Stetson University College of Law
An overview of Stetson's Juris Doctor (JD) degree program and life at the nation's top law school for trial advocacy, located in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Tampa Bay, Florida Floridaâ€™s First Law School Founded 1900 Not every law school teaches â€œI invite you to join a law school committed to preparing lawyers and leaders to serve the legal profession and society. We value rigor in our academic program, responsibility to the rule of law and social justice, and loyalty to the relationships that we develop inside and outside the classroom.â€? Dean and Professor of Law B.A., University of Scranton; J.D., Loyola University (New Orleans); LL.M., Georgetown University Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz how to become a great lawyer. Only Stetson is ranked #1 by U.S. News in trial advocacy and #5 in legal writing, both vital skills for excellent attorneys. At Stetson University College of Law, you will gain the real experience needed to excel in your legal career. Here, you will find more than 60 skills electives, 450 clinic and internship opportunities, seven teaching courtrooms and five concentration programs. Advanced bar preparation and career development services provide a foundation needed to become an active and respected member of the legal community. Now more than ever, Many law schools are just beginning to address the call by legal employers to prepare graduates with the expertise needed for the everyday practice of law, but Stetson has been doing this throughout its history. Stetson offered its first trial course in 1902 and became the first law school in Florida to open an in-house clinic in 1963. In 1994, Stetson became the first — and remains the only — law school to win all five national trial advocacy competitions in a single year. As a budding Stetson lawyer, you will take interactive courses that carefully balance legal theory, policy and world-class skills training. Through experiences inside and outside the traditional classroom, you will learn to connect facts with doctrine, craft creative solutions, and understand an evolving array of legal issues. And from the very first semester, you will learn to advocate persuasively for clients and causes. the profession demands that graduates not only understand the law, but be ready to practice it. Stetson has known this for more than 100 years. Beyond Stetson’s required curriculum, you can prepare for the practice and build relationships with mentors in a variety of ways: • Participate in Stetson’s championship alternative dispute resolution board, trial team or moot court board, or serve on one of their practice shadow teams. Complete at least 60 hours of pro bono service to graduate. Work with your professors on research and service projects, to begin building your network with leading attorneys. Compete in intramural competitions for opening statements, closing arguments or full trials. Serve as a student editor for one of Stetson’s four academic law journals. Specialize your elective curriculum from a wide range of legal subjects. “My legal training at Stetson has helped me tremendously in being prepared to make decisions today as a president in the NFL. Law school is a great tool; you should take it and use it.” • • • Rich McKay ’84 President, Atlanta Falcons; Past General Manager, Tampa Bay Buccaneers B.A., Princeton University; J.D., Stetson University • • “With its excellent research and writing program, #1-ranked advocacy program, and clinics and internships, Stetson provided me all the tools necessary to be successful in my legal career.” Robert Stines » Associate, Phelps Dunbar LLP, Tampa, Florida B.F.A., New York University; J.D., Stetson University Advocacy competition teams defined The TRIAL TEAM participates in mock trial competitions before a judge. Teams give opening and closing statements, question witnesses, argue motions, make and respond to objections, and introduce evidence. MOOT COURT BOARD members argue appellate cases. Students must submit a written brief and orally argue their positions to panels of judges. The ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION BOARD focuses on legal skills used outside the traditional courtroom: client counseling, negotiation, arbitration and mediation. Advocacy: “I found my passion through my moot court and trial team experience. I have gained experience that carries over into multiple facets of life.” Apply the law to make a difference. Stetson’s primary strength is its holistic approach to teaching advocacy. As an attorney, your clients will expect you to have the knowledge and ability to advocate for their legal rights. The skills you develop in Stetson’s nationally ranked advocacy and legal writing programs can give you an important competitive edge as you launch your legal career. Here, you will examine legal theory, review best practices, and understand the professional responsibilities required of lawyers. You will learn the tools to research the law effectively, communicate clearly, persuade successfully, and represent clients ethically from the pretrial stages through the final appellate argument. Stetson’s winning record in mock trial, moot court and alternative dispute resolution competition over its 32-year history is unmatched: • 62 national championships • 4 world/international titles • 60 regional championships • 41 state titles • 40 best brief awards • 99 best oralists/advocates Brooke Geiger ’12 Attorney, Florida Department of Children and Families B.A., University of North Florida; J.D., Stetson University 15 « Number of times Stetson has been ranked #1 in advocacy by U.S. News & World Report Realize your potential As a