Which law school should I attend?
A. The standard rule is you should go to the best law school you can get into. Ranking law schools has become a cottage industry, so it is not hard to get a general sense of where schools rank. But most advisors modify the “best school” rule so that best means “the best fit for you” when considering relevant factors such as:
- Law school ranking. There are many law school ranking lists including U.S. News & World Report (using ten factors ranging from peer and professional assessments to acceptance rate), Lawschool.com (based on quantitative factors), Judging the Law Schools (based on a formula developed by a former state supreme court judge, Thomas Brennan), The Princeton Review (ranks top ten schools on overall academic experience as reported by students), and Educational Quality Rankings (ranks schools on the quality of the faculty).
- Geography. Where would you like to study, live, and perhaps even practice?
- Setting. Is the school located where there is easy access to employment opportunities related to your interests? Is the law school in a state capital with access to government legal opportunities? Is the law school in a major urban area?
- Curriculum. Does the law school curriculum include the specialized fields of law that you are interested in? Are there good opportunities for clinics and clerkships?
- Organizational culture. Are you comfortable with the organizational culture of the institution and the student and faculty and staff attitudes toward the study and the practice of law? Is the learning culture competitive? What are the teaching styles?
- Class size.
- Job placement resources.
- Bar exam passage rates.
B. Florida law schools. Florida has eight accredited law schools:
Accredited public law schools:
The University of Florida Levin College of Law (Gainesville)
The Florida State University College of Law (Tallahassee)
Accredited private law schools:
The University of Miami School of Law (Coral Gables)
Stetson University College of Law (Gulfport)
Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law Center (Ft. Lauderdale)
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law (Orlando)
St. Thomas University School of Law (Miami)
Florida Coastal School of Law (Jacksonville)
Florida also has two non-accredited law schools that were recently established by the Florida legislature:
Florida A&M College of Law (Orlando)Although these two schools are not yet accredited, the American Bar Association has recently voted to give them provisional accreditation and both schools are pursuing ABA approval and accreditation.
Florida International University College of Law (Miami)