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The College of Law was established in 1949, in an effort to provide a “separate but equal” state-supported law school for African American males. In 1965, the Florida Legislature voted to close to College of law and all funds were relegated to the development of a new law school at Florida State University. However, in 2000 the Florida Legislature approved the formation of a College of Law for Florida A&M University. In order to receive continued funding, the College of Law was ordered to open its doors by 2003, serve underrepresented communities, and earn ABA-accreditation within five years. As it happened, the first class was admitted in 2002 and the College of Law received provisional ABA-accreditation in 2004. Full ABA-accreditation was granted in 2009.
Today Florida A&M University College of Law offers a full-time JD program as well as a part-time evening program. The traditional curriculum is supplemented with skills training through the three-year writing program, the clinical program, and more.
The Legal Clinic Program, which was established in 2003, provides third-year students with the opportunity to gain practical skills while serving those who would otherwise have no access to legal services. Opportunities with the clinical program include the following: Clinical Defense Practice, Death Penalty, Criminal Prosecution Practice, Judicial Externship, Guardian Ad Litem, Community Economic Development, Homelessness and Legal Advocacy, and Housing. A pro bono alternative can also be used to satisfy the clinical requirement.
The College of Law publishes the student edited FAMU Law Review, which serves to encourage knowledge while promoting the advancement of law.
Students are also encouraged to become involved in the school’s student organizations, which include the American Association for Justice, the Black Law Students Association, the Christian Legal Society, the Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Society, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the Hispanic American Law Students Association, Phi Alpha Delta, and the Women’s Law Caucus.
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