Florida State University College of Law
|Florida State University College of Law|
|Parent school||Florida State University|
|Location||Tallahassee, FL, US|
|Outlines||8 (See List)|
Florida State University College of Law, a leading law school in the Southeastern U.S., is one of the professional graduate schools of Florida State University, located in Tallahassee, Florida. The law school borders the South-East quadrant of the University's campus, near the Donald L. Tucker Center (also known as the Tallahassee Civic Center) and immediately across the street from the First District Court of Appeal (as of Spring 2007, the Florida Legislature has given the court building to the law school for renovation as an educational facility). It is easily recognizable by the distinctive and historic white wood trellis structures outside the law school's eastern buildings.
The three-year curriculum for the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree provides students a foundational first-year program, including a rigorous legal writing program, followed by a rich and varied offering of upper-level courses, seminars, clinics, and co-curricular opportunities. The externship programs are extension, and arrangements in Washington, D.C., London and the Hague, as well as in every major city in the state of Florida, allow students to spend a semester outside of Tallahassee. The Master of Laws (LL.M.) program for foreign lawyers and its two certificate programs in Environmental, Natural Resources and Land Use Law, and International Law make legal education a healthy experience. Its faculty also offers a significant range of courses in Law, Economics, and Business. The College of Law offers joint degree programs that enable students to earn other degrees in conjunction with their Juris Doctor, such as FSU's top ranked Urban & Regional Planning Program (M.S.P./Ph.D.) as wel as its highly-regarded Criminology Program (M.S./Ph.D). Other joint degree options include Economics (M.S./Ph.D.), Political Science (M.S./Ph.D.) and Business (M.B.A./Ph.D.), as well as other fields.
The FSU College of Law has a peer academic reputation among the top 50 law schools in the U.S. (and ranks among the top 25 public universities) and is ranked 53rd overall in the nation for 2008, according to U.S. News & World Report's weighted combination of factors. The FSU College of Law's Environmental Law program is ranked 12th (5th among publics and the best in the Southeast) in the nation (also by U.S. News), and Hispanic Business magazine consistently lists the College as one of the nation's Top Ten Law Schools for Hispanics. Its Tax Law program ranks 21st among law specialty programs -- among the top 10 public university programs in the U.S. In addition to Environmental Law, the FSU College of Law has particular strengths in Law, Economics and Business and in International Law.
The Environmental and Land Use Law Program, which publishes the highly-regarded Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law, has been recognized by multiple sources as one of the nation's best. According to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report "Annual Ranking of Graduate Programs", FSU offers one of the top five public university programs in the U.S., and the best Environmental Law program in the Southeast. University of Texas Professor Brian Leiter's "Educational Quality Rankings" lists the Administrative & Environmental Law faculty among the Top 18 in category of Top Choices by Specialty. In the EQR category of Most Cited Law Faculty, Professor J.B. Ruhl, the Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property, ranked 9th among all faculty in the U.S. in Environmental Law, based on citations.
The faculty is widely recognized as one of the most prolific, and one of the very best, among law schools in the Southeast. Its scholarship ranks among the top 25 law schools based on downloads, according to the Social Science Research Network, which hosts working papers by FSU College of Law Faculty in both Public Law and Legal Theory and Law & Economics.
FSU College of Law's faculty includes national scholars who publish frequently (most at least once a year) in leading journals in the fields of Administrative, and Regulatory Law (Jim Rossi, Mark Seidenfeld), Constitutional Law (Steven Gey), Criminal Law (Wayne Logan, Dan Markel), Environmental Law (Robin Craig, J.B. Ruhl), Health Law (Frederick Abbott, Jonathan Klick, Lois Shepherd), International Law (Frederick M. Abbott, Fernando Tesón), Jurisprudence (Curtis Bridgeman, Fernando Tesón), Law, Economics, and Business (Bruce L. Benson, Jonathan Klick, Dino Falaschetti, Manuel Utset), and Tax Law (Joseph Dodge, Brian Galle, Gregg Polsky).
Three FSU College of Law faculty have published their own separate casebooks in Environmental Law -- David Markell, Robin Craig and J.B. Ruhl -- representing the one of the most significant impacts on the teaching of Environmental Law of any law school in the U.S. Other faculty authored books are widely used in law schools across the country for courses in Tax Law (Joseph Dodge), International Intellectual Property Law (Frederick M. Abbott), Law and Economics (Mark Seidenfeld), Bioethics (Lois Shepherd), Ocean and Coastal Law (Donna Christie), Energy Law (Jim Rossi) and Endangered Species Law (J.B. Ruhl). Beyond the classroom, FSU's College of Law faculty are regularly cited as authorities by courts, law reform bodies and other scholars. One faculty member, Sandy D'Alemberte, is a former President of both the American Bar Association and the National Judicature Society.
Affiliated faculty from other university departments holding Courtesy appointments at the law school include John Scholz, a leading political scientist addressing regulatory enforcement, Bruce L. Benson, an economist focused and law and economics, and R. Mark Isaac, a leading experimental economist.
The College of Law official sponsors four law journals: The Florida State University Law Review is the flagship scholarly journal at the College. It publishes four issues a year, and is generally recognized among the top 50 general student-edited law reviews in the U.S. based on citations. The Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law is the state's first and remains its only student publication in the field. It is ranks among the top environmental and land use law journals based on citations. The Journal of Transnational Law and Policy publishes articles in the field of international law, including human rights, comparative law, and U.S. foreign policy. Law students also publish the Florida State University Business Law Review, a bi-annual journal which examines the interrelated disciplines of business and law but which is not officially a co-curricular journal at the College of Law.
Job Placement and Alumni
With more than 99% of its graduates finding legal employment within 9 months of gradutation, FSU College of Law consistently ranks as the top law school in the state of Florida for student job placement. It also consistently ranks as one of the top law schools in the state in bar passage. While 30-40% of its graduates serve in state and federal government, including in the judiciary, the bulk of its graduates enter into private practice. In recent years, a significant number of students have joined prestigious national firms in Miami, Atlanta, Richmond, Charlotte, Dallas, Birmingham, Nashville, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Many student also have entered into the practice of law in Midwestern markets, including Chicago, and in the West, including in California, Arizona, Utah and Oregon.
Some of its distinguiushed graduates include:
- Jim Bacchus (J.D.), Justice and Chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization
- Kenneth B. Bell (J.D.), Florida Supreme Court Justice
- Terry Bowden (J.D.), ABC Sports Commentator
- Kathy Castor (J.D.), current U.S. Representative from Florida's 11th Congressional District (D)
- Eric Gustafson (J.D.), Financial analyst and commentator for CNBC
- Tony La Russa (J.D.), Manager, St. Louis Cardinals
- Mel Martinez (J.D.), current U.S. Senator from Florida (R), former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,
- Sheila McDevitt (J.D.), Senior Vice President and Corporate Counsel, TECO
- Charlie Torano (J.D.), President of Toraño Cigars and Central America Tobacco
- Jim Towey (J.D.), President of St. Vincent College (Pennsylvania) and former Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives