Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 4 (8 in joint-degree credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in computer science, dispute resolution), and J.D./M.U.R.P. (Juris Doctor/Masters of Urban and Regional Planning).
The Shepard Broad Law Center offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, international law, litigation, tax law, torts and insurance, children and family, and health law. In addition, the clinics offer 12 credits to students who work with families and children, an environmental group, an international agency, a prosecutor or public defender, a corporation or business firm, a personal injury firm, or a mediation program. The mediation program is worth 8 credits. Upper-level students may take seminars for 2 to 3 credits. As interns, students earn 2 credits researching for a judge or serving as a Guardian ad Litem. The Career Development Office sponsors lecture series on various types of law practices. The Law Center offers a dual degree program with the University of Barcelona and similar opportunities in other countries. Tutorial programs consist of the Academic Resource Program and the Critical Skills Program. Special interest group programs are the Individuals with Disabilities Project and Guardian ad Litem. Both offer credit for working to protect the rights of the disabled and children. The most widely taken electives are Sales, Remedies, and Florida Constitutional Law.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 57 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Lawyering Skills and Values I and II, Legal Study Skills I and II, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Advanced Lawyering Skills and Values (2 semesters), Advanced Legal Analysis, an upper class writing requirement, Business Entities, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Professional Responsibility, and Wills and Trusts. The required orientation program for first-year students includes an introduction to the law school experience before classes begin; other sessions are held during the semester.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and have passed all required courses.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 2813 applied, 775 were accepted, and 336 enrolled. Thirty-one transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 37; the median GPA was 3.01 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 8; the highest was 94.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include undergraduate curriculum, life experience, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, and 2 letters of recommendation are suggested. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 82% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $28,606. Awards are based on need and merit. Loans are need-based. Most scholarships are merit-based; some are need-based. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. No statements are required for merit-based aid. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include scholarship funds. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application when the application for aid is complete.
In a recent year, about 51% of the student body were women; 28%, minorities; 6%, African American; 3%, Asian American; and 19%, Hispanic. The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 51. About 17% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 83% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Nova Law Review, the Journal of International and Comparative Law, and the student newspaper Broadly Speaking. Intramural moot court competitions are held in the fall for upper-class students and in the winter for first-year students; Law Center frequently hosts a Round Robin Moot Court Competition. A team competes in the American Trial Lawyers Association trial competition as well as other moot court and trial competitions. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include Hispanic Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Asian/Pacific Islands Law Students Association, International Law Society, Entertainment and Sports Law Society, Student Bar Association, Business Law Students Association, Christian Legal Society, and Jewish Law Students Association.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 5 years. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only (some day classes are available) and must be completed within 6 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is an 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.