By Dean R. Alexander Acosta
FIU Law provides a contemporary, high-quality legal education, emphasizing excellence and success at both the individual and the institutional level.
We enroll a smaller class intentionally so that we can foster a community that is both intellectually rigorous and interpersonally accessible, all within one of the nation’s largest legal markets. This combination of traits has been integral to our success. We know of no other law school that has risen as rapidly within the traditional rankings. And we have done so while preserving our diversity and our tuition advantage as a state-supported law school.
Our students are outstanding. They enter law school with exemplary academic records, and their collective achievements throughout their time here are equally impressive. This past year our mock trial team won the Chester H. Bedell Memorial Mock Trial competition, which is a statewide competition conducted annually by the Florida Bar’s trial lawyers section, and our negotiation team won its fourth consecutive ABA regional negotiation competition. Our students combine skill and will in equal measure, as evidenced by the class of 2015’s 88% first-time bar passage rate – the highest bar passage rate in all of Florida, and more than twenty percentage points above the state average.
Our students’ achievements are also reflective of our faculty and administration’s commitment to quality teaching and thoughtful mentoring. Our students benefit from our cutting-edge curriculum, which blends traditional legal theory with thoughtful analysis of the pragmatic considerations that a modern society requires of its attorney problem-solvers.
We couple this dynamic in-class curriculum with a robust set of experiential learning programs, including seven in-house legal clinics and externship programs with placements in a variety of judicial, civil, and criminal settings. As a result, our students graduate with a well-rounded skillset and a considered understanding of the profession’s expectations. Delivering such a quality education in Miami, a city long considered one of the world’s largest hubs for global commerce, gives our graduates a tremendous advantage when entering the job market. Our 2015 graduating class secured full-time, long-term law-related placements at a rate higher than any other law school in South Florida.
FIU Law’s commitment to building community extends to the way the college engages with alumni and South Florida at large. Our alumni are incredibly engaged and committed to each other, our current students, and the institution. The college’s Alumni Circle has one of the highest participation rates of any law school alumni network in Florida, with nearly 20 percent of our alumni contributing significantly to the college’s various programs and scholarship funds. The South Florida community at large shares our alumni’s engagement. Throughout the years we have engaged with the community on a number of levels. Indeed, many law firms and individual attorneys support our law college by sponsoring scholarships for our students.
Our community engagement also takes more individualized forms. Some of the college’s most important endeavors are those undertaken through our clinical programs. From our Carlos A. Costa Immigration & Human Rights Clinic’s work assisting unaccompanied minors, to our Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic’s efforts to improve client access to healthcare in underserved communities, the college and its stakeholders are making a tangible, positive impact in the South Florida community.
By collectively emphasizing quality in each of the ways that we deliver on our core mission, the college creates a community that prepares our students for the ethical and effective practice of law in the 21st first century. FIU Law is truly setting a standard of excellence for law schools in Florida by demonstrating how law schools can more effectively serve their students, their alumni, and their surrounding communities.
I encourage you to visit our website at www.law.fiu.edu