Florida State University College of Law Profile, Tallahassee, Florida | BCGSearch.com

Florida State University College of Law

Rank 48


425 W. Jefferson Street,

Tallahassee, FL 32306-1601









Overview 4-5

The Florida State University College of Law has been rated among the nation's top law schools by Business Insider and U.S. News & World Report.

According to ABA data for the class of 2015, Florida State is also the #1 law school in Florida in terms of job placement. Preparing graduates to succeed in their careers is the most important thing we do. We also are known for our world class faculty, our successful and friendly student body, and our location in Tallahassee that gives students a wide variety of opportunities to gain legal experience. Our students like their experiences at our law school and the careers we help them launch.

Florida State’s academic programs and faculty are among the best in the nation. Our faculty delivers a sophisticated program of study that prepares students to enter the worlds of law, business and government at the highest possible level.

Student-Faculty Ratio 6


Admission Criteria 7

25th-75th Percentile 157-160 3.32-3.72
Median* 159 3.52

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2015 entering class.

Director of admissions Jennifer Kessinger
Application deadline July 15

Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.

*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics 8

Approximate number of applications 1855
Number accepted 637
Percentage accepted 34.3%

The above admission details are based on 2015 data.

Law School Cost 9

Tuition and fees Full-time $20,683 per year (in-state)
$40,695 per year (out-of-state)
Room and board $10,000
Books $1,700
Miscellaneous expenses $5,490

Class Ranking and Grades 10

The following numeric and letter grades are utilized by the College of Law and are shown on a student’s official grade transcript:

A+ 98-100 S+: Distinguished Satisfactory Work (hour credit only)
A 93-97 S, S-: Satisfactory (hour credit only)
A- 90-92 U: Unsatisfactory (no credit)
B+ 86-89 I: Incomplete
B 80-85
B- 77-79 AD: Administrative Disenrollment (no credit)
C+ 74-76 AF: Administrative F (numeric grade = 60)
C 69-73 WD: Withdrawn from course by permission
C- 65-68 W: Withdrawn from College/University
D 62-64
F 60-61

The following numeric and letter grades were utilized by the College of Law prior to November 9, 2007 and may be reflected on a student’s official grade transcript:

A+ 98-100 S: Satisfactory (hour credit only)
A 93-97 U: Unsatisfactory (no credit)
B+ 86-92 I: Incomplete
B 80-85 IE: Incomplete Expired (numeric grade = 60)
C+ 74-79 AD: Administrative Disenrollment (no credit)
C 67-73 AF: Administrative F (numeric grade = 60)
D 62-66 WD: Withdrawn from course by permission
F 60-61 W: Withdrawn from College/University

Grade Point Average: A student’s official grade point average and class rank are determined using the student’s numeric grades, not letter grades.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grading Option

A student may elect to enroll in a law school course on an S/U basis subject to the following conditions:

The S/U option is not available to first-year students. An upper-level student may elect to take any course on an S/U basis, except a required course (i.e., Constitutional Law II or Professional Responsibility) or the course which is used to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement, other than a DIS project.

A student may elect only one course each semester under the S/U option, not including courses that are offered only on an S/U basis.

To exercise the S/U option, a student must complete and submit an S/U request form to the Records Office by the end of the fourth week of classes for the fall and spring semesters and by the end of the second week for the summer term. Once exercised, the S/U option is irrevocable.

The class instructor will not be informed of the identity of those students who have elected to take the course on an S/U basis, and the instructor will assign a numeric grade to those students on the same basis as all other students in the class. The numeric grades awarded to students electing to take the course on an S/U basis will be taken into account by the instructor in normalizing the grades awarded by the instructor in the course.

A student electing the S/U option will receive a final grade of Satisfactory (S) in the course only if the student’s numeric grade in the course is a 69 or better. A numeric grade of 68 or below will result in a final grade of Unsatisfactory (U) and no credit will be awarded for the course.

For any course which students must take on a Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory basis (i.e., mandatory S/U course), a professor may award the grade S+ to indicate that the student work was significantly better than that needed for the student to pass the course, and may award the grade of S- to indicate that although the work was sufficient to pass the course, it was significantly worse than the work that the professor expected from students in the course.

Credit hours earned by a student for a Satisfactory grade under the S/U option will count toward the total hours required for graduation [see section 1.2.1], but will not count toward the graded hours required for graduation [see section 1.2.3].

Incomplete Grades

An interim grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned by the instructor if a student has not completed all assigned course work at the time that grades are submitted.

