The University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, Gainesville, FL
by Heather Jung
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Originally called the College of Law, the school was named after prominent Florida attorney and University of Florida alumnus Fredric G. Levin (known for bringing a class-action lawsuit against tobacco companies) when he donated $10 million to the school in 1999. The donation was matched by the State of Florida. The combined donations made the college one of the best-endowed public schools in America.
According to the school's prospectus, the median GPA for the entering class of 2005 was 3.59, while the median LSAT score was 159. While the school "gives substantial weight to numerical predictors of academic success," such as undergraduate GPAs and LSAT scores, its administrators realize that these numbers alone "are not dispositive" and will take into account factors such as "difficulty of prior academic programs, academic honors, letters of evaluation from instructors, or graduate training."
The University of Florida is one of only five law schools with academic research and resource centers devoted to studying race and race relations. The Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations (CSRRR) mission statement states:
"The CSRRR is committed to de-stigmatizing race in America. With the objective of fostering communities of dialogue, the Center embraces historically and empirically based thinking, talking, teaching, and writing on race. To this end, the Center creates and supports programs designed to enhance race-related curriculum development for faculty, staff, and students in collegiate and professional schools. Of the five U.S. law schools with race centers, the CSRRR is uniquely focused on curriculum development."
The center hosts lectures, workshops, and forums throughout the year.
Other clinics, institutes, and centers available to students include the Center on Children and Families, which develops and administers the school's certificate program in family law in order to train children's advocates; the Center for Governmental Responsibility, the oldest legal and public policy research institute; and the Institute for Dispute Resolution.
In February 2006, Levin College of Law reported its employment statistics to NALP. According to the report, the school graduated 377 students between August 31, 2004, and September 1, 2005. Of those 377 graduates, 330 were employed (reflecting an 87.5% employment rate), 10 were unemployed, 20 were pursuing graduate studies, and 17 were not seeking employment.
Levin College of Law allows students to set up their own joint-degree programs. Any student interested in pursuing a joint degree must fill out a form and submit it to the associate dean of students in the student affairs office. The program must also be approved by the graduate program and the graduate school. Some of the joint-degree programs established by students in the past have focused on accounting, mass communication, pharmacology, medical sciences, natural resources, urban and regional planning, and women's studies.
As the oldest law school in Florida, Levin College of Law has produced many notable alumni. Over the past 40 years, four presidents of the American Bar Association have been graduates of the school. Other famous alumni include former Florida Attorney General Richard Ervin, former U.S. Congressman William Lantaff, and Spessard Holland, former Florida governor and U.S. Senator.
The University of Florida is located in the city of Gainesville in Alachua County. The city is fairly well known among punk and ska enthusiasts, as it has produced bands such as Sister Hazel, Less than Jake, and The Usuals.
Cultural staples in Gainesville include the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Civic Media Center, and the Harn Museum of Art. The city hosts one of the largest NHRA-circuit events, the Gatornationals, at the Gainesville Raceway every March.
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