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Florida State University College of Law

College of Law
Established 1966
Type Public
Dean Donald J. Weidner
Students 665[1]
Location Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Nickname Template:If empty

Florida State University College of Law is the law school of Florida State University in Tallahassee. The law school's highly accomplished and accessible law faculty delivers a program that has an interdisciplinary orientation designed to produce well-rounded and effective lawyers.

The law school borders the southeast quadrant of the University's campus, near the Donald L. Tucker Center, an arena and part of the Tallahassee civic center area. The College of Law campus consists of four major buildings, four historic houses around a green and five parking lots. It occupies two full city blocks and is directly across the street from the Florida Supreme Court and one block from the Florida Legislature. The school's most recent addition is its 50,000-square-foot Advocacy Center, which includes five courtrooms.

According to Florida State University's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 68.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[2]


The College of Law offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.), which is the first professional law degree. The three-year program provides students a foundational first-year program, a legal writing program, and a varied offering of upper-level courses, seminars, clinics, and co-curricular activities.

Externship programs exist in the United States and abroad — including at the International Bar Association in London, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, the Special Court of Sierra Leone, in Washington, D.C., and in every major city in Florida, allowing students to spend a semester outside of Tallahassee.

The College of Law offers an Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in Environmental Law and Policy, as well as an LL.M. program for foreign lawyers. Additionally, the College of Law offers certificate programs in Environmental and Land Use Law, Business Law and International Law. Its faculty also offers a significant range of courses in Criminal Law.

The College of Law offers joint degree programs allowing students to earn other degrees in conjunction with the J.D., including Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, and Ph.D. degrees.


File:College of Law Rotunda.jpg
The D'Alemberte Rotunda, part of the College of Law, is used to host special events and in the past has been used by the Florida Supreme Court to convene special sessions

Currently U.S. News & World Report (2015) ranks Florida State as the 45th best law school in the nation and the #2 law school in the state of Florida. U.S. News & World Report (2012) ranked the environmental law program 8th best in the nation and its tax law program 23rd best (tied with Duke).

A 2012 update of Leiter’s Law School Rankings rates the law school faculty the nation’s 33rd best in terms of per capita scholarly impact.

Hispanic Business magazine (2011) ranks Florida State the nation’s 3rd best law school for Hispanic students.

PreLaw magazine has ranked Florida State one of the nation’s top 10 “Best Value” law schools for three years in a row.

National Jurist magazine (2010) ranks the law library the 30th best in the nation.[3]

National Jurist magazine (2013) ranks Florida State the nation's 34th best law school in the country.[4]


According to Florida State University's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 68.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[2] Florida State University's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 13.1%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[5]


The estimated total cost of attendance (including the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Florida State University for the 2014-2015 academic year is $38,593 for Florida residents and $58,344 for non-Florida residents.[6] Most non-residents are eligible to reclassify as Florida residents for tuition purposes after the 1L year. Using the 2014-15 tuition & fees schedule, if a non-Florida resident student were to reclassify and pay in-state tuition for their second and third years of law school, they would pay an average of $27,364 per year in tuition for all three years.


In a recent study of faculty productivity of law schools Florida State Law ranked third and was the top law school in Florida and the most productive in the Southeastern U.S.[7] The faculty scholarship of Florida State Law regularly ranks among the top 30 law schools based on downloads, according to the Social Science Research Network, which hosts working papers by Florida State Law Faculty in Public Law and Legal Theory, Law, Business & Economics and Sustainability Law & Policy.

Nationally prominent law professors at FSU include faculty in: Administrative and Regulatory Law (Mark Seidenfeld); Constitutional Law (Nat Stern); Criminal Law (Wayne Logan, Dan Markel, Gary Kleck); Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law (Donna R. Christie, David L. Markell, Hannah Wiseman); International Law (Frederick M. Abbott, Fernando Tesón); Law & Humanities, including Legal Philosophy (Rob Atkinson and Fernando Tesón); Law, Economics & Business (Bruce L. Benson, Manuel Utset, Kelli Alces, Shawn Bayern); and Tax Law (Joseph M. Dodge, Steve Johnson, Jeffrey Kahn).

Florida State Law faculty members have published their own casebooks in environmental law — David Markell and Donna Christie. Other faculty authored books are widely used in law schools across the country for courses in Tax Law (Joseph M. Dodge), International Intellectual Property Law (Frederick M. Abbott), and Law and Economics (Mark Seidenfeld). Beyond the classroom, Florida State Law faculty members are regularly cited as authorities by courts, law reform bodies and other scholars. One faculty member, Sandy D'Alemberte, is a former president of both the American Bar Association and the National Judicature Society.

Affiliated faculty from other university departments holding courtesy appointments at the law school include John Scholz, a leading political scientist addressing regulatory enforcement; Bruce L. Benson, an economist focused and law and economics; R. Mark Isaac, a leading experimental economist; and Gary Kleck, a criminologist known for his work on guns and deterrence.


The Florida State University Law Review is the flagship law review of Florida State Law. It publishes four issues a year.

The Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law is the state's first and remains its only student publication in the field. It is ranks among the top environmental and land use law journals based on citations.

The Journal of Transnational Law & Policy publishes articles in the field of international law, including human rights, comparative law and U.S. foreign policy.

Law students also publish the Florida State University Business Review a biannual publication which examines the interrelated disciplines of business and law but is not an official cocurricular journal.


Some of its distinguished graduates include:

Alumni Notability
John Antoon Current U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida
Jim Bacchus Former U.S. Representative; justice and chairman of the World Trade Organization Appellate Body
Rick Baker Former mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida
Kenneth B. Bell Former Florida Supreme Court justice
Terry Bowden Current Head Coach, University of Akron
Shannon Bream Fox News Channel correspondent
Kathy Castor Current U.S. Representative
Lacey A. Collier Current U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Florida
Benjamin Crump Lead attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin
W. Thomas Cumbie Current Senior Judge for the United States Air Force, also a Colonel
Dwight Dudley Current member of the Florida House of Representatives
Steven Geller Former member Florida Senate Minority Leader
Adam Hasner Current Florida House of Representatives Majority Leader
Eleanor J. Hill Former United States Department of Defense Inspector General
Skip Horack Writer, and currently a professor at Stanford University
Tim Howard Current director of Northeastern University's Executive Doctorate Program in Law & Policy
Patricia Ireland Former president of the National Organization for Women, and writer
Mark E. Kaplan Former Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation
Tony La Russa Former manager for the St. Louis Cardinals
Marcelo Llorente Current member of the Florida House of Representatives
Stephen MacNamara Chief of Staff for Florida Governor Rick Scott
John Marks Current mayor of Tallahassee, Florida
Mel Martinez Former U.S. Senator; former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Craig McCarthy Attorney on a number of high-profile cases and candidate for the Florida House of Representatives
Anne McGihon Current member of the Colorado House of Representatives
Gary Pajcic Former attorney and philanthropist
Ricky Polston Current Florida Supreme Court justice
Ion Sancho Current Supervisor of Elections for Leon County, Florida, gained notoriety in the 2000 presidential recount
Mary Stenson Scriven Current U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida
Carlos O. Torano Current president of Toraño Cigars and Central America Tobacco
H. James Towey Current president of Saint Vincent College, and former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
J. Alex Villalobos Current member of the Florida Senate
John Wood Current member of the Florida House of Representatives


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