After the top 14 - 17 schools, all lower ranked schools are regional. Their job placement statistics are basically a function of the health the total legal market in their region, their reputation within that region, and the competition from national schools, superregional schools, and other regional schools.
Florida has a very weak legal market because it doesn't have a lot of big business. Most of its growth over the past decade was in real estate and construction, and that all died in 2008. So there are many fewer law firms hiring in Florida. There are also lots of law schools in Florida, and Florida, FSU, and Miami aren't really as significantly better or worse than others in terms of prestige and student quality.
Florida is also a very populous state, despite its lack of business, so it produces a lot of students who eventually go off to top law schools. When they apply to firms in their home town, they usually get the edge over a local school grad because their schools are viewed as higher quality and more prestigious.
So when you add these things up Florida ends up with mediocre law schools that don't do very well in a down economy.
If you want to practice in Florida biglaw, you really need to go to a T14 school or Vandy. Or go to UF / FSU / Miami and get amazing grades. But that's much harder than getting into a T14.
Interesting, its rather strange though.
I have some questions:
I understand the bad economy hit Florida extra hard, but even pre-recession a school like Tulane in smaller Louisana was much better and not really a bad choice from a $ perspective.
-If Florida grads are going to t-14 schools, but all the major firms are near the t-14 markets (northeast, cali, mid atlantic and texas) then why would they bother to come back to Florida?
-I'm not sure if there are lots of law schools in Florida, I saw 3 in top 100, and there are probably more ttt, and t4. But, when you consider its almost the 3rd largest state (soon will pass NY as in next 5 years or less soon), I can't see it as being really overstacked with schools.
-Nope, i doubt I'd ever practice in Florida, tbh I hate hot weather.