My ASD Impressions
It was obvious they were trying to weed out acceptances. As much as they talked about how amazing the school is, every single dean, professor and administrator remembered to emphasize multiple times that you need to find the best fit for you, and that UF is very possibly not it for several reasons. They also really emphasized that law school is the end of all life as you know it, to forget about social and leisurely life, etc. The students were a lot more honest about it, as were the alumni, who actually emphasized that there is plenty of time for leisure and hobbies. It felt like some of my graduate and upper level classes, where professors would try to scare the less committed students away on the first day by telling horror stories.
Student Panel and Faculty
The students seemed very happy with the school. I approached a few in the courtyard, and they gave me their honest opinions of the school and the programs. I was also pleased with the faculty. I had the opportunity to speak to a few outside, and they were very approachable and had good senses of humor. This might have been an act for us visitors, but I doubt it. I watched one professor stop and chat with the cleaning crew, while another kept talking about Prince and entrepreneurship law. The fact that they came from UF, Harvard and NYU didn't hurt, either.
BORING. Honestly, a bad opening. The associate dean spoke like he was reading out of a technical manual, and the assistant dean was palpably nervous throughout the day. The career services person was hilariously pessimistic. I actually thoroughly enjoyed her presentation, her emphasis on hating everything law school related, and her honesty about the market and the economy. Financial aid was no surprise to anyone who previously went to school in Florida, basically nothing is offered to most people. Those who receive anything usually don't get much. Basically the cost of a state with low tuition and no income tax that funds education through the lottery.
A judge, a state attorney, and someone working in a mid sized law firm. I thought their presentations were pretty candid. They talked about the fact that large law firms (defined by the guy as 200 people or more) are all hurting. His mid-sized firm, a 50 person one, is apparently doing fairly well. Everyone mentioned that alumni are everywhere in Florida. In fact, one of the 3L students speaking to us got a clerkship with a Gator judge during 1L.
Lots of Parking in and around the school. The library was great. The outside of the school was a bit bland for my taste, but what the hey. The new courthouse was beautiful. My tour group got to see the moot court and law review facilities, which were rather nice. The law school has tons of resources for students for externships, internships, jobs, journals, etc. Pretty impressed. Bookstore sucked.
Overall I was very happy with the school, and I'm glad I went. A lot of questions about the program I'm interested in were answered, and I think living in Gainesville might be a plus. The fact that the alumni base is so huge and well placed also made an impression on me.