Stetson student, you will be regarded as a member of the legal profession from day one. Opportunities abound for you to develop as a professional. You’ll find a wide range of programs, workshops, events, clinics, coursework and extracurricular activities. Even in your first year, you will gain experience and build connections through pro bono service. Stetson’s ABA-acclaimed • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ABA Law Student Division American Association for Justice American Constitution Society Amnesty International Arts Society at Stetson Law Asian-American Law Student Association Bankruptcy Society Black Law Students Association Business Law Society Christian Legal Society Education Law Association Elder Law Society Entertainment and Sports Law Society Environmental Law Society Equal Justice Works Family Law Society Federalist Society as a leader and professional. Leadership Development Educational Series features workshops taught by community and legal leaders, and students who attend 10 presentations earn a certificate at graduation. More than 45 student organizations, representing a variety of interests and legal specialties, provide additional opportunities for you to connect with your peers, demonstrate leadership, and serve your community. • Maritime Law Society • National Association for Women Campus Action Network • Part-Time Student Society • Phi Alpha Delta • Phi Delta Phi • Public Service Fellows • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Association • Stetson Ambassadors • Stetson Law Democrats • Stetson Law Parents • Stetson Law Republicans • Solo and Small Firm Society • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, Stetson chapter • Student Bar Association • Student Veterans Organization • Tax Law Society “My Stetson experience exceeded my expectations, providing me with the tools and understanding of what it takes to be a great litigator.” Howard Williams ’12 Assistant Public Defender, Sixth Judicial Circuit B.A., Northwood University; J.D., Stetson University • Florida Association of Women Lawyers at Stetson • Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division - Law Student Division • Freethinkers Rhetoric Society • Health Care Law Association • Hispanic Bar Association • Immigration Law Student Association • Innocence Initiative at Stetson • Intellectual Property Law Society • International Law Society • Jewish Law Student Association • J. Reuben Clark Society • Labor and Employment Law Association • Lambda Legal Society • Leadership Development Committee Stetsonâ€™s law libraries serve as the academic heart of the law school experience, with 48 group study rooms, eight full-time librarians (six have both law and graduate library science degrees), a Googlemapped floor plan, and wireless internet access everywhere. >33,000 ÂŤ Number of public service hours Stetson law students donate annually Distinguish Yourself Beyond Stetson’s wide-ranging curriculum, you can tailor your legal education through one of the following programs: • Certificates of Concentration - Advocacy - Elder Law - Environmental Law - International Law - Social Justice • Dual-Degrees - J.D./M.B.A. from Stetson’s School of Business Administration - J.D./M.I.E.L. in International Economic Law from the University of Toulouse, France - J.D./Grado en Derecho (Spanish Law) from the University of Granada, Spain - J.D./M.P.H. from the University of South Florida College of Public Health - Summer abroad in Argentina, China, the Netherlands, Spain - Semester in London, England - Winter break in the Cayman Islands - Foreign exchange with the University of Granada, Spain; University of Toulouse, France; and Victoria University, Australia - LL.M. in Advocacy (online) - LL.M. in Elder Law (online) - LL.M. in International Law - Stetson Law Review - Journal of International Aging Law and Policy - Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy - Stetson Journal for Advocacy and the Law with the University of New Hampshire School of Law • International Study • LL.M. Degrees • Academic Journals “Teaching is the number one priority for Stetson faculty. We believe in an open-door culture and welcome students to our offices.” Professor Ellen S. Podgor Gary Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Professor; co-founder of NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College; editor of the White Collar Crime Prof Blog; Southeastern Association of Law Schools president-elect; and co-author of more than 25 books • Intellectual Property Semester Exchange An innovative curriculum The courses you will take in the J.D. curriculum include foundational courses in contracts, torts, property, constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal law, professional responsibility, evidence, and legal research and writing, with area requirements and electives for a comprehensive educational experience. To graduate, you will complete 88 credit hours and perform 60 hours of pro bono service. Full-time students spend the first year of their legal education completing most of the required curriculum. Part-time students complete most of the required classes over their first three full semesters plus a summer session and take electives and other requirements over the last two-and-a-half years. Upon completing your initial requirements, you can tailor your education with a wide range of electives, including international programs, cocurricular activities and internships. As a first-year student, you can adapt quickly to the academic demands of law school through the Academic Success Program, which offers workshops in time management, note-taking strategies and exam preparation. You’ll quickly discover that your