I am a lawyer in California not Florida, but I can tell you when I was a 0L I believed the rankings meant something, but the bottom line is once you pass the bar your a lawyer.
Having gone through law school I think any potential student should consider what law school to attend based on the following factors in this order. (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the School (4) Understanding the Reality of Legal Education (5) Last and certainly least rankings.
An brief analysis of each factor is below. 1) Location
Looks like you have this figured out I cannot tell you how many 0L's myself included believe going to the best "ranked" school they can attend regardless of location is the right decision. That is incredibly stupid because if you want to live in Florida attend law school in Florida don't attend Seattle University if you want to live in Florida at graduation. It sounds like you have that aspect figure out so your ahead of the game. 2. Cost
For your purposes this is what you need to consider.
FIU Tution = 16,000 per year x 3= 48,000 for an FIU J.D.
UM= 39,000 per year x 3= 117,000 fir a UM J.D. Scholarships
NOVA & St. Thomas : Scholarships are great, but what are the CONDITIONS
. Often the conditions will be something like a 3.0 GPA requirement and I'm sure you think that will come easy anyone offered a law school scholarship got a 3.0 in undergrad without breaking a sweat, but law school is much different and typically only 35% of the class can have a 3.0 GPA at the end of first year meaning there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship for years 2 & 3, which can result in substantial costs.
NOVA = 33,000 per year (1L= 16,500 and depending on conditions 66,000 for 2L & 3L = 82,000
St. Thomas= 1L Free (68,000 years 2 & 3 again all depending on scholarship conditions.
You have to ask yourself is UM worth and additional 65,000 and I assume your taking out loans, which will be at approximately 8% interest and resulting in the interest for the UM degree being around 9,300 per year post grad while FIU will be around 3,800 per year post grad.
There is no right or wrong, but really consider cost when choosing your school law school rankings change drastically every year, but the debt you accrue does not.
3) Personal Feelings About the School
This factor is very important for your situation as well. When I was a 0L I visited a number of schools and while in law school I competed in mock trial competitions and visited many more schools some I liked others I hated, but those were my personal opinions.
I recommend you visit all these schools talk to professors, students, admins, walk around the campus, etc and see what feels right. Listen to your gut you will like one of the schools more than the other and listen to your gut feeling when visiting these schools there is a right fit for everybody and each school has their own culture make sure you choose the one that fits YOU.
4. Reality of Legal Education
No matter what law school you attend you will learn the same exact thing. Your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Legal Writing and Civil Procedure. In these courses you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does not write seperate opinions for different law schools and more importantly the law is the same no matter what school you attend. Roe v. Wade applies the same to Harvard Grads as it does to Cooley Grads.
Additionally, at the end of your three years of law school you will then take BarBri or Kaplan and be in a room with law students from across the Country stressing out and then you will be in a room with thousands of law students taken the Bar Exam if you pass that exam your a lawyer if you don't your not regardless of the school you attended. 5. Rankings
It is important to realize U.S. News is nothing more than a magazine offering an opinion and they rank more than law schools. According to U.S. News Alburqerque, New Mexico is the best place to live http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live
. That is great, but I don't imagine your going to move to New Mexico because U.S. News said it is the best that would be ridiculous, but for some reason law students make life altering decision based on this magazine and it is a terrible idea.
On top of that law school rankings change year by year you can see Miami has been as high as 60 in the last 5 years and as low as 77 http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html
what changed during those 5 years nothing I am sure, but the methodology used by U.S. News is far from full proof and it doesn't need to be they are a magazine offering an opinion and if you want to make a life altering choice based on a magazine go ahead, but I would use law school rankings as a tiebreaker nothing more. Conclusion:
There is no right choice all four schools will give you a solid legal education, but you want to watch your debt if St. Thomas is offering a full ride with attainable conditions then that might be something to consider, but you have to ask about the conditions etc.
Also as I mentioned visit the schools see what feels right and go with it.
Good luck in your decision.