« on: June 05, 2010, 11:32:02 AM »
If the OP is considering going to FCSL, there are a lot of things for him/herto consider (spoken as 1 of those bad test takers a lot of the people on these message boards look down on, who chose to go to FCSL). One thing to think about is whether you are willing to be over $100K in debt. A lot of the students get a scholly to go there, myself included, and they let you keep it for the first year regardless of your GPA, but most people lose it. On the other hand, if you do well like I did my 1L year, they will seriously increase your scholly to try to keep you (unfortunately, highest you can get is $27.5K if you are top 5%). Also to note is that there is some real favoritism toward the students who do well, and it starts after the 1st semester--get to register 1st for 2L classes, more money, round table events, honor society...Ok so beyond money and favoritism, you need to know the reality of the curve. The curve at FCSL has gotten better than it was a few years ago, but it is still deplorable. The 1st semester, you will be looking at a curve of 2.5, and the curve is 2.7 after that. This curve freaks everyone out at the school and causes a lot of extra stress. A lot of students seem to be unhappy after the 1st year and want to transfer and a number of them drop out. From these message boards, I've discovered that a lot of people think they can go in and be top 10%, but if you are seriously going to consider going to FCSL, do not go thinking you will be in the top 10% and will be able to transfer out. I'm not saying it is impossible, I worked hard and was able to do it, but I know a lot of students there who work very hard and haven't been done as well.
Enough of the bad things about FCSL, there are some good sides to the program. One of the best things about FCSL is the profs because they are extremely helpful. Many of them will give you practice essays from previous years or ones they feel are representative of the their finals, and some of them will allow you to write an answer to it and will go over with you. Many of them also give multiple choice practice questions. Most of the professors are willing to meet with you or talk over e-mail about any questions you have about a class. Some of the professors also hold reviews or have TAs who hold reviews. Another good thing about the program is that they give a midterm in the 1st semester, which is pretty unusual. The midterms lets you see what you are up against for the final, and this is very helpful because LS exams are nothing like what most student have taken before entering LS. FCSL also has a mandatory pass class the 1st semester--boring, but very helpful if you pay attention and actually participate--they basically hold your hand and show you how to IRAC, study, etc. Finally, besides all of the stress students at FCSL feel, they tend to be more willing to work together than what I've heard about other schools. Students are friendly and willing to help each other when a students has trouble. You don't have to deal with the back stabbing I've heard about from friends at other law schools.
I know that was long, but this is the reality beyond the you have an uphill battle or the usual "FCSL sucks. Only stupid people go there." I will also tell you, as someone who did really well in their 1L year, I am hoping to transfer out. I will stay if I have to, but the market is bad and FCSL doesn't have a great reputation. Yu may be stuck in Jax if you go there.