Hi! Here's a 1L's prospective of our school.
I can't speak for the process to get in-state residency status, but since I'm from Florida it was one of the cheapest schools for me (by far).
As for scholastics, nearly all of us take our studies seriously, but at the same time know how to balance that time with the rest of our lives. As you'll probably find at any school, there's many clubs and organizations here to cater to your ideological (i.e., both Democratic & Republican Law Student Associations) and social (i.e., Law School Golf Association) leanings.
There were 2 clinchers for me that made me decide to come here:
- When I visited during admitted students day last year, I was surprised by how much I liked the atmosphere. Coming in (being a UF undergrad), I didn't have a high opinion of FSU. Leaving, I had an appreciation of how nice everyone seemed to be here. I think that lends itself to having a better social climate than some of the other schools I visited & considered.
- Being in Tallahassee sets FSU students up with prime opportunities to work in the capital during the school year after your 1L year (whereas, unless you take a semester off, you can't realistically work in our state capital during the school year if you don't attend FSU)(although, being a visiting student for a semester might accomplish that; don't know much about it, though). I would like to work in the public sector or as a lobbyist, so this works out well for me.
Myself and many other 1L (and some 2&3Ls) live in a group of apartments across the street from campus run by Phoenix Management. The prices run from between about $500 to $700 a month (all 1 bedrooms), but the convenience of being able to leave home 2 minutes before class and get there 1 minute early can't be beat (many-a-morning I've woke up @ 7:50 for my 8am class; it helps to have that extra sleep time). There's also other (further away, but cheaper and stylalistically varried) apartment options, and I don't think parking is a problem around here.
Besides having to see and hear people do that dumb seminole chop at the football games, I'm having trouble thinking of FSU-specific things that I don't like here. The technical support at the law school (for laptop and internet problems) leaves a bit to be desired (IMO), but my friend Google took care of those problems for me, so I could care less about it.
I don't know about out-of-state job prospects; I'll be working w./ an in-state city attorney this summer, though.
Overall, the most important thing to me was the atmosphere, since I knew that I had to be happy away from school in order to do well in it. I've had a few friends disagree with me as to how important I made this point, but that's how I feel. It was hard for me to choose (FSU being a Gator at heart), but I'm sure that I made the right choice.
It was a long post (meh, I don't post much, so I've got to make it count when I do, right?
), but if you're still there, drop me a PM or post if you have any more questions.