Florida State University College of Law
425 West Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32306
TippingTheScales (2013): NR
U.S. News (2013): 48
AboveTheLaw (2013): NR
FLORIDA STATE LAW STUDENTS SAY…
Academics & Programs: Florida State University’s College of Law “could not be in a better location.” It is “literally across the street” from the Capitol and various courts in downtown Tallahassee. This state capitol location—you did know it was the state capitol, didn’t you?—is the reason why the school offers “more opportunities for clerkships and judicial externships than any other Florida law school” and “provides a perfect balance between obtaining a legal education while still enjoying your youth.” The school (which has a “top-notch” program in environmental law) recently renovated the courthouse facility formerly occupied by Florida’s First District Court of Appeals, which has given future students an appellate courtroom , four trial courtrooms, a suite of clinical offices, and even more classroom space.” While offering an upgrade in facilities, the new building is right next door to the current law school, maintaining its propitious location. “With state government jobs being a primary area for law school grads to find [employment], what more could you ask for?” asks a student.
Students here are a satisfied bunch, for reasons that start with the affordable in-state tuition, and carry right over to their classmates and faculty. Nearly everyone speaks of the resounding friendliness of the student body; “Everyone is very close, and “competitiveness is healthy and never cutthroat.” “While we all want to succeed, we are not stepping all over each other to do it,” agrees a 2L. Perhaps this travels down from the professors—FSU “has a knack for recruiting talent,” apparently—who have a tremendous following amongst the students. The professors here “are extremely knowledgeable [in] their specialty,” “have incredible insight,” and “are always accessible.” The courses on offer from these illustrious professors are “challenging and very helpful for postgraduation” and “make you want to learn from them—even if you weren’t particularly interested [in] their topic of instruction at first.” Similar kudos go to the “extremely helpful” administrators: “Your problems are their problems, and they work diligently with you to solve them.”
In thinking about life beyond the school, FSU also does a solid job of getting people ready. “I am confident that upon my graduation I will be able to face the legal world head-on and embark upon a competitive career!” says a 2L. The moot court team, coached by “engaged alumni and Tallahassee lawyers” is on a winning streak. The school offers “good preparation…for passing the bar exam” and creates a “family bond between all those involved with the school (faculty, administration, students, alumni, etc.)” that carries on past graduation, meaning the “opportunities for networking presented are good.” The fact that there are “tons of law firms in Tallahassee” doesn’t hurt, either. However, a few students do think that the school “needs more name recognition to help with job placement.”
Campus Life/Facilities: Such a friendly and “collegial” group is also a relatively active group: “It’s a small enough school where you will get to know at least half of the school.” The Student Bar Association does a “fantastic job of helping people to feel comfortable and stay involved,” as it “is really good at creating social activities to foster friendships,” and “put[s] on the majority of the social functions each year,” including weekly socials. “We’ve got more socials than any other school out there. That’s probably why [we] received the best SBA award two years running,” surmises a student. If you’re a partier, “There is definitely a partier segment at the law school.” If you’re not, “it’s fine, too.”
Sometimes life at FSU can feel much like a return to high school, and “Things can get a little clique-y.” “We call the law school BK Roberts High,” says a 2L, referring to the school’s hub, and home to most of its classrooms, faculty offices, and student lounge. Though the buildings are admittedly “not the best facilities” and definitely “need improvement,” the school is “making improvements slowly,” and students appreciate this year’s big changes now that the massive courthouse across the street has become part of the law school. This coming year, the second floor of Roberts Hall will be renovated into two new classrooms.
The atmosphere at FSU is “extremely cooperative” and “collegial…but competitive,” a healthy mix appreciated by all. “If you have to miss a class for something, you can always find someone to send you notes from class,” says a student. People often study and outline together here, and “everyone is friendly and willing and able to help you if you have a problem.” “I love it here. I would definitely go here all over again,” says a 3L.
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.