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If you got close to full scholarship to somewhere, it may be worth it, but there's no guarantee of even getting a legal job when you graduate from a lot of these less prestigious schools. Even median kids at UF are having a horrible time getting jobs; imagine not being top 15%-20% at Stetson. But if you can get close to a full scholarship somewhere, you should have the scores to get into UF/FSU/Miami, so why not go there?
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FAMU was provisionally accredited for 5 years, and just became fully accredited by the ABA. They had scandal after scandal, and the ABA warned them repeatedly during their provisional period. However, the ABA don't ACTUALLY give a shit about the profession, and awarded them full accreditation. That doesn't change the fact that the school sucks and you'll end up unemployed. It's a joke of a school.
In fact, the only bigger joke of a school is Florida Coastal. It's a for-profit law school owned by a company that leases some office building near Jacksonville. Yes, the ABA has really stopped giving a shit. They emailed me a scholarship offer when I never applied. Your job prospects will be just as bad as FAMU (read: nil) except you'll have more debt, since it's not a cheap state school.
It's almost as if the ABA is holding a race to the bottom. FAMU and Coastal are two of the worst law schools in the country, and they're only a 2 or 3 hour drive from each other!
The poster above is pretty correct. First of all, the Florida legal market is small. The Miami "biglaw" market is probably a tertiary market if that. There is a disproportionate number of schools in this state for the number of legal jobs, especially jobs that will pay you anywhere near enough to pay off loans. If you want to work in Florida, go to UF or FSU (ESPECIALLY true for in-state students. It's so inexpensive). UM is also very well regarded in the South FL area, but expensive, so it's not worth it without a scholarship.
FIU is not a terrible choice for in-state. It's building a reputation in South FL and it's also very cheap if you're an in-state resident.
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ChrisC wrote:FIU is not a terrible choice for in-state. It's building a reputation in South FL and it's also very cheap if you're an in-state resident.
I predict FIU will get better in the long, long, long run due to cheap in-state, but it's just not at the point now where it's anywhere near an ideal choice.
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rad law wrote:1L2b wrote:Stetson is the best school out of those 3, hands down.
Not saying much. Still not worth sticker in the least.
He/she just wanted advice amongst those three. So yes, to repeat what has been said ad nauseum, Stetson is the best of those three. I'm not going to bore OP with rankings on other schools as if he/she didn't already know. And oh, for the record, I hear YLS is ranked #1 in the country, didn't you know? Shall I go on listing? #2, #3, #4....
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1L2b wrote:Stetson is the best school out of those 3, hands down.
This. Florida Coastal and FAMU are crap schools. My law office which has only 2 FAMU attorneys and no Florida Coastal attorneys. The FAMU attorneys were literally #5 and #6 of their class. My law office is a PIECE! You do not want that.
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Saving the School
FAMU Law’s long, troubled road to ABA accreditation
Jan 2, 2010
http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/arti ... he_school/
As dean of the Northern Illinois University law school for more than a decade, LeRoy Pernell was the longest-serving black dean in the country and well-regarded on the national scene. FAMU had reached out to him before, but Pernell hadn’t been ready to leave the DeKalb, Ill., school.
Still, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native had been intrigued by the possibility of leading a young, historically black law school ever since 2003, when he helped conduct a mock site inspection at FAMU during the ABA provisional accreditation process.
Combing over the ABA’s critical report, released in March 2008, the new dean instantly began making changes. No. 1 on the list was attracting new faculty.
“I knew we had to infuse the faculty with new faces, bringing in new as well as experienced law faculty,” he says. Within six months, Pernell had hired 19 new faculty members—several with top-tier academic credentials—and fired two or three others. He revamped the legal writing program, hiring instructors from around the country. And he instituted a bar preparation assistance program.
“He cleaned house,” says Kamilah Jolly, a recent graduate who heads the FAMU College of Law Alumni Alliance and has a solo practice in Orlando. “He did what was necessary. It’s great there is someone there to make people accountable.”
Pernell’s reputation was crucial in attracting new faculty, notes Ammons: “The minute we got him, we got instant credibility in the legal community. He was able to attract some top legal minds.”
Along those same lines, Pernell decided to create the position of associate dean for research and faculty development, a move that is catching on with many universities...
But he is not satisfied. It will take several years before the faculty and writing program are at the level he expects, Pernell says. He is also focused on boosting the school’s bar passage rate. Eighty percent of the 2005 graduates are members of the Florida Bar. In comparison, 94 percent of Pernell’s former students at NIU are members of the Illinois State Bar Association.
Part of the equation is improving the quality of students. Some 1,800 applied to the school last year and 630 were accepted. Pernell expects the number of applicants to grow sharply in 2010, enabling the school to be more selective.
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