Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: borderlaw on May 10, 2005, 12:13:27 PM

Title: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: borderlaw on May 10, 2005, 12:13:27 PM
I am hoping that FSU can eventually surpass UF in the rankings.
Is this highly unlikely?
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: lawrankler on May 10, 2005, 12:51:23 PM
I suspect that the two schools are approaching parity in the rankings, but UF has a bit of an edge currently.  The trend is clearly towards something like you see in states like Arizona and California, where Arizona and Arizona State or UC-Davis and Hastings are very close competitors.  I think that FSU will become a top 50 law school, but I also think that UF will continue to be a top 50, and possibly as highly ranked as the lower 30s within the next 5 years.  If UF does really stupid things, FSU will surpass it, but that is unlikely.  The gap will close between both schools, but both schools will move up in national rankings.

Things to watch for:

-FSU's faculty:  They have attracted a faculty that is much better than the law school.  Can they hold on to them, being in given their isoliation?

-FSU's success in new markets:  I hear that FSU graduates have made serious headway in the Atlanta firms but can FSU place graduates in markets like Atlanta, D.C., New York, or will it always be a Florida law school (with success in Miami, Tampa, etc., but little additional placement success)?

-FSU's association with FSU:  Whatever good is going on at FSU's law school, they are associated with what many in Florida and nationally see as a weak university.  UF has a major edge when it comes to overall student quality at the undergraduate level and graduate programs.

-UF's size:  With it's large size, can UF compete nationally on employment numbers? 

-UF's ability to move up beyond where it is:  Can UF compete with the schools immediately above it?  Very unclear how it can do so, given its size and limited aspirations to be the best in Florida.   

I agree with Brian Leiter that FSU is one of the under-ranked and under-recognized law schools.  It has an impressive faculty (more so than UF or even Georgia or Alabama, in my opinion), one of the best environmental law programs in the country, and it jumped 11 slots in the rankings this year.  In my opinion, we should watch for it to break the top 50, especially if they continue to increase the student quality numbers on LSAT/GPA (which has gone up a lot for FSU in recent years).
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: borderlaw on May 10, 2005, 03:27:25 PM
Wow- Thanks for that reply.
BTW...do you think that someone who does well at FSU would have a hard time finding a job in NY?
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: lawrankler on May 10, 2005, 03:39:13 PM
I don't think it will be easy to get a job in New York coming from FSU, but also I don't think it is any easier coming from UF or any other Florida law school.  Both schools have placed some recent graduates in major NYC firms.  Although FSU does have some well-placed alumni in NYC, the law school probably has less than 100 alumni in the NYC area -- you would need to rely on this network, your own initiative and sheer luck.  The placement offices at both UF and FSU have limited options if you are looking in NYC.  Sorry to be so grim about this, but even Emory and Duke graduates complain about their lack of NYC options!  Most non-top 20 law school graduates who are successful in NYC move their first and then find a job. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: --------- on May 10, 2005, 04:15:24 PM


FSU isn't considered an overall  weak university. Their average incoming GPA for college freshmen is a 3.8. UF's is a 3.9. The SAT/ACT scores are almost the same(Uf has a very slight edge). Speaking as someone who works in graduate admissions in FL,I can say that FL ad-coms consider these two schools to be the strongest in the state.

However,that's FL. The rest of the nation,except for maybe parts of the SE,doesn't give a damn about either school.
Neither of them will help  you get a job in NY. You're better off going to a 4th tier in NYC. Neither school has any pull outside the SE.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: lawrankler on May 10, 2005, 04:39:27 PM
From my daughter's materials I see that the SAT score difference is nearly 100 points, isn't it?  That's pretty big.  And UF has a much bigger pool of students at the top (national merit scholars), which gives it more national prestige.  I think that there are major differences in national reputation.  For example, UF is an AAU member with a university president with a national reputation.  FSU has a former football player and state politician hardly known outside of Tallahassee as president.  Look at US News and NRC reputation rankings based on reputation score.  UF does substantially better in almost every program than FSU.  Also, visit their web sites.  UF promotes itself as a serious research university.  FSU promotes itself as a sports school in a state capitol that has some research.  I see a big difference, to the extent you might be buying the prestige of the university, which should be a factor in deciding where to go to school.  Perhaps I am introducing some privincial bias.  But I did attend FSU and I am from S. Florida.  UF is clearly the top choice for most of the top HS students in S. Florida.  Most of my daughter's HS classmates are going to FSU becuase they did not get into UF.  Everyone she knows who got into UF is going -- save a few mmusic types and some misguided kids with parents who are FSU boosters.  Unfortunately, at present FSU is seen as the party school alternative to UF, for those who did not get in.  The law schools are much more even, but there is no real competition between the universities if we are talking about undergraduate or graduate programs more generally -- UF beats FSU in almost every area (music and performing arts the exception). 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: --------- on May 10, 2005, 05:03:07 PM
From my daughter's materials I see that the SAT score difference is nearly 100 points, isn't it?  That's pretty big.  And UF has a much bigger pool of students at the top (national merit scholars), which gives it more national prestige.  I think that there are major differences in national reputation.  For example, UF is an AAU member with a university president with a national reputation.  FSU has a former football player and state politician hardly known outside of Tallahassee as president.  Look at US News and NRC reputation rankings based on reputation score.  UF does substantially better in almost every program than FSU.  Also, visit their web sites.  UF promotes itself as a serious research university.  FSU promotes itself as a sports school in a state capitol that has some research.  I see a big difference, to the extent you might be buying the prestige of the university, which should be a factor in deciding where to go to school.  Perhaps I am introducing some privincial bias.  But I did attend FSU and I am from S. Florida.  UF is clearly the top choice for most of the top HS students in S. Florida.  Most of my daughter's HS classmates are going to FSU becuase they did not get into UF.  Everyone she knows who got into UF is going -- save a few mmusic types and some misguided kids with parents who are FSU boosters.  Unfortunately, at present FSU is seen as the party school alternative to UF, for those who did not get in.  The law schools are much more even, but there is no real competition between the universities if we are talking about undergraduate or graduate programs more generally -- UF beats FSU in almost every area (music and performing arts the exception). 
Due to my job,I've probably spent more time looking at US News than most people ever have the displeasure to.
I'm not arguing that UF generally outranks FSU. I don't see 70 points  being a dramatic SAT score difference. The scores are probably 5-9% points away.

Having lived in the NE most of my life, and having worked in an admissions office in MA for a little over a year,I can tell you that  UF doesn't have anymore of a pull than FSU does. They're both southern state schools.Both FSU and UF are regularly ranked as the nations top party schools by the Princeton review. Both have almost no pull outside of their respective areas. If the OP wants to work in NY,he should go to school there.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: Intuition on May 10, 2005, 06:10:16 PM
The one area where I think it will still take quite a bit of time for FSU to catch UF is in its alumni network. Rankings may flip-flop, but I think it will take more than 5 more years for the good ole boy network of the south to be affected by the change, IMHO.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:24:14 PM


FSU isn't considered an overall  weak university. Their average incoming GPA for college freshmen is a 3.8. UF's is a 3.9. The SAT/ACT scores are almost the same(Uf has a very slight edge). Speaking as someone who works in graduate admissions in FL,I can say that FL ad-coms consider these two schools to be the strongest in the state.

However,that's FL. The rest of the nation,except for maybe parts of the SE,doesn't give a damn about either school.
Neither of them will help  you get a job in NY. You're better off going to a 4th tier in NYC. Neither school has any pull outside the SE.

Well if you look at the US News rankings UF is 49 or 50 for undergrad, while Miami is 58 and FSU is 111.  I still think FSU is not a weak school as the above poster puts it, but rankings wise its not near UF.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:26:45 PM
The one area where I think it will still take quite a bit of time for FSU to catch UF is in its alumni network. Rankings may flip-flop, but I think it will take more than 5 more years for the good ole boy network of the south to be affected by the change, IMHO.

FSU was founded in 1966, UF in 1905 or 1908, plus UF graduates 400 students every year, while FSU is about 220.  UF has a huge alumni base that is constantly talking itself up, so the state is brainwashed about how great UF law is, when in reality it doesn't mean much outside of Florida.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:28:55 PM
FSU took a big jump in the rankings because they take the higher lsat score and don't accept a lot of people.  I know several people who got into FSU this admit cycle but did not get into UF or Miami because UF and Miami average lsat scores.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:35:15 PM
Wow- Thanks for that reply.
BTW...do you think that someone who does well at FSU would have a hard time finding a job in NY?

