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University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL

published April 23, 2007

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( 30 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
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<<According to the school's website, there were almost 5,000 applicants for the entering class in 2006, 415 of whom enrolled that fall. The average GPA of entering students ranged from 3.25 in the 25th percentile to 3.66 in the 75th, while average LSAT scores ranged from 156 to 160.

While the school offers a traditional J.D. curriculum similar to the curricula of many other law schools, it prides itself on its approach to that curriculum. The school's informational website for prospective students says:

"Our philosophy, however, is that our educational scope should extend well beyond the basics. We therefore offer several ambitious programs designed to teach students the craft as well as the theory of the law, to develop the research and writing skills critical to the legal profession, and to expose students to other skills necessary for effective professional service (such as negotiation and trial advocacy)."

After completing their traditional first-year courses, students at the School of Law can choose from among a wide variety of upper-division courses, seminars, and lectures in subject areas such as business, commercial, and taxation law; entertainment and sports law; environmental and consumer law; international, foreign, and maritime law; labor and employment law; legal process, litigation, clinical placement, and skills training; and constitutional law, public law, and law and social issues.

In addition to J.D. degrees, students who wish to further their educations can pursue LL.M. degrees in several areas.

The International and Foreign Graduate Programs (IFP) offer four LL.M. degrees:
  • The comparative law program is intended for students who have degrees from other countries and are interested in studying U.S. and international law.
  • The LL.M. in Inter-American Law is designed for students who have a basic conversational grasp of Spanish or Portuguese and are interested in learning more about Latin American laws.
  • According to the IFP viewbook, through the Internal Law LL.M. program, students "interested in public international law or international transactions will strengthen their knowledge."
  • Students interested in maritime law can study this topic through the LL.M. in Ocean and Coastal Law program.
The graduate program in real property is designed for students interested in working in the real-estate market either as agents or attorneys.

The graduate program in taxation provides students with training in federal taxation. According to the website, "the Program begins a week before the start of the Law School's academic career with a series of workshops on tax research and on ethical issues in tax research."

The graduate program in estate planning is the only full-time law school graduate program in existence that leads to students receiving master's degrees in estate planning. The program encompasses areas students must focus on in order to become competent estate planners.

The career planning center (CPC) offers multiple resources designed to help students with the transition from law school to the "real world," including job postings, information about clerkships and fellowships, workshops, and job fairs. Some of the events held throughout the year include:
  • On-campus interviews, which are offered during the spring and fall semesters. More than 150 law firms, government agencies, corporations, and other law-related agencies interview Miami students each semester.
  • The Firm Night Program, which allows 1Ls to network with local attorneys and learn about practicing law. Participating firms host receptions at their local offices and give brief presentations about their firms and practices.
  • The Mock Interview Program, which is available to second- and third-year students and gives them the chance to participate in mock interviews with local attorneys who provide invaluable feedback and advice for future job interviews.
According to its career planning center, the school's placement rate for graduating students has exceeded the national placement rate for the past five years. (Nationally, 89.6% of students were placed in 2005, compared to Miami's 91%.) Of those employed last year, 63.6% were working in private practices, 10.8% were working in business/industry, 10.8% were working in the public-interest sector, 10.5% were working in various government sectors, and 4% were serving in judicial clerkships. The average starting salary for graduating students is $60,000 per year.

published April 23, 2007

( 30 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.