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Author Topic: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?  (Read 24531 times)

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2011, 01:37:53 PM »
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. 

BonJovi666

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2011, 06:35:25 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)

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2011, 10:35:59 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.

sunnycentralFL

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2011, 05:07:20 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.

BonJovi666

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #64 on: March 27, 2011, 10:43:28 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.

like_lasagna

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2011, 05:45:03 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.

BonJovi666

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2011, 11:24:22 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. 

like_lasagna

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #67 on: March 29, 2011, 03:01:08 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?

MikePing

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Re: In 2010, will FSU have surpassed UF?
« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2011, 12:42:09 PM »
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.