If you want to work in NY, and you plan to attend law school in Florida go to Miami.  They place very well in the Northeast, and many of their graduates are landing jobs in Big law NYC, Boston, DC and Chicago this year. You'll find it very hard to land a job in NY graduating from FSU or UF.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:37:31 PM
This is true, but doesn't the ABA/US News Data average the scores to create uniformity among the schools?

I'm not sure, however if that was the case I don't see why FSU would just take the higher score. But, you could be right.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: tegra8 on May 10, 2005, 07:44:34 PM

  UF has a huge alumni base that is constantly talking itself up, so the state is brainwashed about how great UF law is, when in reality it doesn't mean much outside of Florida.

jackpot!  UF grads, any degree, talk about UF like it is the harvard of the south and all the dumb redneck gator fans that never attended UF spew the same garbage.  Since there is an overwhelming number of UF grads and dumb redneck fans in Florida, they have brainwashed everyone to believe UF is great.  Anybody outside of Florida views UF and FSU as almost identical though   
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:44:53 PM
Wow- Thanks for that reply.
BTW...do you think that someone who does well at FSU would have a hard time finding a job in NY?

If you want to work in NY, and you plan to attend law school in Florida go to Miami.  They place very well in the Northeast, and many of their graduates are landing jobs in Big law NYC, Boston, DC and Chicago this year. You'll find it very hard to land a job in NY graduating from FSU or UF.

I agree.  Though UF and FSU are both on the rise, they still won't place very well out of the SE.  UM would be your best bet for the Miami area and NE, though I would imagine your class rank would have to be ridiculous (competing with the big dawgs!).

Yep, it's the summa, magna cum laude, law review and moot court grads that are getting those jobs. But, if you do well you can land it, at UF and FSU forget about it.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:45:44 PM

  UF has a huge alumni base that is constantly talking itself up, so the state is brainwashed about how great UF law is, when in reality it doesn't mean much outside of Florida.

jackpot!  UF grads, any degree, talk about UF like it is the harvard of the south and all the dumb redneck gator fans that never attended UF spew the same garbage.  Since there is an overwhelming number of UF grads and dumb redneck fans in Florida, they have brainwashed everyone to believe UF is great.  Anybody outside of Florida views UF and FSU as almost identical though   

I'm a UF grad myself, I know what you're talking about. lol
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 10, 2005, 07:48:12 PM
Hey Willy, I heard Machen has gotten rid of the Florida resident cap for UF law.  Not sure if thats correct or not, but if it is, it's all about the rankings.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: borderlaw on May 10, 2005, 09:44:12 PM
Would an average student at Fordham or Cardoza have a better time finding a NY job than someone in the top 1% at UGA, UF, or FSU?

 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: lawrankler on May 11, 2005, 05:27:06 AM
I believe that top 1% at FSU or UF would be favored by a large NYC firm overt top 50% at the NY schools you mention.  For mid-sized and smaller firms, the NY law schools may have an advantage, in that students have closer proximity and can clerk during the year, but I believe that is a small advantage given the price you will pay over three years.  I am confident that with an FSU or UF degree you will get a job if you are a good student and take initiative, but it may not be as easy if you are going for NYC instead of closder markets in Florida or Atlanta.

I am not sure that going to Miami is the answer if you wish to work in NYC.  Miami may have more graduates in the NYC area, but basing a decision on placement statistics alone can be misleading.  Many of the students at Mianmi are from the Northeast, so it does not surprise me that Miami's NE placement rack record is better, but I suspect that is driven by supply rather than demand.  I thought your question was what firms would be more likely to hire graduates of a school, not which law school's graduates would be most likely to move back to NYC!

Also, to elaborate on my earlier post, while I do not think that FSU -- as a general undergraduate institution -- is as quite strong as UF (and as an alumnus of FSU this disappoints me), I do not think that FSU's lower rank as an undergraduate school (111 in the recent U.S. News, even though the law school ranks 56) should influence your choice about law school.  I would note two things.  First, UF's undergraduate institution also lags behind its law school in national rankings.  Second, the network advantage of UF is frequently WAY overstated.  I understand that UF has more grdauates each year and has gbeen around longer, so it have a much bigger network -- it does not take a NASA rocker scientist to see this.  Again, do not confuse past supply with future demand.  A lot of Nova and Stetson graduates staff law firms in S Florida, but I would recommend FSU over Nova and Stetson any day.  Placed in perspective UF's network is not at all impressive when compared to a school like Texas or UNC and FSU's network is increasingly impressive in all of the same ways that UF's is (just not as big).  In my opinion, as long as there are enough network contacts to have the door cracked open for consideration, a strong placement network alone is not going to make your career. 

What WILL make your career is your initiative, ability, performance, and follow through.  This is about your future, and you should think of your decision about which law school to attend as making an investment in a school -- it is not about any institution's past, but about anticipating a trend 5-10 years out -- specifically, what the learning and degree you receive from that school can do for you in the future?  In that sense, you are asking precisely the right question in asking where these schools will be 5 years from now.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 11, 2005, 07:28:49 AM
I believe that top 1% at FSU or UF would be favored by a large NYC firm overt top 50% at the NY schools you mention.  For mid-sized and smaller firms, the NY law schools may have an advantage, in that students have closer proximity and can clerk during the year, but I believe that is a small advantage given the price you will pay over three years.  I am confident that with an FSU or UF degree you will get a job if you are a good student and take initiative, but it may not be as easy if you are going for NYC instead of closder markets in Florida or Atlanta.

Second, the network advantage of UF is frequently WAY overstated.  I understand that UF has more grdauates each year and has gbeen around longer, so it have a much bigger network -- it does not take a NASA rocker scientist to see this.  Again, do not confuse past supply with future demand.  A lot of Nova and Stetson graduates staff law firms in S Florida, but I would recommend FSU over Nova and Stetson any day.  Placed in perspective UF's network is not at all impressive when compared to a school like Texas or UNC and FSU's network is increasingly impressive in all of the same ways that UF's is (just not as big).  In my opinion, as long as there are enough network contacts to have the door cracked open for consideration, a strong placement network alone is not going to make your career.



 


It depends, I've heard from a few friends in Big Law NYC that FSU and UF JD's on the resume get tossed in the trash.Plus, you have to remember that law is the snobbiest profession in the country.  However, I'm sure there are plenty of firms that will def give you a look if you're top 1%. Yet, being top 1% in reality is probably not going to happen.

Depends were you want to work in Florida.  FSU is great in the small to medium size firms in Tampa area, central and North Florida. What is alarming to me, as a prospective student is that almost half of the graduating class at FSU goes into govt law and not private practice.  I would like to see more graduates going into the firms to build better alumni networks.  Big law in Florida is dominated by UF all over the state except the tri-county area (Broward, Dade and Palm Beach) in which Miami grads have an advantage over UF.  FSU is pretty nonexistent in Big Law in S.Florida, but does have a respectable showing in Tampa, Orlando, J-ville areas, yet UF still has a large lead in those areas simply because they graduate more and more head into private practice. In South Florida the current practicing lawyers in the tri-county area tota FSU 604 grads, UF 2397, Miami 5746, Stetson has 465, and Nova SE has 1491. I agree a strong placement network is not going to make your career, all it does is open up the first door for you.  Once you get into that door you have the chance to excel, establish a stellar rep and move up the ladder in your career.  But, getting into a better front door is huge IMHO, and where you go to school gives you an opportunity to get into that better front door upon graduation.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 11, 2005, 07:50:00 AM
Hey Willy, I heard Machen has gotten rid of the Florida resident cap for UF law.  Not sure if thats correct or not, but if it is, it's all about the rankings.

Wow, I wonder if that is true.  If so, it could have major implications for UF, since they reject a lot of their best candidates (out-of-state).  If you find a link to the news, let me know.

By the way, is Machen really nationally known?  I had never heard of him before he came to UF.

