Barry University's Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Orlando, Florida
by Akbar Ali
Barry University operates as a private, Catholic institution which aims to produce legal professionals who will maintain a strong sense of ethics and duty to the community.
The institution offers just one law degree-the J.D. degree-with an extensive focus on developing students' analytical, ethical, and communication skills. Like most law schools, Barry Law offers both full-time and part-time programs. The full-time program is a three-year curriculum with classes offered in the day. For part-time students, the program lasts four years with classes offered in the evenings Monday through Thursday for the first year.
Part-time students typically take between nine and 11 credits for the first year, planned with a schedule designed by the registrar. Thereafter, part-time students may design their own schedules to meet their specific needs, taking as many as 12 credits or as few as eight. Summer session classes are also available to students after successful completion of the first year. Study-abroad credits are recognized by the school as long as the foreign program is ABA approved.
For the class entering in 2006, the median LSAT score was 149, with the 25th and 75th percentile scores ranging from 147 to 151. The median GPA was 3.12. 79.1% of Barry Law graduates passed the bar exam on their first try, according to the latest report released by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. This is the highest first-time passage rate in the school's history; in the past, its passage rate has lagged behind the state's average passage rate. 68% of current law students (non-graduates) passed the bar exam on their first try in the most recent sampling, up from just below 60% the previous year.
The school is split evenly along gender lines, with the faculty-to-student ratio in 2006-2007 standing at 1:16.5. According to the Internet Legal Research Group, the average starting salary for graduates in 2005 was $58,000 in the private sector and $33,250 in the public sector.
Tuition for full-time students for the 2007-2008 school year totals $29,300. Part-time tuition runs to $22,100. Additional estimated expenses include room and board ($6,300), books ($600 to $800), transportation ($1,350), and personal miscellaneous expenses ($1,800).
Barry Law adheres to a rolling admissions policy, reviewing applications from early November until the entering class is filled.
The law school offers substantial scholarships to qualifying students, with 75% of the 2006-2007 entering class having received minimum scholarships of $1,000. No application is required for this scholarship; admission alone will guarantee consideration, with an acceptance letter and offer extended within three to four weeks. Students are also eligible for Federal Stafford Loans, which can provide an additional $20,500 toward tuition.
Barry Law adheres to a rolling admissions policy, reviewing applications from early November until the entering class is filled. New students may only enter during the fall. The school anticipates enrolling between 150 and 200 full-time students and an additional 50 part-time students for the upcoming school year.
The school observes a policy which requires all students to have completed at least 40 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation. It also utilizes a number of externships, as well as an in-house clinic called the Children and Family Clinic (CFC). The CFC directs most of its efforts toward a number of family-oriented legal disciplines, including delinquency, dependency, mental health, and education law. Participation in the CFC earns law students certification as legal interns by the Florida Supreme Court. This designation allows law students to provide representation for clients under the supervision of law professors.
Students may also participate on the Moot Court Board, where upper-class students work with first-year legal writing students to prepare oral arguments. The Trial Team Program is also available to students who wish to develop their real-world trial skills.
Though the school is relatively new, it publishes its own legal journal, the Barry University Law Review, which is published and edited by law students annually. The law review includes student- and faculty-authored articles on current legal issues, as well as contributions from judges and practicing lawyers.