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Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, FL

published April 02, 2007

( 99 votes, average: 4.4 out of 5)

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Once located on the main campus of Stetson, the college of law is now situated on a 21-acre Spanish Revival campus in the town of Gulfport, Florida. It also has a campus in Tampa which shares space with the Florida Second District Court of Appeal. Darby Dickerson serves as Vice President and Dean of Stetson University College of Law.

Well-trained and distinguished professors teach students selected from among the most qualified college and university graduates around the country. Many law students at Stetson enroll after success in various other fields, including education, private business, or government service. As a result, many are over the age of 30, many are married with children, and the majority of them are women. The law school's ethnic diversity reflects the makeup of the state of Florida; minorities are represented in chapters of the Black Law Students Association and the National Hispanic Bar Association, and accommodations are provided for disabled students.

Stetson students are taught based on the platform that the law forms not only the backbone of society but also serves as its moral compass. Stetson has been called a "lawyer's law school." The education that students receive is a practical one, as Stetson University College of Law students are required to complete both academic classes based on traditional legal theory and analysis and clinical and practical courses. The school offers J.D.s with certificates of concentration in advocacy, elder law, higher education law and policy, and international law, a J.D./M.B.A. dual-degree program, and an LL.M. in International Law.

As the school has been a pioneer in the development of trial practice, the lawyering process is fundamental to Stetson's educational philosophy. Substantive law must be augmented with in-depth instruction in criminal and civil procedure, client counseling, drafting legal papers, trial practice, and the actual representation of clients. These hands-on, internship-style activities are completed under the supervision of a faculty member. Students can observe and evaluate themselves by using the college of law's courtrooms, which are equipped with closed-circuit video systems.

Stetson students can be confident that they will receive a balanced, comprehensive legal education. Opportunities are provided for students to develop their leadership skills, and they are expected to become active members of the community.

The school's law library contains more than 394,000 volumes, including collections of statutes, court reports, journals, and treatises. Additionally, students have access to subscriptions to LexisNexis, Westlaw, and other online computer-assisted research systems. A member of the American Association of Law Schools since 1931, the Stetson College of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, a team from Stetson's law school defeated a team from the University of Vienna and captured a world title at the 12th Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition. The team received the Frederic Eisemann Award (as the prevailing team in orals) and was the first U.S. law school to have won since 1996.