I don't think Machen is nationally known.  I think he was the best available from a poor applicant pool.  UF was hoping to pull someone from a top 20 University, but the lousy pay and the lower prestige kept them from getting someone they really wanted.
With the cap its all about the rankings game.  Will UF be able to keep the 1 pt avg lsat lead over Miami and FSU now that FSU takes the higher score, and the .3 avg gpa lead over both once they have to report a Fall class of 400 instead of 200.  Miami already reports a class of 430 while FSU is about 230.  Right now UF can be more selective because they only need to fill up a class of 200 for the fall, and the rankings don't take into account the lower scores and gpas that the spring class averages.  That keeps their yield low like FSU.  UF's acceptance rate is around 13% for the fall, FSU's I believe is 17% while Miami's is 35%.  Should be interesting to see what happens.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: lawrankler on May 11, 2005, 08:09:46 AM
I am not sure where you get the "almot 50%" FSU graduates in government practice.  That figure is wrong.  The ABA statistics have 30% of FSU graduates going into government practice, and 24% of UF graduates going into government practice.  There is a bit of a revolving door here.  Many of the most successful lawyers start out at US Attorneys, or agency lawyers, going to law firms laterally with premium experience later in their careers.

We should not only look at total placement numbers, but look at the quality of the placements.  Nova graduates who are solo or small frm practitioners in Miami do not matter one bit in evaluating your placement in the market.  As I see it, the question is which graduates are likely to be consider by larger firms, and I think that here UF and FSU are competitive; about some firms (e.g., Stearns, Weaver) have a preference for FSU graduates, while others (Holland, Knight) have a preference for UF grads, everything else equal.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 11, 2005, 08:19:17 AM
I am not sure where you get the "almot 50%" FSU graduates in government practice.  That figure is wrong.  The ABA statistics have 30% of FSU graduates going into government practice, and 24% of UF graduates going into government practice.  There is a bit of a revolving door here.  Many of the most successful lawyers start out at US Attorneys, or agency lawyers, going to law firms laterally with premium experience later in their careers.

We should not only look at total placement numbers, but look at the quality of the placements.  Nova graduates who are solo or small frm practitioners in Miami do not matter one bit in evaluating your placement in the market.  As I see it, the question is which graduates are likely to be consider by larger firms, and I think that here UF and FSU are competitive; about some firms (e.g., Stearns, Weaver) have a preference for FSU graduates, while others (Holland, Knight) have a preference for UF grads, everything else equal.

I'm looking at the FSU law brochure for prospective students and they're reporting in their own statistics that only 48% of their class places in firms.  The rest go into govt and special interest law. I was grouping govt and special interest together.  I do agree however that many govt lawyers do move to firms to finally make some money, and are sought after for their experience.  I agree that FSU and UF grads are competitive in the big firms if you do well, just that if you don't do well you have a better shot of landing firm jobs from UF over FSU just because there is more UF alumni working in firms and everything being equal lawyers always hire from their alma mater.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: borderlaw on May 11, 2005, 09:02:15 AM
These replies have provided great information. I hope everyone who took the time to reply has also received great help on this board.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: Intuition on May 11, 2005, 10:45:58 AM
Agreed about the hiring of Machen...FloridaGuy, do you remember how difficult it was for UF to find a replacement for the interim President? He even stayed longer than he originally planned (if I remember correctly through the haze of my undergrad) because they were struggling to fill the post.

As for Machen being nationally known, I don't think he's nationally known as a President. Although he did work for the Univ. of Michigan for several years, he simply hasn't made a huge name for himself around the country just yet. He did good things at Utah prior to coming to UF, but he's still working his way up the food chain. With that said, I think he's got a good vision for UF, trying to mold it somewhat like Michigan.

UF is definitely not the "Harvard of the South"....that distinction will always belong to Duke in my mind. I think it is the best overall public university south of UVA, though. It's by no means amazing. It does have a very good Med School and a decent Law School.

As for UF Law, it's going to be very interesting to see how they handle the switch to Fall admissions only, with no Spring class. I'm considering UF since I want to practice in the SE...the renovations they are currently doing should give the facilities (esp. the library) a nice upgrade.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: HeatFan on May 11, 2005, 11:03:55 AM
My comments:

3 things in life are certain: Death, Taxes, and UF will always be a better University than FSU.

For undergrad FSU is where the UF rejects go except for a slim few.  The best students who stay in state go to UF or UM.  

However, as a grad of UF I can agree that I am not too impressed with the intellect at UF either.  Whenever someone says the Harvard of the South all you can do is laugh and say that is ridiculous.
Most peope I have spoken to in other areas of the country think FSU is a football cowtown and UF is a party school.

As for lawschool.  I also do not ever see FSU surpassing UF in the rankings.  The small class they take will not help their reputation which takes years to improve. Their reputation is only a 2.7 and 2.8 in USNews.  Only around 110 people go to firms after graduating from FSU.  The other 52% go into government or public interest.  This means either they can't get good firm jobs or they just want to work in those areas.  It is probably a combination of both.  

FSU's jump is due to playing the rankings game.  They started taking the higher LSAT last year and they have accepted less people, and have reduced their faculty to student ratio. All things that USnews rewards.  However, looking at past rankings their reputation has stayed basically the same, which is the most important category.  USNews jsut reports whatever the schools tell them, that is why schools manipulate all sorts of numbers.  I highly doubt USNEWS polices this misrepresentation. Although FSU says their median is a 159 I highly doubt that is the true average LSAT. Just look at lawschoolnumbers which is usually skewed towards higher numbers and almost everyone has lsat's of 157 or 158.  Also there are at least 4 or 5 cases of students getting rejected by UF and UM on lawschooldiscussion alone and even waitlisted at Stetson but accepted into FSU because of the higher lsat policy.  It is FSU's way to play the rankings game.  

As far as out of state, UF and FSU both get no respect for job placement.  They are both seen as southern schools and aren't respected however UF has a edge from what I have heard.  UM is by far the school to go if you have dreams of working in the Northeast.

Although I believe FSU has made some strides I think people are fooled into thinking it is a better school all of a sudden because it moved up in the rankings.  They are another classic example of playing the rankings game to manipulate numbers, when in reality the are getting close to the same type of students and their repuation and job placement has stayed the same. THey will always take a backseat to UF and other schools for the time being and I believe well into the future.

my humble opinion
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: BoscoBreaux on May 11, 2005, 11:55:24 AM
Much has been made so far about whether FSU, UF, Miami is a good option for someone contemplating working in NYC. Some points are good, others are based in conventional wisdom, but most on myth.
Does Miami place well in NYC? Depends on what you mean by "place." Many persons attend Miami from the Northeast (go to Miami Beach on a weekday, and you're as likely to hear Brooklyn accents as you are Cuban accents). These students tend to avoid the state schools, many of which are located in--well, the sticks.  Many of them ALREADY have connections back in NYC (especially those in the Jewish community). So, they head back upon graduation, partly because they fully intended to after graduation, and partly because there aren't that many jobs in Miami to support 4 law schools. Miami's relatively high starting salary is a function of this NYC flight, and not an acknowledgement of quality. So, these graduates, even if they went to UF, FSU, etc. would get a job in NYC, assuming they had the contacts to begin with. Miami's placement office will be helpful, but the extent to which it would be helpful is overblown.

The bottom line is none of the schools mentioned fulfills the requirements of getting a job in NYC: go to a local school, or go to a Top 13/14/15 or similar "wow" school.

As for whether FSU will surpass UF in 2010...I'll leave that to speculation.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: lawrankler on May 11, 2005, 12:32:47 PM
I agree that a lot of the comments here are based on myth.  Look at the facts. 

Let's not make accusations about playing the rankings game.  FSU hired 5 new faculty last year, and admitted a smaller class; this why its student faculty ratio improved, but I suspect that this is a real improvement in quality. 

FSU's prestige in the law profession has definitely gone up, as it has seen graduates appointed to the Florida Supreme Court, elected to the U.S. Senate, etc., but I agree that it still has a long ways to go.  I think it is closing the gap with UF, but I stand by earlier claim that both schools will become top 50 schools.  A state like Florida will have at least two top 50 schools, if for no other reason the large number of large urban markets we support.  Many lawyers at the top firms in the state see this and know it is happening.  My firm discusses it at our recruiting retreat.  I have met faculty from both UF and FSU -- UF has some washed out folks, but FSU has more young blood and energy, in my opinion.