greatest resource will be your Stetson faculty, which includes Fulbright scholars, Supreme Court advocates, prolific authors and accomplished attorneys. These scholars not only love teaching, but many also actively involve their students in research and service projects. By taking advantage of such opportunities, you will find mentors to last a lifetime and build valuable connections outside the Stetson community. Practicing attorneys and judges serve as adjunct professors in specialized areas, and speakers from around the world — including supreme court justices and Ivy League professors — periodically make presentations on campus. taught by dedicated professors. “My Stetson education has been a crucial foundation to all of my successes as an attorney. The rigorous writing and skills programs, along with a solid ethical foundation taught at Stetson, have allowed me to provide my clients with superior representation.” Jason Turner ’04 52 full-time professors / 8 full-time law librarians / 284 number of law courses Listed in Billboard’s 2007 “30 under 30” most influential young music executives Shareholder, Keller, Turner, Ruth, Andrews, Ghanem & Heller, PLLC Stetson Adjunct Professor, Entertainment Law B.B.A., Belmont University; J.D., Stetson University Practice makes perfect. “My externship at the Ramsar Convention Secretariat enabled me to learn firsthand about the inner workings of a multi-lateral environmental agreement. I met wonderful people from different cultures and diverse professional backgrounds whose common goal is wetland protection worldwide.” At Stetson, you’ll learn how to apply law and experience legal practice by participating in one of 37 clinic and internship programs offered at more than 60 hosting organizations each year. These organizations include state and federal courts, government agencies, corporations, law firms and legal aid organizations. While working closely with a full-time Stetson faculty member, you will enhance what you learned in the classroom through valuable, real-world experience. • • • • • • • • • • • • • Bankruptcy Judicial Internship Child Advocacy Clinic Civil Elder Law Clinic Civil Legal Services Clinic Elder and Disability Law Internship Elder Consumer Protection Internship Environmental Law Internship Equal Employment Opportunity Law Internship Family Law Internship Federal Judicial Internship Federal Litigation Internship Federal Public Defender Clinic Florida Circuit Court (Appellate) Internship In an internship, you will observe and participate in the activities of your host organization, getting a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the law is applied on a daily basis. Your work may include reviewing documents, conducting research, or writing memoranda of law. In a clinic, you will be authorized to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney. In addition to traditional intern responsibilities, you also may interview clients and witnesses, write motions, or advocate in hearings and trials. • Municipal and Administrative Law Internship • Private Practice Internship • Prosecution Clinic • Public Defender Clinic • State Litigation Internship • State Supreme Court Internship • Summer Law and Policy Internship in Washington, D.C. • Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic (in-house at Stetson) • Tampa Prosecution Clinic • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Internship • Veterans Advocacy Clinic (in-house at Stetson) Marcela Bonells ’12 Scientific and Technical Support Officer, Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland B.A., University of South Florida; J.D., Stetson University • Florida Circuit Court (Trial) Internship • Florida Department of State • General Counsel Internship • Florida District Court of Appeal Internship • Homeless Advocacy Internship • Immigration Law Clinic • Individual Externship • In-House Counsel Internship • Innocence Initiative Clinic • Intellectual Property Internship • Labor Law Internship • Local Government Clinic • Low Income Taxpayers Clinic • Military Justice Internship “ There isn’t a substitute for actually practicing law. It allows you to get a trial run. It opens your eyes to what you like, questions you might have, and things you never thought of before.” Greg Barton ’12 Assistant Public Defender, Sixth Judicial Circuit B.A., Washington and Jefferson College; J.D., Stetson University (pictured with elected Public Defender Bob Dillinger ’76) 450+ « Number of clinic and internship spaces available for Stetson students annually 93.9% Employment « Stetson’s Tampa Law Percentage of Stetson Law graduates who passed the Florida bar exam on the first try in February 2013. (The state average for first-time takers was 80.2%.) 88.9%: Stetson’s Florida bar pass rate in July 2012 (The state average was 80.2%.) Class of 2012, status as of February 15, 2013 341 total graduates* 339 graduates whose employment status is known** 14 pursuing graduate degree full-time 287 employed 216 employed/bar passage required 34 employed/J.D. advantage 30 employed/professional Employment Type*** 135 law firms 51 business and industry 59 government 24 public interest (including public defender) 13 judicial clerkship (federal, state, other) 4 academia 1 employer type unknown Center, adjacent to downtown Tampa, is the home to some Stetson part-time J.D. program classes and the Tampa branch of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal. Where are Stetson alumni? Florida: 82% 100-199 alumni 75-99 alumni 50-74 alumni 25-49 alumni 10-24 alumni fewer than 10 alumni * Stetson’s Class of 2012 consists of those who graduated in December 2011, May 2012 and July 2012. ** All graduate employment status is as of February 