Pursuing a career as a lawyer starts with finding the right institution for your academic qualifications. In Florida, there are several institutions that provide esteemed law programs, most being nationally recognized.
If you are looking for a top law school in Florida, then you are in the right place. Today, we will highlight eight of the best law schools in the state based on factors such as academics, facilities, and even approval rates.
Point to note, all schools provided in this list are ABA-accredited.
1. University of Florida Levin College of Law
The University of Florida (UF) Levin College of Law is ranked 31st among all law schools by the US News and World Report annual rankings. UF Law is widely considered to be among the best public law schools in the country, mainly due to its focus on both academics and practical work.
UF Law has over 80-full time faculty members who work in collaboration with 50 adjunct lecturers and professors. The institution has a highly active faculty that participates in publishing, reviewing, and aiding student research.
UF Law is ranked as the best provider of tax courses among all public law schools by the US News and World Report. The class of 2018 comprised of 248 students. The median GPA for 2018 admissions was 3.72, while the median LSAT score stood at 163.
With a bar pass rate of 70.9%, UF Law is among the leading law schools in Florida by a long shot. However, as you look to apply for your law course at the University of Florida, be sure to keep in mind that it only offers admission during the fall semester.
As per the university’s official ABA-required 2018 disclosures, 75.3% of 2017 graduates secured employment within ten months of graduating. The unemployment rate stands at 12.7%, which is highly impressive, considering the fairly high number of admissions.
Graduates from UF Law earn an average of $45,000 within their first year of employment in public service.
2. Florida State University College of Law
Located in Tallahassee, Florida, the Florida State University College of Law is among the leading law institutions in the state. The school recently added a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art advocacy center that includes five courtrooms.
The institution is ranked 48th among ABA-accredited law schools in the country by the United States News and World Report (USNWR). To gain admission to the Florida State University of Law, you will need a minimum of LSAT 160 points for the 2020 admission session. The GPA meridian stands at 3.63, which is considered manageable by most applicants.
The acceptance rate currently stands at 35.9%, meaning you stand a genuine chance provided your application is in order. Impressively, Florida State University College of Law has a bar passage of 81.1, which is well above Florida’s average of 67.9%.
The institution is known for its diversity as it boasted of 33.3% minorities in its 2019 admissions. 54% of the enrolled students are women, while a further 23% are non-Florida residents. These statistics make the Florida State University College of Law a perfect destination for both locals and students outside the borders of Florida.
3. University of Miami School of Law
Located in Coral Gables, Florida, the University of Miami School of Law is ranked 67th by the USNWR and widely viewed as one of Florida’s leading law schools. The institution provides several programs ranging from JD to LL. M and event joint degrees. The university also provides international courses such as LLM-International Arbitration and LLM-International Law.
The average GPA for the latest admissions stood at 3.43, while the LSAT score was 159. Students are encouraged to apply even if their LSAT scores might be slightly lower than the median. Other factors that are given weight when considering applications include a personal statement, work experience, community service, and extracurricular activities.
University statistics for 2018 assert that 75% of graduates obtained employment within nine months. The underemployment score stands at 13.8, which serves to highlight the university’s impressive student-employment rate after graduation.
The presence of an extensive library and an excellent student community allows students to gel and interact with ease.
4. Florida International University College of Law
The Florida International University (FIU) College of Law is one of the fastest improving law schools in the US. FIU College of Law is ranked as the 91st law school in the US by the United States News and World Reports (USNWR).
Despite being fully accredited in 2006, the FIU College of Law has made its name mainly due to the quality of courses offered. Some of the specialty programs offered by the institution include a Trial Advocacy Program, Intellectual Property Certificate, Legal Skills, and Values Board, Internal Law and Comparative law, among other essential options.
FIU College of Law registers impressive statistics, as 87.5% of its students pass the bar exams. It also offers notable law clinics like the Immigrant children and minors Justice Clinic, Death Penalty Clinic, Immigration, and Human Rights Clinic, among others.
The median GPA stands at 3.64, while the LSAT median is 157 points. Joining the FIU College of Law shouldn’t be too hard if you have an impressive academic record. However, you will also need a strong personal statement to explain how you will add value to the institution and the Florida community as a whole.
The outstanding 87% rate of employment means that serious law students have a high chance of kicking off their legal careers immediately after graduation.
5. Stetson University College of Law
The Stetson University College of Law was founded in 1900 and was the first law school in Florida. It has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1931 and is ranked as the 104th best law school in America by the US News & World Report.
Stetson University College of Law is ranked among the best in legal writing and trial advocacy in the country. This provides students with a massive opportunity of furthering their legal careers. Stetson students registered a bar passage rate of 72.3%.
The school requires applicants to satisfy a median LSAT of 155, which is considered manageable by most students. The university has a friendly acceptance rate as it accepted 45.55% of its applicants. The median GPA stands at 3.36.
In regard to employment, 77.2% of Stetson University’s graduates landed jobs within ten months of graduating.
6. Florida Coastal School of Law
The Florida Coastal School of Law was accredited in 2002. The school was formed with the intention of producing practice-ready advocates and offers several certificates to supplement its JD curriculum. Some of the certificate programs offered include environmental law, international comparative law, and sports law, among other programs.
Florida Coastal has a decent acceptance rate, standing it at 37.8%. That rate, however, reduced significantly from the previous 71.4%. The GPA median is 3.14, while the LSAT median stands at 150.
The bar passage rate is not too high as it stands at 42.5%, meaning bar passage is not a `guaranteed formality` at the institution.
Regarding employment, 46.6% of 2017 graduates landed full-time jobs within the first ten months after graduation.
7. St. Thomas University School of Law
Located in Miami Gardens, St. Thomas University is one of Florida’s leading law schools. The school was formed in 1984 and continues to prioritize the development of new curriculum and courses to help empower modern-day lawyers.
St. Thomas University is the only school in the state that provides an undergraduate course in cyber-security and policy. The program is provided as an online package as the university looks to promote flexible learning.
Securing admission to St. Thomas University shouldn’t be too hard as the entry requirements are relatively low compared to other institutions in Florida. The median LSAT for the previous admission was 148, and the GPA stood at 3.1.
54.7% of its 2018 graduates received jobs within the first ten months.
8. Ave Maria School of Law
Located in Naples, the Ave Maria School of law was formed in 1999 to provide holistic legal education. The institution is Catholic-based and looks to merge legal practice to Catholic and social principles.
The Ave Maria School of Law has an acceptance rate of 55.1, which can be termed as good news for interested applicants. The median LSAT scores for the 2020 admissions stand at 148. The GPA median is fairly low, standing at 3.05.
The school has a bar passage rate of 53.4%, while 49.4% of graduates were employed by the tenth month since graduation.
As is evident from the list above, Florida is home to several leading law schools. Successful applications depend on several factors ranging from LSAT and GPA scores to personal statements, among other considerations.
When applying for a legal course in your preferred law school, be sure to check on factors such as employment rates after graduation and the bar passage rate. Having such information on standby will leave you better when making your final decision.