Of course, if you want to make accusations about the rankings game, UF plays it too (it is well known among law firms in Florida that for years UF only reported numbers for a Fall class, as U.S. News allows them and many other law schools to -- one of their Deans even bragged about this!).  Some UF lawyers in my firm make the same argument you made here, but our recruiting director has confirmed that FSU's numbers are consistent with the numbers it reports to the ABA, which U.S. News does verify.  FSU cannot selective report whatever LSAT it wishes, as it does not have two different classes.  It must report the 25th and 75th LSAT of students admitted.  UF must report the same, but is allowed to report this for the most recent class for which it has numbers (which is almost always Fall, which allows them to exclude LSAT).
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: Intuition on May 11, 2005, 12:41:56 PM
Next year's rankings should be very interesting with UF doing away with its Spring admissions for good. I'm not sure off the top of my head, but I believe in Fall 2006, UF will admit a full class. The following rankings cycle may tell us alot about UF's real numbers. Only time will tell.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: HeatFan on May 11, 2005, 12:57:48 PM
Much has been made so far about whether FSU, UF, Miami is a good option for someone contemplating working in NYC. Some points are good, others are based in conventional wisdom, but most on myth.
Does Miami place well in NYC? Depends on what you mean by "place." Many persons attend Miami from the Northeast (go to Miami Beach on a weekday, and you're as likely to hear Brooklyn accents as you are Cuban accents). These students tend to avoid the state schools, many of which are located in--well, the sticks.  Many of them ALREADY have connections back in NYC (especially those in the Jewish community). So, they head back upon graduation, partly because they fully intended to after graduation, and partly because there aren't that many jobs in Miami to support 4 law schools. Miami's relatively high starting salary is a function of this NYC flight, and not an acknowledgement of quality. So, these graduates, even if they went to UF, FSU, etc. would get a job in NYC, assuming they had the contacts to begin with. Miami's placement office will be helpful, but the extent to which it would be helpful is overblown.

The bottom line is none of the schools mentioned fulfills the requirements of getting a job in NYC: go to a local school, or go to a Top 13/14/15 or similar "wow" school.

This is one of the many FSU/UF threads so I'll try to make this short.  I agree with you about to work in NYC the prerequisites need to be go to a top 14 or a local school.  However, nobody was comparing the Florida schools to those "wow" law schools.  They were being compared to each other.  Your points are assumptions based on assumptions and however some maybe true the fact of the matter is that UM places better in the Northeast (not just NYC) than the other two Florida schools by a large margin.  For whatever the reason is, UM is respected in the Northeast and places better than a good amount of Northeastern schools according to the new elite firm placement study that was recently done.  UF and FSU are seen as southern schools and UM is not.  I have talked to a good amount of lawyers and although far from representative they have told me this as well.


On another note, I believe all law schools are guilty of playing the ranking games.  Some schools just do it harder than others.  Yes UF plays the game while just giving their fall numbers.  I expect their numbers to drop with a class of 400 unless they remove the instate requirements which I am pretty sure they have.  However, FSU is playing the rankings game to a higher degree evidenced by their taking the higher LSAT and worrying about yield protection, etc.  FSU's numbers are consistent with the ABA USNEws, however they are the manipulated taking the higher LSAT score that has helped their increase, which they report. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: VeniceJazz on May 12, 2005, 09:05:54 AM
I don't know much about FSU or UF except that they are both under-rated law schools at under grad party universities. Since I am going to UM in the fall, I thought I should add my two cents. Miami is undoubtably better respected up here in the Northeast. That's why I applied in the first place. A few people have attributed the large(ish) number of UM alumni in the Northeast to the fact that a sizable portion of it's student originally hails from NY. I don't doubt that this is largely true, but I don't think that means it's placement data is deceptive. Loads of kids go down to Miami for school and come back up for work. This really gets the name out there. I think something similar happened with Tulane. This is how reputations are built. I think that you will see more and more UM grads working in the Northeast. It also helps that a decent number of major firms have offices in Miami.
As for being in the top 1%, well, I imagine you would do quite well coming from any of these 3 schools. Being in the top 1% is impressive, and I think you would hands down do better than an average or even many above average students from 'Dozo or Brooklyn.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 12, 2005, 09:26:27 AM
Hey Intuition,
When you said that UVa is "by no means amazing", what did you base your conclusion upon?  Do you think UVa and its students are similar to state schools, such as UF?  I always thought public schools like Berkeley, Michigan, UVa, etc, were far superior than their public counterparts.

Nah, UVA, Michigan are just like UF for undergrad IMHO, easy schools to get into if you're a smart kid instate, hard schools if you're a smart kid out of state trying to get in.  For law schools both have no instate caps, and both have tons and tons of more prestige and successful grads than UF.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on May 12, 2005, 09:32:06 AM
I don't know much about FSU or UF except that they are both under-rated law schools at under grad party universities. Since I am going to UM in the fall, I thought I should add my two cents. Miami is undoubtably better respected up here in the Northeast. That's why I applied in the first place. A few people have attributed the large(ish) number of UM alumni in the Northeast to the fact that a sizable portion of it's student originally hails from NY. I don't doubt that this is largely true, but I don't think that means it's placement data is deceptive. Loads of kids go down to Miami for school and come back up for work. This really gets the name out there. I think something similar happened with Tulane. This is how reputations are built. I think that you will see more and more UM grads working in the Northeast. It also helps that a decent number of major firms have offices in Miami.
As for being in the top 1%, well, I imagine you would do quite well coming from any of these 3 schools. Being in the top 1% is impressive, and I think you would hands down do better than an average or even many above average students from 'Dozo or Brooklyn.

I don't know about FSU, but UF is no longer a party school. LOL It's a huge nerd school from what it used to be just 5-6 years ago. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: Intuition on May 12, 2005, 10:59:29 AM
Willy, when I said "it is by no means amazing", I was referring to UF. Sorry for my unclear wording. UF is still a notch below UVA, UM and Berkeley but is on its way up. UF has done a good job in recent years by hiring good profs in general (not speaking about the LS in particular) and the research conducted at UF is pretty darn solid. Add in a great Med School, very solid LS and several other great grad programs and you have a very good state university.

I think UF is still much more of a party school than at least UM (I can't speak personally about UVA or Berkeley). I work for UM now, and the kids in general here are seriously focused on school. I agree that UF students are more nerdy than 5-10 yrs ago, but they are still more laidback about school than at the top publics. I graduated from UF in 2004 and the partying that went on while I was there blows UM's party scene out of the water.

My .02
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: iloveswedes on May 17, 2005, 10:57:37 AM
rankings are too self sustaining.  however, if something weird happens where UF misreports, that could send them plunging and pull them into a positive feedback loop where they keep getting sent further down.  who knows?  it happened with washington U
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: borderlaw on May 21, 2005, 07:41:07 AM
UF and FSU are even closer than the rankings indicated!!! They are 5 points away, based on the other scale.

52  George Mason/Tulane/U Alambama/U Arizona/U Florida/U Maryland
51  American
50  U Colorado
49  Case Wastern/U Conn/U Utah
48  Baylor/Southern Methodist/U Pitt/U Tennessee
47  Florida State/U Kentucky


Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: thelawfool on June 01, 2005, 06:12:33 PM
i was a 'noles fan growing up really for no reason.  i went to UF undergrad and transformed into a huge gator fan.  like huge.  they rejected me and FSU is at least still considering me.  am i allowed to switch back if FSU takes me?  all i know is F uck the Canes.  hey, what's the Nova Southeastern mascot?
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: Shardik on June 01, 2005, 06:44:18 PM
No, you cannot change back. 
If you go to FSU you must still be a gators fan.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: TheFloridaGuy on June 01, 2005, 06:48:51 PM
i was a 'noles fan growing up really for no reason.  i went to UF undergrad and transformed into a huge gator fan.  like huge.  they rejected me and FSU is at least still considering me.  am i allowed to switch back if FSU takes me?  all i know is F uck the Canes.  hey, what's the Nova Southeastern mascot?

Diehard Canes fan till I went to UF.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: borderlaw on June 10, 2005, 05:06:55 PM
bump
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: billymahogany on November 07, 2007, 12:13:54 PM
Bump because lots of good arguments have been made in this thread and wanted to hear some more recent opinions on this subject.

UF is currently 47 and FSU is currently 53, according to USNews.  FSU's rise can be attributed to smaller first year class sizes in recent years.  Instead of admitting a lot of first year students, FSU tends to allow a lot of transfers for 2L from lower tier schools (Nova, Barry, etc.).  IMHO, UF is having a hard time moving up in the rankings because of its location and FSU is hampered by not being associated with the flagship Florida school (UF). 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: iLukeisamazing on November 07, 2007, 12:23:43 PM
Bump because lots of good arguments have been made in this thread and wanted to hear some more recent opinions on this subject.