15, 2013, and reported to the American Bar Association in the required format. For more information regarding Stetson’s post-graduation employment rates, visit stetson.edu/law. ***Of the 287 employed. For more information, visit http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org. Be ready for life Career Development Services At Stetson, we know that your first job after law school is just that — an important step in a lifelong, rewarding career. Accordingly, we will provide you a kit of useful tools to help you launch the career that is right for you. An accessible and enthusiastic career development staff supports your professional choices through individual planning and coaching sessions, group meetings and programs. Stetson’s Career ToolKit workshop series provides a framework and essential information for career planning and job searching. The workshops focus on a wide range of subjects such as: • Strategic Planning for Your Life • Planning and Organizing Your Job Search • Job Search Documents and Publications • Entrepreneurship • Professional Etiquette • Career Preparation During School Breaks • Social Media Strategies • Building Your Network after law school. Many of Stetson’s 9,000-member law alumni community stand ready to help students and new graduates get started. While nearly 80% live in Florida, Stetson Law graduates practice in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and 22 foreign countries. Bar Preparation Services Stetson’s Office of Bar Preparation Services is designed to assist students with every aspect of bar admission. Our Bar Preparation Services staff includes attorneys who provide individual counseling and group guidance. Students benefit from a personalized study plan, and their sample exam answers are reviewed by a former bar exam grader. Stetson alumni also provide tactical and coaching support to graduates taking the bar exam. Stetson’s bar-passage rate among first-time takers has historically ranked above the state average in Florida, and our graduates also have been successful in passing the bar examination in other states. “Stetson provided me with such a strong foundation to begin my legal career as a prosecutor. I participated in a certified legal internship and, while in law school, I had four jury trials. I never wanted to do anything else.” Pam Bondi ’90 Florida’s Attorney General B.A., University of Florida; J.D., Stetson University Academics and lifestyle: Expect both. DalĂ Museum The active yet relaxing Florida lifestyle is an ideal counterpoint to the rigors of academic study. As part of the Tampa Bay metropolitan region, Stetson offers you access to one of Floridaâ€™s most vibrant business and legal communities, and positions you in a thriving cultural center with numerous environmental and international activities. On Stetsonâ€™s palm-lined campus, you can participate in an active intramural program that includes team sports, competitions and exercise classes. A spacious fitness center and temperature-controlled pool are located on the Gulfport campus, which is also a short distance from several public beaches, bike trails and community dog parks. 35 miles of beaches in Pinellas County, including four of the top 25 best beaches in the United States Ybor City Tampa Bay Rays Life in Tampa Bay 81ยบ average year-round high temperature 5 professional sports teams, including the Rays and Buccaneers ranked arts scene for 3 years as home to the Dali Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and Chihuly Exhibit #1 Stetson University College of Law Stetson Tampa Law Center Museums Performing Arts Attractions Parks/Recreation Areas Professional Sports Downtown 400 parks and preserves in the Tampa Bay area 5,313 restaurants in the Tampa Bay area, including 24 featured on national cable networks attractions including Busch Gardens, zoos, aquariums, museums and other activities 130+ 710/219 269 Full-time entrants 75th percentile Median 25th percentile Part-time entrants 75th percentile Median 25th percentile total full-time JD/part-time JD students 28 24 advanced degrees earned by the Fall 2013 JD entering class students in the Fall 2013 JD entering class LSAT 158 155 152 LSAT 155 153 150 GPA 3.61 3.40 3.17 GPA 3.40 3.20 2.92 states represented in Fall 2013 JD entering class, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands 48.69% new JD students receiving scholarships 20% minority/53.53% female 84 colleges/universities in 3 countries: Appalachian State University Auburn University Belmont University Boston University Brigham Young University California State University, Dominguez Hills Campbell University Central Penn College Christopher Newport University Clearwater Christian College Columbia College, Missouri Columbia University Davidson College Dowling College Duke University East Tennessee State University Eckerd College Elon University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Emory University Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Florida Gulf Coast University Florida International University Florida State University Furman University George Mason University Hood College Kansas State University Le Moyne College Lee University Lincoln University, Pennsylvania The London Institute, United Kingdom Loyola University, Chicago Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Munchen, Germany Marshall University McGill University Michigan State University New College of Florida New York Institute of Technology North Carolina State University, Raleigh Nova Southeastern University Old Dominion University $37,462 full-time fall/spring tuition $32,592 part-time fall/spring/summer tuition (Summer session is required for part-time students) *Data as of