All incomplete coursework must be completed by the end of the next academic term (including summer term), unless an exception is granted by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs prior to that time.

An Incomplete grade not otherwise changed will become an Administrative F (AF) and will result in a numeric grade of 60 in a graded course or an Unsatisfactory in an ungraded course.

Grade Normalization (Curve)11

All grades awarded in the College of Law are subject to the following grade normalization rules except as provided in section 4.3.

Mandatory curve. Except as otherwise provided in 4.3.2 or 4.3.3, in every class the median grade awarded must be between 79-81 and the distribution of the final grades awarded in the class must fall within the following percentages:

45-55% 93-100 5-15%, with < 3% for 98-100
86-92 10-25%
80-85 20-35%
45-55% 74-79 20-35%
67-73 10-25%
60-66 5-20%, except 0-20% for Legal Writing

The term “class” in this paragraph refers to a particular section of a course, and not to multiple sections even when an instructor teaches more than one section of a course, except that a professor who teaches two sections of a course together as one class shall curve both sections together.

Class profile option. In any upper-level class that either (a) is classified as satisfying the Upper Level Writing Requirement, or (b) has an enrollment of 16 or fewer students, the instructor may elect to award final grades in the class under the class profile option in lieu of the curve. Under the class profile option, the mean (i.e., average) of the grades awarded in the class must not vary from the mean grade point average of the students enrolled in the class by more than six (± 6) points. In any other upper-level class that has an enrollment of 17 to 34, the instructor may elect to award final grades in the class under the class profile option in lieu of the curve. Under the class profile option, the mean (i.e., average) of the grades awarded in the class must not vary from the mean grade point average of the students enrolled in the class by more than three (± 3) points. The College registrar will, prior to each examination period, calculate the mean GPA of each class eligible for the class profile option and report it to the instructor.

Honors 12

Honor Criteria GPA Required
summa cum laude Highest Honors 93.000 or above
magna cum laude High Honors 89.000 to 92.999
cum laude Honors 84.000 to 88.999
Dean’s List Dean’s List For any semester in which a student’s semester grade point average is 86.000 or better, the designation of “Dean’s List” will be noted on the student’s transcript for that semester. To be eligible for the Dean’s List designation, a student must successfully complete 12 or more credit hours for the semester with at least six graded LAW hours.

Awards 13

Name of Award Awarded for/to
Book Award Law firms, corporations and individual alumni and friends have joined the College of Law in the Book Award Program, created to generate unrestricted contributed funds for the College, and to recognize the academic achievements of law students. Sponsors contribute $3,000 for each of five years to support a Book Award in a designated area. Book Award contributions are fully tax deductible.

Journals 14-17

Our students are dynamic. We fund five student-run co-curricular organizations, for which students earn academic credit.

Florida State University Law Review

The Florida State University Law Review is the flagship legal journal of the Florida State University College of Law. The members of the Law Review publish the journal four times per year from Tallahassee, Florida.

Each issue contains scholarly articles authored by academics, judges, clerks, and attorneys from around the globe, as well as pieces authored by current students of the College of Law. The Law Review is staffed and edited by second- and third-year students of the College of Law.

Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law

The Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law (ISSN 0892-4880) is published twice a year, fall and spring, by the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law at the Florida State University College of Law. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Journal, its editors or staff, or the College of Law. The Journal welcomes letters to the editor.

Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law

The Journal of Transnational Law & Policy (ISSN 1067-8182) is published once per year at The Florida State University College of Law. The views expressed in published material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Journal, its editors or staff, or Florida State University.

The Journal was founded in 1991 to provide a scholarly forum for discussion of legal developments in the world community. The Journal shares the philosophy articulated by the late Philip C. Jessup, Judge of the International Court of Justice, who defined "transnational law" as "all law which regulates actions or events that transcend national frontiers."The term "transnational" is thus expansive; it includes both the international and comparative dimensions of law.

Moot Court 18

Established in 1968, the Florida State College of Law Moot Court Team is one of the nation's leading university moot court teams. The Moot Court Team annually contends in regional, national and international competitions where teams of two to three members compete against other law school moot court teams. Issues in past competitions have included the First Amendment, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, Sports Law, International Law, Environmental Law, Evidence, Workers' Compensation, Cyber Law, Corporate Law, Securities, Labor and Employment, Entertainment and Communications Law.

Academic credit is also available for competitions. Each competition earns the team member two credits during the semester of the competition. Coaches for the team are drawn from the College of Law faculty, alumni and surrounding legal community.