UF is currently 47 and FSU is currently 53, according to USNews.  FSU's rise can be attributed to smaller first year class sizes in recent years.  Instead of admitting a lot of first year students, FSU tends to allow a lot of transfers for 2L from lower tier schools (Nova, Barry, etc.).  IMHO, UF is having a hard time moving up in the rankings because of its location and FSU is hampered by not being associated with the flagship Florida school (UF). 


Probably true on both accounts. FSU has been trying very hard to bring their numbers up and both are considered top 5 or so in terms of affordability. Consequently, they are 1 and 2 for me in terms of where I want to go.

========================

On another note. It doesn't matter where you go to grad school. I'm as diehard a fan as they come for FSU, but I may go to UF if I get accepted to both. When you go to a new school, even if it's your rival, you MUST remain a fan of your original school, I don't care how many champioships that school wins while you're there. Othrewise, you're just some fairweather, sports blasphemist!
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: billymahogany on November 07, 2007, 12:27:44 PM
Bump because lots of good arguments have been made in this thread and wanted to hear some more recent opinions on this subject.

UF is currently 47 and FSU is currently 53, according to USNews.  FSU's rise can be attributed to smaller first year class sizes in recent years.  Instead of admitting a lot of first year students, FSU tends to allow a lot of transfers for 2L from lower tier schools (Nova, Barry, etc.).  IMHO, UF is having a hard time moving up in the rankings because of its location and FSU is hampered by not being associated with the flagship Florida school (UF). 


Probably true on both accounts. FSU has been trying very hard to bring their numbers up and both are considered top 5 or so in terms of affordability. Consequently, they are 1 and 2 for me in terms of where I want to go.

========================

On another note. It doesn't matter where you go to grad school. I'm as diehard a fan as they come for FSU, but I may go to UF if I get accepted to both. When you go to a new school, even if it's your rival, you MUST remain a fan of your original school, I don't care how many champioships that school wins while you're there. Othrewise, you're just some fairweather, sports blasphemist!

Agreed. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: elvis25 on November 08, 2007, 09:46:43 AM
Bump because lots of good arguments have been made in this thread and wanted to hear some more recent opinions on this subject.

UF is currently 47 and FSU is currently 53, according to USNews.  FSU's rise can be attributed to smaller first year class sizes in recent years.  Instead of admitting a lot of first year students, FSU tends to allow a lot of transfers for 2L from lower tier schools (Nova, Barry, etc.).  IMHO, UF is having a hard time moving up in the rankings because of its location and FSU is hampered by not being associated with the flagship Florida school (UF). 


Good point. I also think UF has some issues with faculty dissatisfaction (which bleeds over into peer scores).
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: yykm on November 09, 2007, 04:52:37 AM
UF dropped b/c they switched from having spring and fall admissions to fall only admissions.  The first year for this was for the class of 09.  On top of that, the school overenrolled.  Perceptions are hard to change and UF is seen as the better school.  It's rare for schools to change in this regard and so UF will likely remain the higher ranked school. If it slips one year, I imagine alums will pour money into the school to change that.  FSU wouldnt be able to match in donations, as it is ~ 1/4 of the size.  Nonetheless, employment options are roughly the same coming from either school.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: iLukeisamazing on November 09, 2007, 05:51:29 AM
UF dropped b/c they switched from having spring and fall admissions to fall only admissions.  The first year for this was for the class of 09.  On top of that, the school overenrolled.  Perceptions are hard to change and UF is seen as the better school.  It's rare for schools to change in this regard and so UF will likely remain the higher ranked school. If it slips one year, I imagine alums will pour money into the school to change that.  FSU wouldnt be able to match in donations, as it is ~ 1/4 of the size.  Nonetheless, employment options are roughly the same coming from either school.

You're probably right for the most part.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: juliemccoy on November 09, 2007, 06:24:44 AM
The median GPA/LSAT class profiles are virtually identical for the Class of 2010:

UF: 3.65/160
FSU: 3.5/160

I don't see much difference in attending either school, honestly. Both are in the middle of nowhere, have intelligent students and faculty, active alumni, and are well-recognized if you want to practice within the state of Florida.

No matter where you go to law school in Florida, if you have a desire to practice within a part of the state and make the effort, you can. The majority of law students in Florida are picking their schools for one of two reasons: rank or because of a desire to connect to that market in anticipation of future employment in that market. I would put cost of law school at a distant third -- most law students I have met aren't hugely concerned with the cost at this phase because repaying the loans seems like a far-off concept.

However, I'd be surprised if UF dropped behind FSU. There's been a perception of UF as the flagship school since the school was built, and this bleeds over to the master's and professional degrees. Whether that reputation is deserved or not is hardly relevant -- it is what it is and USNews will continue to perpetuate that impression if it is reflected in the surveys they send out. Both FSU and UF are fine schools. If you are accepted to both, take the opportunity to visit the campuses and spend some time in the cities. You can't go wrong with either school if your intention is to practice law in Florida.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: iLukeisamazing on November 09, 2007, 07:06:13 AM
Both are in the middle of nowhere, have intelligent students and faculty, active alumni, and are well-recognized if you want to practice within the state of Florida.

You ain't just whistling dixie.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: tankbrain on November 09, 2007, 10:49:58 AM
One thing I found very interesting was the number of applications with each school. Even though Florida State admits less students than Florida, they get about 1,000 more applications than Florida. Being the much larger school, I would think Florida should get more applications. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: billymahogany on November 10, 2007, 08:31:12 AM
One thing I found very interesting was the number of applications with each school. Even though Florida State admits less students than Florida, they get about 1,000 more applications than Florida. Being the much larger school, I would think Florida should get more applications. 

This surprised me as well.  I've also noticed that a lot of out-of-staters that get in to both FSU and UF choose to go to FSU (from LSN, which isn't nec. representative). 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: iLukeisamazing on November 11, 2007, 05:49:18 AM
What I don't understand is why FSU has such a high number of applicants, as compared to other schools in it's same type.

FSU: 3,300 applicants

UF: around 2,000 applicants

Tennessee: 1,400 applicants

These are three comparably ranked, large, public, state schools. Why is it that the lowest of the 3 (rankings wise) would get the most applicants? I don't quite understand.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: yoyodawg on November 11, 2007, 08:54:47 AM
What I don't understand is why FSU has such a high number of applicants, as compared to other schools in it's same type.

FSU: 3,300 applicants

UF: around 2,000 applicants

Tennessee: 1,400 applicants

These are three comparably ranked, large, public, state schools. Why is it that the lowest of the 3 (rankings wise) would get the most applicants? I don't quite understand.



Tennessee and FSU are both ranked 53 according to USNWR. But aside from that,I'd suspect that UT's apps are lower because it is in Tennessee with a much lower population than the State of Florida. As to why FSU gets more apps than UF? Not quite sure on that one.

Maybe not that many people want to be associate with Gator fans who like to do that annoying "gator chomp" with their hands even when UF is losing.


UF dropped b/c they switched from having spring and fall admissions to fall only admissions.  The first year for this was for the class of 09.  On top of that, the school overenrolled.  Perceptions are hard to change and UF is seen as the better school.  It's rare for schools to change in this regard and so UF will likely remain the higher ranked school. If it slips one year, I imagine alums will pour money into the school to change that.  FSU wouldnt be able to match in donations, as it is ~ 1/4 of the size.  Nonetheless, employment options are roughly the same coming from either school.



One quick thing: FSU's alumni giving rate ishigher than UF's so your logic is a little flawed. FSU's also 3/4's of UF's size.

Further, how can pouring money into the schools change the perception of the school? By building things? Both UF and FSU are state schools who can only start major building projects with the approval of the legislator. So you're going to have to explain this one to me.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: I am Penny Lane on November 11, 2007, 09:17:01 AM
Nobody wants to live in Knoxville.... or most of Tennessee for that matter. (I've lived in Nashville for 5 years, I should know).
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: juliemccoy on November 11, 2007, 09:58:12 AM
Going off your theory about Knoxville, it is arguable that FSU receives more applications than UF because fewer people would choose to live in a traditional college town. The football culture at UF is obnoxious, for lack of a better term, if you aren't used to it. Hands-down, that has been the biggest annoyance in my experience here because the whole university (and the town) practically shut down on Game Day. My section-mates at UF who went to FSU for undergrad have said as much regarding their choices to attend one school and then the other. Although minus the state capital goings-on, Tallahassee isn't exactly a metropolis. 

Regardless, the USNews rankings are negligible for these two schools. I can't see an FSU student of similiar rank and quality to a UF student being passed over for a job in any city where they are the final two candidates just because one candidate's school was ranked a few spots lower!

Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: yykm on November 12, 2007, 12:33:17 PM
UF dropped b/c they switched from having spring and fall admissions to fall only admissions.  The first year for this was for the class of 09.  On top of that, the school overenrolled.  Perceptions are hard to change and UF is seen as the better school.  It's rare for schools to change in this regard and so UF will likely remain the higher ranked school. If it slips one year, I imagine alums will pour money into the school to change that.  FSU wouldnt be able to match in donations, as it is ~ 1/4 of the size.  Nonetheless, employment options are roughly the same coming from either school.

One quick thing: FSU's alumni giving rate ishigher than UF's so your logic is a little flawed. FSU's also 3/4's of UF's size.

Further, how can pouring money into the schools change the perception of the school? By building things? Both UF and FSU are state schools who can only start major building projects with the approval of the legislator. So you're going to have to explain this one to me.
My logic isnt flawed.  I never mentioned anything about hte alum giving rate.  My comment refers to the total number of alums who could and would donate in an attempt to boost UF's ranking.  Having a smaller % of alums currently giving has minimal relevance.  Eg, 50% of FSU's 50k alums donate 2k while 30% of UF's 200k alums give 2k. (see note below for more).  FSU raises 50k and UF raises 120k.  This point of my earlier post was that with UF's larger alum base, it will have an easier time raising capital.

Do you seriously think that having more capital to spend on a school won't enable the school to increase its appeal and perception to the legal community?  With more capital, a school can attract top professors, professors who are commonly cited throughout legal literature.  Often included next to that prof's name is the school at which he teaches.  Additionally, these professors are often highly connected people.  Theyve clerked for Federal and SCt justices.  Theyve worked at the top firms and sometimes work for those firms on certain projects.  Having such people working at your school can change the perception of the school, especially if those people are impressed wiht the students there etc.

Once famous profs attract the attn of the greater legal community, more firms may be willing to check out students from the school.  Certainly, LORs from the famous profs will get the attn of the judges with whom they had clerked and would open the doors for top students from the school too.

However, the most obvious advantage of having more capital is the ability to give out scholarships.  Being able to attract students with higher numbers with scholarships will increase a school's ranking and, consequently, the perception of the school will rise.


(UF has more alums and so has a larger base from which to raise money.  Since its law school is ~4xs as large as FSU's, then that many more FSU need to give to match the amount UF would raise (assuming that each alum gives the same amount, a major assumption))
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: yoyodawg on November 12, 2007, 04:54:41 PM
You see. This is why I hardly ever post on the pre-law side of the board. You call out someone's argument, and they respond with a 50 page dissertation. Congrats on your hypothetical.

My point is very simple. Alumni contributions to already heavily subsidized state schools won't do that much to raise "the prestige" of a state school in USNWR's eyes.






UF dropped b/c they switched from having spring and fall admissions to fall only admissions.  The first year for this was for the class of 09.  On top of that, the school overenrolled.  Perceptions are hard to change and UF is seen as the better school.  It's rare for schools to change in this regard and so UF will likely remain the higher ranked school. If it slips one year, I imagine alums will pour money into the school to change that.  FSU wouldnt be able to match in donations, as it is ~ 1/4 of the size.  Nonetheless, employment options are roughly the same coming from either school.

One quick thing: FSU's alumni giving rate ishigher than UF's so your logic is a little flawed. FSU's also 3/4's of UF's size.

Further, how can pouring money into the schools change the perception of the school? By building things? Both UF and FSU are state schools who can only start major building projects with the approval of the legislator. So you're going to have to explain this one to me.
My logic isnt flawed.  I never mentioned anything about hte alum giving rate.  My comment refers to the total number of alums who could and would donate in an attempt to boost UF's ranking.  Having a smaller % of alums currently giving has minimal relevance.  Eg, 50% of FSU's 50k alums donate 2k while 30% of UF's 200k alums give 2k. (see note below for more).  FSU raises 50k and UF raises 120k.  This point of my earlier post was that with UF's larger alum base, it will have an easier time raising capital.

Do you seriously think that having more capital to spend on a school won't enable the school to increase its appeal and perception to the legal community?  With more capital, a school can attract top professors, professors who are commonly cited throughout legal literature.  Often included next to that prof's name is the school at which he teaches.  Additionally, these professors are often highly connected people.  Theyve clerked for Federal and SCt justices.  Theyve worked at the top firms and sometimes work for those firms on certain projects.  Having such people working at your school can change the perception of the school, especially if those people are impressed wiht the students there etc.

Once famous profs attract the attn of the greater legal community, more firms may be willing to check out students from the school.  Certainly, LORs from the famous profs will get the attn of the judges with whom they had clerked and would open the doors for top students from the school too.

However, the most obvious advantage of having more capital is the ability to give out scholarships.  Being able to attract students with higher numbers with scholarships will increase a school's ranking and, consequently, the perception of the school will rise.


(UF has more alums and so has a larger base from which to raise money.  Since its law school is ~4xs as large as FSU's, then that many more FSU need to give to match the amount UF would raise (assuming that each alum gives the same amount, a major assumption))
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: Contract2008 on December 29, 2008, 09:09:55 PM

The chance of this happening is similiar to the chance that Cornell surpass Columbia. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: taxguy on June 10, 2010, 09:38:42 AM
My problem with FSU is not its rankings or cost,but its course offerings. Check out their offerings and compare them to either Florida, Miami or even Statson. These latter schools offer a lot more choices. FSU also has some funky concentrations such as environmental law etc.  Frankly, I wasn't impressed with them at all and can't see them ever surpassing either Florida or Miami. In fact, I can't see them surpassing Stetson for long.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
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Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: BonJovi666 on February 01, 2011, 02:21:13 AM
That's a VERY limited analysis taxguy. Hopefully you'll learn to make distinctions once you finish law school. Unfortunately, my analysis will be biased because I chose FSU over UF (was offered admission into both). But, here are some things you have completely ignored in why one would ever choose UF over FSU, and things that I considered when choosing to attend FSU Law: (1) FSU dominates UF in location for law. At FSU, you are in the state capital of Florida, on the doorstep of Florida Legislature and the Supreme Court of Florida, literally walking distance from both. UF has NOTHING in terms of law backdrop, outside of the school itself, to offer a student. (2) Faculty is FAR SUPERIOR. Look at the stats and you'll see a marked discrepency in citations and output from the professors at both Universities, HEAVILY skewed in FSU's favor. Here's just ONE example of why UF can't compete with FSU in terms of faculty: I took Florida Constitutional Law with a Florida Supreme Court Justice, Ricky Polston. WHAT AN AMAZING opportunity... you can't say that you'll ever have a similar experience at UF. (3) FSU has a higher placement rate than UF. So if you are looking to have a job once you graduate, FSU is a better choice. (4) FSU routinely has a higher bar passage rate than UF (and among the highest in the state on average). (5) The law school itself is ALOT cooler than UF's law school. (6) FSU is premised on helping students, making life a little easier through your experience at the school. UF is premised on coldness and an "every man for themself" attitude. Very cut throat. (7) FSU is the most selective school in the state (i.e. they take less % of incoming 1Ls per number of applicants than ANY of the schools in Florida. (8) FSU has very small classes and has the lowest teacher-to-student ratio in the state. UF has GIGANTIC classes and GIGANTIC 1L ADMISSIONS, as do Stetson and Miami (both are very indiscriminate about who they take, with an incoming class at roughly 500 students per school compared to a number roughly half that by FSU).

So while you might be right that UF, Stetson, and Miami have more course offerings I think you get the most bang for your buck at FSU for the reasons I just mentioned (I honestly think a person would have to have slight brain damage to choose Stetson or Miami over FSU).
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: UnbiasedObserver on February 01, 2011, 10:37:53 AM
With all due respect, I have some reservations about much of what you posted.  I'll address that below.  (Before I begin that, though, in the interest of full disclosure I'm a UF Law student.  Also, I think FSU is a fine school, and have nothing against their school.  However, I feel that I should address these statements made, so that someone considering the schools have both sides presented.)

That's a VERY limited analysis taxguy. Hopefully you'll learn to make distinctions once you finish law school. Unfortunately, my analysis will be biased because I chose FSU over UF (was offered admission into both). But, here are some things you have completely ignored in why one would ever choose UF over FSU, and things that I considered when choosing to attend FSU Law: (1) FSU dominates UF in location for law. At FSU, you are in the state capital of Florida, on the doorstep of Florida Legislature and the Supreme Court of Florida, literally walking distance from both. UF has NOTHING in terms of law backdrop, outside of the school itself, to offer a student.

