professors. At the Florida State University College of Law, we put a high priority on student and faculty interaction.
We believe our intimate, small law school atmosphere allows students to get the most out of their education.

This atmosphere fits with our philosophy of legal training, which places emphasis on a liberal arts orientation and professional skills. Our academic program reflects a big-picture approach to the study of law and relies on dynamic relationships between students and professors. We believe that it is important for our students to understand the history and philosophy of law as well as the economic, social and psychological influences on it. At the same time, it is important that students continue to develop the knowledge that they gained as undergraduates. Refining the timeless legal skills of critical thinking, writing, oral expression and advocacy is best achieved through a partnership of students and faculty.

Although there are many measures of success of a legal education, one indicator is the passage rate by recent law school graduates on the state bar exam. Through the years, FSU law alumni have ranked at or near the top of alumni from all Florida law schools in the percentage of those passing the bar exam.

An Elite Faculty When a recent national survey counted the College of Law faculty among an elite group of fourteen law faculties in the country, it confirmed what Florida State law students and recent graduates have known for years. The College of Law is an excellent choice for a legal education.
The Educational Quality Rankings of U.S. Law Schools, published out of the University of Texas, lists FSU among such law schools as New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown and University of California, Berkeley, for its hiring of outstanding faculty. The distinction reflects both teaching quality and scholarly production by faculty members.

Florida State law students have the opportunity to study with some of the most vibrant minds in legal education. Faculty research and publication have earned international recognition in such areas as environmental law, religion and the law, business partnerships and international human rights. Florida State law faculty are engaged in intellectual property issues involving medicine for AIDS patients in Africa; they have provided reports for the United Nations on the environmental health of oceans; they are re-establishing legal education in Cambodia, and they have developed interactive international trade courses that pair Florida
State law students with students in Shanghai, China.

So what does a great faculty mean for Florida State law students?
First, respected, well-connected professors can provide students networking opportunities that frequently lead to employment. It also means that Florida State students are trained to be competitive without being cut-throat. In short, they are prepared to succeed.

Prime Location: No law school in Florida is better situated to offer law students more opportunities than Florida State. As the capital of one the nation’s most populous states, Tallahassee is a place where important decisions are made. Because the College of Law is only blocks from the state capitol, the Florida Supreme Court, the First District Court of Appeal and the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, College of Law students have the unique opportunity to see laws and policy developed, legislated and litigated.

Just as important for students is the fact that some of the country’s most prestigious law firms have established offices in Florida’s capital city. Holland & Knight, Foley & Lardner, and Greenberg Traurig, listed among the nation’s highest-grossing law firms by the AmLaw rating service, have offices blocks from the state capitol and the law school. Why are these firms located in Tallahassee when their other offices are in cities with populations many times larger? As the state capital of the fourth largest state, they understand that Tallahassee is a place where decisions that shape the future are made, not just for Florida, but also for the nation.

The College of Law’s location provides students the opportunity to choose from a wide range of clerkship, externship and clinical opportunities, the majority of them in the Tallahassee area. In their second and third years of law school, students have ample opportunity to work part-time in law offices and public agencies. Students often come away from these assignments with much more than on-the-job experience: They receive a job offer.

Professional Success: A solid education and success on the Bar Exam means Florida State law graduates experience unprecedented success in the job market. In recent years, Florida State graduates have ranked either first or second among graduates of all Florida law schools in finding employment within nine months of graduation.
The College of Law's 7,000 alumni practice in all areas of the law in all sections of the country. They also use their legal training in other professions as well. They work in prestigious big-city law firms and in small-town solo practices. They are prosecutors, public defenders and attorneys for federal and state agencies and for non-profit public service organizations.

They are stockbrokers and security analysts, corporate counsels, CEOs and entrepreneurs. They serve on the Florida Supreme Court and in the White House. One even manages a major league baseball team. In addition to Florida, they live and work in almost every state, and have established a strong presence in such major cities
as Miami, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York.
Most important for Florida State law students is the fact that many FSU law alumni are available to serve as mentors, advisors and potential employers, providing students guidance with career decisions and job offers.
After you’ve checked the information provided in these pages and on our website and, most important, visited our campus, we believe you will find that Florida State is a great place to launch a legal career.

The Campus: The College of Law consists of seven interconnected buildings. B.K. Roberts Hall, dedicated in 1971, is the hub of the College, housing most of the classrooms as well as faculty and administrative offices and the student lounge.

Immediately west of Roberts Hall is the Law Library. To the east are the D’Alemberte Rotunda and four historic homes comprising the James Harold Thompson Green. Conceived by Sandy D’Alemberte, former dean and former Florida State University president, it was designed as a meeting place for law students, faculty, state officials and the public. The Green took its design from two models, the English Inns of Court and Thomas Jefferson’s famous rotunda and lawn at the University of Virginia.

The Rotunda steps serve as a forum for class meetings, public debates and social events. The Caldwell House, Cawthon House, Damon House, and Ausley House were moved to the Green from their original sites in the Tallahassee area and restored. Besides providing comfortable surroundings for seminars and receptions,
they serve as quarters for our international faculty, the Leroy Collins Center for Public Policy, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the College’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs, and the Florida State University Law Review.

The Law Library: The law library is a comfortable modern facility with 410 seats for study and research. Nine experienced professional librarians provide assistance in the use of the collection, tours of the library, and training in legal research.
The library collection exceeds 445,000 volumes and volume equivalents, including approximately 3,600 continuing subscriptions and more than 164,000 cataloged titles retrievable from the library’s online catalog. The catalog contains records of all law library materials, along with information about availability.
Through the online catalog, researchers also can access electronic books and journals as well as journal indexes.

The law library has wireless connectivity for student laptops throughout the building. Computers throughout the libarary enable students to access the online catalog, perform research on LEXIS, WESTLAW, and other legal and law-related databases, send and receive e-mail, search the World Wide Web, and use other programs of interest in the study of law. Law library staff members train all students in the use of these systems.
Tallahassee offers a wealth of legal and library resources. In a cooperative project with the Florida Supreme Court, the law library maintains a digital collection of court briefs for all opinions issues by the Florida Supreme Court from 1990 to the present, and a videotape archive of oral arguments before the Court beginning in 1984. Within two blocks of the College of Law, law studetns have access to the State Library of Florida, the State Archives, and the Florida Supreme Court Library.

School name:Florida State UniversityCollege of Law
Address:425 W. Jefferson Street
Zip & city:FL 32306-1601 Florida

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