Clinical Programs 19

Students in the Business Law Clinic learn transactional skills and earn academic credit by helping advise business and social entrepreneurs within the Florida State University community. The clinic will teach students basic bargaining, drafting, risk-assessment, and legal ethics skills necessary to be an effective and creative transactional lawyer. Students will conduct a broad range of legal services and participate in other forms of experiential learning, such as role playing, simulations, and the keeping of transactional journals. Students will help with client intake, identifying legal and business issues, and developing bargaining strategies. They will also assist in choosing the appropriate type of entity and drafting organizational documents, shareholder contracts and licensing agreements.

The clinic is part of the College of Law’s comprehensive program in business law, which includes a curriculum with broad offerings in business law, tax, law and economics, and finance, as well as the Business Law Certificate and Business Externship programs. Our business students therefore are able to combine traditional classroom learning with hands-on, real-world experience.

The Business Law Clinic is directed by the College of Law's Entrepreneur in Residence, Richard Benham. Richard has been a successful entrepreneur and since graduating from the College of Law in 2005, has represented numerous entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Placement Facts 20

Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile) $52,000-$75,000
Median in the private sector $60,000
Median in public service $45,043

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation 42.9%
Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation 81.7%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates Employed In Percentage
Law Firms 45%
Business and Industry 13.6%
Government 28.2%
Public Interest Organizations 3.6%
Judicial Clerkships 7.7%
Academia 1.8%
Unknown 0%

Externships/Internships 21


Externships allow students to earn academic credit while working off campus in a law office or court.

Students learn the role of attorney or judicial clerk while representing real clients and adjudicating actual cases. Florida State College of Law offers one of the most extensive externship programs in the United States. Externships are offered year round, and are available locally, throughout Florida, and in other national and international locations. In part-time programs, students may take other classes while externing, while in full-time programs students spend the entire semester immersed in practice.

Students can take advantage of opportunities in the following externship programs:

  • Appellate Advocacy Externships
  • Civil Externships
  • Corporate Counsel Externships
  • Criminal Externships
  • International Externships
  • Judicial Clerk Externships

Notable acts & Figures for the 2015-2016 Academic Year

  • 152 students participated in externships at 50 different placement sites.
  • 11 students placed with federal judges or federal agencies.
  • Students placed in 18 cities including Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Pensacola, West Palm Beach, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach, Phoenix.
  • 40 students were in full-time litigation placements.
  • 14 students were at in-house corporate counsel placements.

Student Organizations 22

  • Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (AIRR)
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • American Constitution Society (ACS)
  • Association for Criminal Justice
  • Aviation & Space Law Society
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Business Law Society (BLS)
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
  • Democratic Law Students Association
  • Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Society
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Federalist Society
  • FSU Business Review
  • Health Law Society
  • Intellectual Property Law Society
  • International Law Students Association
  • JAWS (JD Activities Without Stress)
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Law School Council
  • LitiGATORS
  • OUTLaw
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Public Interest Law Students Association (PILSA)
  • Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Society at FSU
  • Republican Law Student Association
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Student Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar YLD - Law Students Division
  • Transfer Law Students Association
  • UKnight at FSU Law
  • Women's Law Symposium


  1. http://www.law.fsu.edu/home
  2. http://www.law.fsu.edu/records-and-registration/contact
  3. http://www.law.fsu.edu/careers/contact-us
  4. http://www.law.fsu.edu/about-us
  5. http://www.law.fsu.edu/about-us/superb-academics
  6. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/florida-state-university-03034
  7. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/florida-state-university-03034/admissions
  8. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/florida-state-university-03034/admissions
  9. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/florida-state-university-03034/cost
  10. http://www.law.fsu.edu/docs/default-source/academic_rules/academic_rules_policies.pdf
  11. http://www.law.fsu.edu/docs/default-source/academic_rules/academic_rules_policies.pdf
  12. http://www.law.fsu.edu/docs/default-source/academic_rules/academic_rules_policies.pdf
  13. http://www.law.fsu.edu/ways-to-give/book-awards
  14. http://www.law.fsu.edu/co-curriculars
  15. http://www.law.fsu.edu/lawreview
  16. http://www.law.fsu.edu/co-curriculars/jluel
  17. http://www.law.fsu.edu/co-curriculars/jtlp
  18. http://www.law.fsu.edu/co-curriculars/moot-court
  19. http://www.law.fsu.edu/academics/business-law-clinic
  20. https://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/florida-state-university-03034/career-prospects
  21. http://www.law.fsu.edu/academics/clinical-programs/externship-programs
  22. http://www.law.fsu.edu/student-organizations