You really need to more precisely define "location for law," but I think you're saying that there are more opportunities for externships, and eventually jobs, in Tallahassee.  I don't think any rational person would dispute that.  However, there ARE options in Gainesville, such as federal judges, state attorneys offices, etc.  Because UF is highly touted in the state, nearly every governmental agency here has interns, and often many of them, outside the Gainesville area, from southern Florida to the Panhandle.  Moreover, UF places very well in places such as the Florida Supreme Court, among other high-profile internships, often better than FSU.  (I have an example of this, but because I would like to somewhat protect my  anonymity, I shall refrain from disclosing at this time.) 

But keep in mind that I'm conceding that FSU is better for government opportunities--it's hard for you to argue that it's better for private-firm jobs.  While it's true that in Gainesville there are very few "good" private firm jobs, UF's name carries better in the state.  It doesn't matter what the reason is--what matters is that the firms like the UF "brand."

(2) Faculty is FAR SUPERIOR. Look at the stats and you'll see a marked discrepency in citations and output from the professors at both Universities, HEAVILY skewed in FSU's favor. Here's just ONE example of why UF can't compete with FSU in terms of faculty: I took Florida Constitutional Law with a Florida Supreme Court Justice, Ricky Polston. WHAT AN AMAZING opportunity... you can't say that you'll ever have a similar experience at UF.

This might be true, but I don't think it's as clear as you think.  For example, former Chief Justice Overton teaches a seminar on the Florida Supreme Court.  Professor Wolf is the editor of the premier treatise on Property, Powell on Property.  Professor Mills was a former Speaker of the House for Florida. 

FSU has GREAT faculty, such as Ehrhardt (who is THE premier expert on evidence in Florida), don't get me wrong.  But you seem to know only one side of the equation.  UF has great faculty too, and places better in the state. Since both have great faculty, and one places better, why not go to the better school (in terms of job opportunities)?

(3) FSU has a higher placement rate than UF. So if you are looking to have a job once you graduate, FSU is a better choice.

Link to this? 

(4) FSU routinely has a higher bar passage rate than UF (and among the highest in the state on average).

First, link to this?  (I'm curious to see this.  It wouldn't surprise me, though, if you're right.)  Second, very few law schools in the top 100 law schools teach to prepare us for the bar exam, so this doesn't say much.  (I'll skip the issue of whether law schools should teach us to prepare us better for the bar exam.

(5) The law school itself is ALOT cooler than UF's law school.

Yours is probably prettier, that's for sure.  But most people don't care much about aesthetics.  Jobs are what matter. 

(6) FSU is premised on helping students, making life a little easier through your experience at the school. UF is premised on coldness and an "every man for themself" attitude. Very cut throat.

This is certainly a statement you can't substantiate.  As someone who works on the law school campus, it's really very laid-back.  Yes, you have your competitive people, but I was shocked how calm and nice most people are. 

(7) FSU is the most selective school in the state (i.e. they take less % of incoming 1Ls per number of applicants than ANY of the schools in Florida.

That means little in Florida, as no school in Florida takes people with "elite" credentials.  For example, a school could accept only 1% of applicants--and they could be the "cream of the crop" by having a median LSAT of a 151 and a 3.0 GPA. 

Also, how close are the acceptance rates?  If they're close, it's also not a big deal. 

(8) FSU has very small classes and has the lowest teacher-to-student ratio in the state. UF has GIGANTIC classes and GIGANTIC 1L ADMISSIONS, as do Stetson and Miami (both are very indiscriminate about who they take, with an incoming class at roughly 500 students per school compared to a number roughly half that by FSU).

Most classes really aren't too large here once you get past your first year of law school.  Also, incoming classes are "only" 300 now instead of 400, which will drop class size. 

So while you might be right that UF, Stetson, and Miami have more course offerings I think you get the most bang for your buck at FSU for the reasons I just mentioned (I honestly think a person would have to have slight brain damage to choose Stetson or Miami over FSU).

I think FSU is a great school, and each person must decide for him/herself whether they should go to UF, FSU, or somewhere else.  Hopefully this will allow people to see both sides. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: BonJovi666 on February 01, 2011, 03:35:25 PM
Good post. I actually do agree with alot of the stuff you were saying. Maybe my post came across wrong...but taxman seemed to indicate that FSU would have trouble keeping up with private school degree mills like Stetson and Miami....and there really isn't even a comparison. With regard to UF, I was really just trying to illustrate that the decision to attend FSU or UF wasn't so Black and White as he was making it out to be. Although I prefer FSU over UF (again, I'm biased because I made the FSU-over-UF decision). I'm kinda busy this evening, and don't have alot of time to pull all of the stats you asked for....but here's one of them (the stat referring to bar passage rate). in the last 4 years, FSU has been number one in bar passage 66% of the time:

February 2010 Exam
Ave Maria, 100.0% (1 of 1)
Florida State, 84.8% (28 of 33)
Nova Southeastern, 82.1% (23 of 28)
Florida, 81.1% (30 of 27)
Non-Florida law schools, 74.3% (309 of 416)
AVERAGE OF ALL LAW SCHOOLS, 72.2% (586 of 812)
Miami, 72.1% (31 of 43)
Florida International, 71.4% (25 of 35)
AVERAGE OF FLORIDA LAW SCHOOLS, 69.9% (277 of 396)
Stetson, 67.6% (50 of 74)
Barry, 64.3% (18 of 28)
St. Thomas, 63.6% (21 of 33)
Florida Coastal, 60.9% (39 of 64)
Florida A&M, 55.0% (11 of 20)

July 2009 Exam
Florida State, 91.4%
Florida, 86.3%
Nova, 86.1%
Miami, 83.9%
Florida Coastal, 83.0%
Stetson, 81.8%
Florida International, 80.9%
Non-Florida law schools, 75.2%
St. Thomas, 75.0%
Barry, 73.6%
Florida A&M, 52.6%

February 2009 Exam
Florida International, 81.5% (22 of 27)
Stetson, 80.0% (60 of 75)
Non-Florida law schools, 73.7% (278 of 377)
Nova Southeastern, 72.5% (29 of 40)
AVERAGE OF ALL LAW SCHOOLS, 70.7% (554 of 784)
St. Thomas, 70.4% (19 of 27)
AVERAGE OF FLORIDA LAW SCHOOLS, 67.8% (276 of 407)
Florida Coastal, 66.1% (39 of 59)
Florida State, 65.0% (26 of 40)
Florida, 64.9% (24 of 37)
Miami, 61.1% (22 of 36)
Barry, 54.5% (12 of 22)
Florida A&M, 52.3% (23 of 44)

July 2008 Exam
University of Miami, 92.4% (218 of 236)
Florida International University, 90.6% (58 of 64)
University of Florida, 89.4% (210 of 235)
Nova Southeastern, 85.8% (169 of 197)
Florida State University, 85.4% (181 of 212)
Stetson University, 85.0% (147 of 173)
AVERAGE FOR FLORIDA SCHOOLS, 84.8% (1395 of 1645)
Florida Coastal, 82.3% (158 of 192)
St. Thomas University, 80.0% (108 of 135)
Barry University, 75.6% (93 of 123)
Florida A&M University, 67.9% (53 of 78)

February 2008 Exam
Florida State University, 93.6% (44 of 47)
University of Florida, 88.3% (158 of 179)
Florida Coastal, 85.2% (52 of 61)
Barry University, 80.0% (24 of 30)
Nova Southeastern, 80.0% (24 of 30)
University of Miami, 78.9% (30 of 38)
Florida International University, 78.9% (15 of 19)
OVERALL, 76.4% (752 of 984)
Stetson University, 76.1% (67 of 88)
St. Thomas University, 73.3% (22 of 30)
Non-Florida schools, 69.0% (300 of 435)
Florida A&M University, 59.3% (16 of 27)

July 2007 Exam
Florida State University, 89.0%
Stetson University, 87.6%
University of Florida, 86.8%
Florida International University, 85.9%
University of Miami, 85.8%
Florida Coastal School of Law, 84.4%
Nova Southeastern University, 81.9%
OVERALL, 80.4%
Barry University, 79.1%
Non-Florida schools, 75.4%
St. Thomas University, 72.2%
Florida A&M University, 60.0%