Aug. 24, 2013, the first day of fall classes Pennsylvania State University, University Park Rollins College Saint Maryâ€™s College Sewanee: The University of the South Simmons College St. Petersburg College Stetson University Suffolk University SUNY at Albany SUNY at Binghamton Center SUNY at Buffalo Center Syracuse University The Citadel University of Alabama University of California, Berkeley University of Central Florida University of Charleston University of Cincinnati University of Colorado, Boulder University of Florida University of Georgia University of Hawaii at Manoa University of Illinois-Urbana University of Louisville University of Miami University of North Florida University of Pittsburgh University of Puget Sound University of Saint Thomas, Minnesota University of Texas at San Antonio University of South Carolina, Columbia University of South Dakota, Vermillion University of South Florida University of Tampa University of Utah University of West Florida University of Wisconsin, Madison University of the Virgin Islands Virginia Commonwealth University Vanderbilt University Villanova University Warner University Admissions and Financial Planning When do new first-year J.D. students start? Each fall. What qualifications do I need to apply? Before enrollment, you must earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. You also must take the Law School Admission Test and register with LSAC’s J.D. Credential Assembly Service. When should I apply? Stetson’s Faculty Committee on Admissions and Entering Awards begins reviewing completed J.D. applications in late fall of the preceding year. Although applications are accepted until May 15, we highly recommend that you submit your application early since scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis. When can transfer J.D. students enroll? Transfer applications are accepted for fall, spring and summer enrollment. Which LSAT scores will Stetson accept? LSAT scores are valid for admission purposes five years from the test date. June LSAT scores may be accepted. We will use your highest LSAT score for admission. How do I apply for scholarships? All admitted first-year J.D. students are automatically considered for multi-year scholarships, which are awarded based on academic excellence, a range of other personal accomplishments and experiences, and the ability to further Stetson’s mission. If you wish for your unique circumstances and background to be considered, please include an addendum with your application. Are there scholarships available after my first year? Stetson offers a small number of partial-tuition merit scholarships based on first-year academic performance, leadership, community service and need. Stetson offers one full-tuition scholarship for a student entering his or her final year with a record of public service who plans to continue that path for three years after graduation. Does Stetson offer support for veterans? Stetson participates in the Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program, offering tuition assistance to 15 student veterans or eligible dependents. Can I become a teaching or research assistant? Teaching assistantships and faculty research assistantships are available on a competitive basis to upper-level students who have a strong academic record and an interest in scholarly research and writing. How do I apply for other financial aid? Students seeking any type of federal financial aid must annually submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, available each January 1. For information about federal student loans, visit www.studentloans.gov. Stetson offers financial literacy workshops and one-on-one sessions with counselors. Important dates Stetson Law Information Day: Nov. 9, 2013 Admitted Students Open House: April 5, 2014 Application deadline for new students: May 15, 2014 Application deadline for fall transfers: Aug. 1, 2014 Important contacts Stetson Law Admissions: stetson.edu/lawadmissions 727-562-7802 877-529-7838 (LAW-STET) firstname.lastname@example.org Stetson Law Student Financial Planning: stetson.edu/lawfinaid 727-562-7813 email@example.com LSAT and Credential Assembly Service registration and information: lsac.org 215-968-1001 Free Application for Federal Student Aid: fafsa.ed.gov Stetson code: E00342 • • Stetson University, DeLand Stetson Center at Celebration Full-time and part-time options J.D./M.B.A., J.D./M.P.H., J.D./Grado en Derecho (Spain) and J.D./M.I.E.L. (France) dual-degree programs LL.M. degrees in advocacy, elder law and international law Ranked No. 1 for trial advocacy and No. 5 in legal writing by U.S. News Concentrations in advocacy, elder law, environmental law, international law and social justice Six study abroad programs Championship advocacy competition teams Four academic law journals Florida’s first private university and first law school • • • • • • • College of Law, Tampa Bay The College of Law is part of Stetson University, with a College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, and School of Music in DeLand, Florida. A university satellite center in Celebration offers advanced degrees. J.D. application deadlines for fall enrollment: May 15 for New Students | August 1 for Transfer Students College of Law Admissions and Student Financial Planning 1401 61st Street South • Gulfport, Florida 33707 1700 North Tampa Street • Tampa, Florida 33602 (877) 529-7838 (LAW-STET) • (727) 562-7802 • Fax: (727) 343-0136 firstname.lastname@example.org • stetson.edu/lawadmissions ©2013, Stetson University College of Law. All rights reserved. facebook.com/stetsonlaw twitter.com/stetsonlaw youtube.com/stetsonlaw Stetson University is an equal opportunity educational institution.