University of Florida Levin College of Law
309 Village Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611
Academics & Programs: Holding students to “high academic standards,” the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law offers students an excellent “balance between legal theory and practical courses.” Certainly a “well respected institution,” many students are quick to assert that the school’s “value is very good for [the] price.” As a pleased 3L boasts, “The greatest strength is how cheap it is, at least relative to other law schools, for the top law school in Florida.” Students also enjoy that “there are several certificate programs” available including environmental and land law use, family law, intellectual property and international and comparative law. Though some wish there were “more practical skills courses,” others tell us that “clinics and trial practice classes are very hands-on.” Further, students here love the extensive opportunities to study abroad in exotic locales such as Costa Rica and South Africa.
Importantly the “professors are a great mix of race, background, experience, and knowledge. They are very approachable and in their offices any time to answer a question.” Indeed, “most have an open door policy and welcome student questions.” Fortunately, “many professors seek research assistants, which is a very valuable experience.” However, some students do caution that first-year classes are “too large for good interaction and discussion.” Therefore, it’s sometimes possible to feel “totally lost in the shuffle.”
While some students have experienced “the significant red tape” that is often part and parcel with a massive state university, many proclaim the administration here is “very responsive to student requests.” As a grateful 3L explains, “The school administration here is very helpful and listens to student concerns and does its best to redress any issues raised. The dean [even] meets regularly over coffee with students.” And a content 2L echoes these sentiments sharing, “Everyone at the Levin College of Law is extremely helpful. I have gone to various offices on campus for help and have not been let down.”
Finally, students highlight the alumni network which is “vast and plays a major role in obtaining positions.” As a pleased 3L recounts, “The greatest strength is the distinguished alumni pool around the state, region, and country who always come back, give back, and are open to help out students in the employment search. The resources and connections of the school are great as well and completely prepare all students who take advantage of them to build great attorneys and connect them with hiring employers.” However, a disgruntled 2L counters, “The school is stuck in a cycle of creating a job placement system that benefits only the top 10% of the students and handcuffing the bottom 75%. Essentially the bottom 75% of the students gets no benefit from the career services department and thus must scramble to find their own jobs.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Students are quite happy with the “fantastic facilities,” which they find “very well kept and modern.” Classrooms “all have great seating, lighting, visual, and audio.” What’s more, the “new advocacy center is a state-of-the-art new building to practice and learn advocacy skills in a realistic full courtroom.” In addition, the library is “first-rate” and definitely conducive to long study sessions; although, some students do gripe that it’s starting to become overrun with undergraduates.
The overwhelming majority of students here are Florida residents. Otherwise, “UF Law is unique in its ability to achieve diverse incoming class.” Ethnic minorities make up a pretty considerable contingent, and all kinds of students enroll here. “The best part of law school is conversing with people of different backgrounds and history,” says a thrilled 2L. “It’s fascinating.” Some students “can be cutthroat,” but for the most part, the law student population is “intelligent and harmonious.” Indeed, “there is a nice sense ofcommunity.” “You will be able to find a friend or two to study with regularly and manyfriends to interact with socially,” promises a 1L. Students do tend to stick to their sections first year, but “there’s a lot of cross-section interaction starting second year.” Despite a “problematic” parking situation, “Gainesville is nice.” With big-time college sports, the University of Florida is certainly hard to beat. As one proud 3L notes, “[Even] our faculty members appreciate the prominence and breadth of Gator Nation, even though our football team didn’t live up to the Gator standard last year.” The “sunny weather” is spectacular, provided one enjoys heat and a constant dose of humidity.
Hometown Gainesville is a quintessential college town and students can take advantage of numerous restaurants, performing arts venues, cultural events and, of course, bars. Unfortunately though, the law school is located in a rather remote part of the campus, and some students complain that it is “not within walking distance of any dining options and the on-campus options are paltry.” On the positive side, should students ever tire of the scene in Gainesville, within driving distance lie Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa – all fairly large cities.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.