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u Introduction to Legal Studies...........2


u Training for Optimal Performance..2 u Core Grammar for Lawyers




u Financial Aid...........................................3 u Law School Checklist.......................... 4 u Summer Reading List.............................4

St. Thomas Law

Admissions Newsletter


Welcome Class of 2016!


Congratulations! This is an exciting time for all of us at St. Thomas University School of Law as we welcome you, the Class of 2016, to our family. We know you are anxiously awaiting the start of your legal studies and perhaps wondering what you should be doing this summer, and what else you need to do before your arrival at St. Thomas. In response to student requests, we have created a number of summer programs to help you prepare for the transition into law school. This newsletter highlights the summer programs that will be available to all of you this summer, and provides you with additional information that will be useful to you. We hope this newsletter answers many of your questions and that you find the information useful. As always, if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us at Again, welcome and congratulations! Jessica Fonseca-Nader Assistant Dean for Enrollment & Scholarships

St. Thomas Law Admissions Department Jessica Fonseca-Nader Assistant Dean for Enrollment & Scholarships Assistant Professor of Legal Writing Jiovanna Bryant Director of Admissions

Lisa Lucena Senior Admissions Advisor Garnet Eccles Application Processor Ashley Castro Admissions Coordinator

Admissions Advisors: Silvia M. Velazquez

Upcoming Events 5|31: Introduction to Legal Studies Orientation 6|3-6|22: Introduction to Legal Studies

Lissette Eusebio

6|22: Admitted Student Picnic and General Open House

Priscilla Mella

8|5-8|8: Training for Optimal Performance (TOP)

Questions about St. Thomas Law? Our staff is here to help. Contact us at: 305.623.2310 or

8|14-8|16: First Year Orientation Visit for event information.

For more information on First-Year Orientation visit

Introduction to Legal Studies Orientation: May 31 (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) Classes: June 3 to June 22 (Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) Exams: June 8th, 15th, 22nd (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)

Introduction to Legal Studies is a three-week, non-credit program offered to all admitted students and a select group of students seeking to be admitted. The program offers an introduction to the study of law that will allow you to gain a head start on acquiring skills essential to succeed in law school. Academic Content: One legal topic is taught each week by a different faculty member. At the end of each week, students will be tested on the material covered

that week. The classes and the examinations will introduce you to the teaching and testing methodologies used in law school.

$5,000.00 scholarship award. Students in the top 20% at the end of the program will earn a onetime $2,000.00 scholarship award.

The purpose of this three week course is to expose you to a new way of learning. We will provide you all materials for the course. You will receive the materials for the first week of class via e-mail. The materials for each of the subsequent subjects will be provided during the Saturday exam of the preceding week.

Program Fee: The cost for the program is a $1,500.00 nonrefundable fee. The entire amount of your nonrefundable fee will be applied to your tuition. The due date for the fee is on your acceptance letter.

Scholarship Opportunity: Students who are in the top 5% of the class at the end of the program will earn a one-time

ADDITIONAL SUMMER PREPARATION Core Grammar for LawyersSM (CGL) In preparing for practice, it is essential that each student acquire a strong foundation in writing mechanics. “Core Grammar for Lawyers� is an online, self-directed grammar and punctuation program designed for attorneys. A diagnostic pre-test allows students to ascertain her own personal skill level, a series of selfadministered quizzes follows to help measure the speed of improvement, and a concluding post-test permits a student to determine his or her own progress. Visit to take your practice test today.

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The fee may be paid online at If you pay online, e-mail us and please indicate your confirmation number. Space is limited. Please act quickly to reserve your seat.

HOUSING INFORMATION 2013 Program Duration: June 3rd - June 22nd Orientation: Friday, May 31st Check-In: Thursday, May 30th, 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Student Center Lobby) Check-Out: Saturday, June 22nd (Student Center Lobby) Summer Room and Board Rate : Single occupancy - $1656* Application Deadline: Friday, May 24th *NO HOUSING DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED FOR STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROGRAM

Training for Optimal Performance (TOP) Dates: Monday, August 5th thru Thursday, August 8th, Note: First-Year Orientation Begins August 14th

The TOP program is designed to help you become an effective and productive firstyear student and maintain that success throughout your law school and legal career. TOP provides first-year students the necessary skills to prepare for and overcome the challenges of law school before classes start. TOP is a supplement to the Introduction to Legal Studies program. TOP will introduce learning methods and preparation skills necessary for law school success. During the TOP program, students will:

St. Thomas Law | Admissions Newsletter

1. learn how to prepare for class, including reading and briefing cases, and outlining class notes to effectively study for exams; 2. learn how to study effectively and efficiently; 3. learn how to take a law school exam. TOP is a free program for all matriculated students.

Financial Aid

By: Andy Marrero, Student and Financial Affairs Counselor As the start of your law school career approaches, figure out your finances and develop a budget plan. If you have not already done so, now is the time to complete the U.S. Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is available at To assist with financing your legal education, you may be eligible for fixedrate federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Student Loan Program. The two primary federal loan programs available to law students are the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct PLUS Loan Programs.