February 2007 Exam
Florida International University, 94.4%
Florida State University, 88.2%
University of Florida, 83.3%
Stetson University, 82.1%
University of Miami, 76.9%
St. Thomas University, 74.2%
OVERALL, 70.9%
Florida Coastal, 70.1%
Barry University, 69.2%
Non-Florida schools, 65.3%
Florida A&M University, 52.4%
Nova Southeastern University, 48.0%

July 2006 Exam
Florida State University, 88.1% (163 of 185)
University of Miami, 85.7% (192 of 224)
University of Florida, 81.2% (160 of 197)
Stetson, 81.0% (132 of 163)
Florida International, 79.0% (49 of 62)
Florida Coastal, 75.4% (107 of 142)
Nova Southeastern, 74.9% (146 of 195)
Barry, 72.0% (59 of 82)
St. Thomas, 63.1% (128 of 203)
Florida A & M, 56.3% (36 of 64)

February 2006 Exam
Florida State University, 91.2 % (31 of 34)
University of Florida, 87.3 % (131 of 150)
Florida International University, 86.4 % (19 of 22)
Stetson University, 80.2 % (81 of 101)
Florida Coastal School of Law, 77.6 % (45 of 58)
Out of state law schools, 73.2 % (378 of 538)
University of Miami, 69.2 % (18 of 26)
Barry University, 63.6 % (14 of 22)
Florida A & M University, 57.1 % (8 of 14)
Nova Southeastern University, 56.4 % (22 of 39)
St. Thomas University, 35.5% (11 of 31)
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: UnbiasedObserver on February 01, 2011, 07:35:59 PM
Good post. I actually do agree with alot of the stuff you were saying. Maybe my post came across wrong...but taxman seemed to indicate that FSU would have trouble keeping up with private school degree mills like Stetson and Miami....and there really isn't even a comparison. With regard to UF, I was really just trying to illustrate that the decision to attend FSU or UF wasn't so Black and White as he was making it out to be. Although I prefer FSU over UF (again, I'm biased because I made the FSU-over-UF decision). I'm kinda busy this evening, and don't have alot of time to pull all of the stats you asked for....but here's one of them (the stat referring to bar passage rate). in the last 4 years, FSU has been number one in bar passage 66% of the time:


Yeah, you were addressing another's post, and I haven't looked at this thread in a LONG time, so I might've misunderstood you.  If I did, I apologize.  You also make some good points, and again, FSU is a good school, that is often a better choice for many people, depending on their own life circumstances and goals. 

As for the Bar Exam results...I tend to discount February results, as the people who take the Feb. bar tend to be those who failed the first time, and the number of law students taking them from Florida schools is very low.  Still, FSU seems to be doing VERY well on the July exams--congrats on that!  However, as stated in my previous post, I don't think it's a big deal, as long as a substantial majority of a school's graduates pass the bar.  I know I didn't concern myself with bar passage rates when looking at law schools, except to make sure most people passed the bar! 

Take it easy.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: sunnycentralFL on February 19, 2011, 02:07:20 PM
So... I thought I'd give my two cents on this.  I just made a username because I might be able to provide a unique opinion here for everyone.  First off, I don't really care about which football team is doing better... law school is a financial decision/ investment and I'm not letting a sport influence what I'm about to say...

I have attended both UF and FSU law schools... I went to one for 3 semesters and transferred to the other... the reasons for the transfer were completely personal and had nothing to do with my preference of one school over the other.  Here's my take having spent at least a year at both schools...

Internships: strong advantage to FSU

Academic competitiveness of the class: strong advantage UF (because many FSU students have internships they're hoping to turn into jobs, the most important part of their day is not class, but work... this is great if they get a job with that firm... after all, getting a job is the reason we go to law school... however, it has it's disadvantages in that the curve isn't as competitive at FSU and it makes a little less academically inclined environment).  Also, we get so wrapped up in LSATs as an indicator of who has the stronger class... really they're about the same, 1 question can mean the difference between a 159 and a 161.  If you look at UF's classes, they're much bigger on high GPAs... many of the 1Ls at UF have only made 3-4 grades below an A in their entire life... these kids will study HARD in law school.  Someone with a 163/3.0 will probably get into FSU all day long but UF would probably not accept this person without a good reason (of course, UF accepts plenty of 157/3.9 applicants that don't get into FSU).   

Class size: really tough to say... if you've in room 101 at FSU or in the Chesterfield Smith room at UF you're in a big class, whether it be 85 or 110 students, I'd probably say that there's a slight advantage to FSU in class size but not by much (UF has more students 1L year but they also have more sections, so it kind of evens out)

Professors: This is splitting hairs, I could paint you a strong argument either way... both schools have experts that the other wishes they had.  I will say though that many of the best on both sides will likely not be there in 2 years.  Prof. Jeff Davis has been one of the school's favorites at UF and will be retiring, Charles Erhardt at FSU is leaving as well... these are just two names but both schools have big holes to fill on tight budgets.

Getting a job: here's the deal on this... I'm probably the only person who has firsthand knowledge of both of these career centers... first off, UF is racist... no debating that, if you're white and not in the top 25% they're not going to help you much  (I'm not ranting, I have a great job with a firm I love, but it is what it is... they do a lot for unemployed minorities that they don't do for unemployed white students).  FSU seems to do a better job of helping everyone in the class, with less regard to their class rank.  FSU can do this because 1) smaller class size, and 2) most of the bottom 75% of the class are looking at Govt. jobs and Tallahassee mid/small firms, which FSU has plenty of.  That said, if you want to work for a top firm and that's why you're going to law school, you need to be at UF.... not a question to it, UF has more big firms that recruit more students than FSU by a wide margin.  When these mega firms come to town to recruit from the LLM program at UF they also usually pick up a couple JD hires as well... those firms aren't going to FSU.  Truth be told, they probably wouldn't come to UF if the tax program weren't as good as it is.  UF is much more competitive, and these firms don't look beyond the top 25%, but if you work hard and make it in that group it is waaaaay better to be in the top of UF's class than in the top of FSU's class.  For the middle of the class law grad, it might be better to be at FSU because you'll land a $45/year govt job and get some experience and then, with hard work, move to whatever town you want to work in and have some experience which will let you get a firm job. 

Finally, for what it's worth, the social life at these schools are both top notch.  I had a great time and made great friends at both schools... I really feel that this is the most overlooked part of both FSU and UF... the culture at both schools is A+.  That's a huge selling point that people should consider, but since it's not a component in the rankings people don't care about it.

Conclusion: what do you want to get a J.D. for?  Do you want to make $55k-85k/year working a govt. or mid-sized firm job; or do you want to roll the dice and try to be one of the 1 in 4 at UF and grab a six figure big law job but work much more (both in law school and after)?  There's something to be said for both and I don't think that either has a right to claim that they're better than the other... they're just two different schools with different advantages/disadvantages.

I love both of these schools and I've tried to keep this non-biased... I hope this helps.  Cheers.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: BonJovi666 on March 27, 2011, 07:43:28 PM
FSU is climbing.....top 50! I don't think UF will be the "top ranked" law school in Florida in the next couple years. FSU has too much going for it--> location, academia, selectivity, class size, job placement, bar passage, drawing pool, etc. Notice that Miami dropped and Stetson isn't even a top 100 school--> tier 3.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: like_lasagna on March 28, 2011, 02:45:03 AM
It's going to take a lot for the outsider's perspective to change from UF > FSU > U of M.

It's like Arizona State being ranked ahead of Arizona; the rankings say it, but employers don't act like it.
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: BonJovi666 on March 28, 2011, 08:24:22 PM
You're right as a general proposition but there are exceptions: E.g. Louisiana State University (LSU) is ranked higher than the University of Louisiana. As it stands now, FSU law receives more outside-of-state applicants and has a higher post-graduate job-placement % than UF law. So, I'm not sure I'm buying this "outsider" perspective. 
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: like_lasagna on March 29, 2011, 12:01:08 AM
I'm not saying "xxx State University" is always worse than "University of xxx." I'm just saying the outside perception (valid or not) is similar. I can't think of any other examples of two public schools in the same state being so close. Hastings/Davis maybe?
Title: Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
Post by: MikePing on March 29, 2011, 09:42:09 AM
The only thing that I would add is that the community reputation of a law school usually lags its USN ranking--which can go through wild fluctuations.  Its not uncommon for employers to hire more people from a recently-lower-ranked school.