Before you borrow, remember loans must be repaid, and you should borrow only what you need to assist you with your educational expenses. St. Thomas Law also provides various Donor Scholarships administered through the Office of Student Affairs. These scholarships are awarded annually on the basis of eligibility criteria and availability of funds. All Scholarships awarded to you by St. Thomas University are based on full-time enrollment and may only be applied to your Fall and Spring tuition costs incurred at St. Thomas University School of Law.

Keep good financial records to help you manage your finances. Keep track of where you are spending your money, and how much you are borrowing in student loans. Make sure you keep copies of all your award notification letters, and correspondence you receive from your school, lender, or loan servicer. Keep these documents readily available and organized. For more information on financial aid, please visit or call 305.474.2409.

What’s Happening at St. Thomas Law?

On February 20, St. Thomas Law hosted three former Florida governors, Charlie Crist, Bob Graham and Buddy MacKay to discuss Florida Environmental Challenges. The dialogue was organized by Keith Rizzardi, Assistant Professor and Associate Director for the Environmental Sustainability LL.M. Program at St. Thomas and Sponsored by the Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Section and the Florida Earth Foundation.

On the evening of April 16, 2013, a meeting of the Rosemary Barkett Appellate Inn of Court, was held in the Moot Court Room. The program featured a presentation by our own Professor Howard Blumberg, who discussed his recent victory in the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. Jardines, a significant Fourth Amendment case involving a dog sniff at the front door of the defendant’s residence. Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente then spoke about last fall’s merit retention elections, her experiences, the merit retention process, and the importance of an independent judiciary.

St. Thomas University School of Law hosted the Third District Court of Appeal on April 3, 2013. The Court held its oral arguments in the school’s Moot Court Room, giving the student body and faculty an opportunity to observe argument on four cases. St. Thomas Law third year students, Justina Martynaityte and Rachel Lyons, who participate in St. Thomas University’s Litigation Clinic under the direction of Howard Blumburg, appeared before the Court.

St. Thomas Law | Admissions Newsletter

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Law School Checklist FINANCIAL AID: If you have not already done so, complete the FAFSA,  St. Thomas University’s federal school code is:  001468.  Instructions on “How to Apply” for financial aid can be found at    HOUSING:  On-campus housing is available on a first come basis.  You may secure on-campus housing in Villanova Hall by contacting Richard McNab at (305) 628-6554 or For off-campus housing in Miami Lakes please contact Janille Silva of Graham Residential at 305.821.1138 or David Sao of Gleneagles Apartments at 305.362.3803. Visit for more information about on-campus and off-campus housing. TRANSCRIPTS:  Have your official transcript, indicating your baccalaureate degree has been conferred, mailed to the Office of Admissions before you begin your fall semester.   Students may not continue their studies beyond the first semester if the official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred is not received by the Office of Admissions.  MEDICAL HISTORY REPORT AND IMMUNIZATION REPORT:  All students are required to show documentation of the following vaccinations: 1. Meningococcal Meningitis 2. Hepatitis B: proof of one of the following: Immunization with three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine or Blood test data taken within the month prior only showing the presence of the Hepatitis B antibody. 3.  Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunization: proof of the following: Two doses of the MMR immunization or blood test data showing evidence of immunity taken within the last month.

4. A booster or Tetanus and Diphtheria (Td) taken within the last ten years.

You may obtain these records from either your doctor, or your undergraduate program. IMPORTANT: Students may not attend classes, or move into their residence halls until they comply with these health guidelines. PROOF OF INSURANCE:  You have two opportunities to provide proof of insurance. Once you receive your student ID and PIN, you may present your insurance information on-line. You may also wait until orientation and provide the information in person. Providing proof of insurance is the only way to opt out of the school insurance plan. Otherwise, you will be enrolled in the school insurance plan and the charge will appear on your tuition statement. You have a continuing obligation to update your application to St. Thomas University School of Law. Students who intend to practice law should be aware that admission to the Bar in all states involves character, fitness and other qualifications.  Students are encouraged to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which they intend to practice by consulting the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners at

Suggested Summer Reading Many of you have inquired about what you can do this summer to prepare for law school. In reality, the best thing you can do is read, read a little more, and continue reading. Read newspapers and news magazines about current and world events, read books, including novels and biographies. Also, numerous books offer advice and strategies for navigating law school; these books offer insight and advice into the first year of law school and beyond. Here are a few that we recommend: Richard C. Wydick, Plain English For Lawyers (2005). Susan M. Reinhart, Strategies for Legal Case Reading & Vocabulary Development (2007). Ward Farnsworth, The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law (2007). Shana Connell Noyes & Henry S. Noyes, Acing Your First Year of Law School, The Ten Steps to Success You Won’t Learn In Class (1999). RobertH.Miller,LawSchoolConfidentialACompleteGuidetotheLawSchoolExperience: By Students for Students (2004).

Ruth Ann McKinney, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Like a Lawyer (2d Edition). Leah M. Christensen, Learning Outside the Box: Handbook for Law Students who Learn Differently (2011). Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime & Punishment (several editions). Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action (1996). Scott Turow, Presumed Innocent (1987).

St. Thomas University School of Law | Office of Admissions | 16401 NW 37th Ave | Miami Gardens, FL 33054 | Phone: 305.623.2310

St. Thomas Law Admissions Orientation Newsletter  
St. Thomas Law Admissions Orientation Newsletter  

This newsletter highlights the summer programs that are available for admitted law students and provides additional information about St. Th...