Florida A&M University College of Law

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Florida A&M University
College of Law
Florida A&M University logo.png
Established 1949
Type Public
Dean LeRoy Pernell
Location Orlando, Florida, United States
Website http://www.law.famu.edu/

Florida A&M University College of Law or FAMU College of Law is an ABA-accredited law school in Orlando, Florida, United States. It is part of Florida A&M University.

According to Florida A&M's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 34.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[1]


The ranking of the College of Law by U.S. News & World Report is not published, as U.S. News does not publish the ranking of schools that fall below 145.[2] The College of Law is not ranked in National Jurists rankings of the top 80 law schools in the United States.[3]


According to Florida A&M's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 34.8% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[4] Florida A&M's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 34.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[5]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Florida A&M for the 2013-2014 academic year is $61,074. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $234,817.[6]


On December 21, 1949, a division of law was established at the then Florida A&M College and the first class was admitted in 1951. The legislature established the school because no "separate but equal" state-supported law school existed for African-Americans at that time.[7] The school's enrollment was limited to African- American male students and was located in Tallahassee, Florida.[7] The FAMU law school was closed through a vote by the Florida legislature in 1965, with the funds transferred to a new law school at Florida State University. In 1966 the institution lost the right to admit students after a decision by the Florida Board of Control, and two years later, in 1968, the last students graduated. 57 students graduated from the school between 1954 and 1968.[8]

The 2000 Florida Legislature unanimously passed legislation establishing a College of Law for Florida A&M University to be located in Orlando and on June 14, 2000, Governor Jeb Bush signed the bill into law. The legislation included three conditions: the school was required to serve "historically underrepresented communities"; it had to open by 2003; and it had to win ABA accreditation within five years. The College of Law admitted its first class in 2002.[7]

The American Bar Association (ABA) granted the Florida A&M University College of Law provisional approval in August 2004, which allowed its first graduates to take the bar exam while the law school continued to work toward meeting ABA standards.

In May 2006, the ABA Accreditation Committee sent a letter to the institution listing several areas of concern, and gave FAMU instructions to bring the school into full compliance within three years, and they had to qualify for full accreditation within eight years.[7]

Leroy Pernell, who was dean of the law school at Northern Illinois University, was recruited as the new dean in 2007. He fired a number of faculty and recruited 19 new faculty members. Under Pernell, the law school created its Center for International Law and Justice, and became the only historically black college accepted into the International Association of Law Schools.[7] Full ABA accreditation was achieved in July 2009.[9]

Today, the College of Law occupies its own 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) building at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando. The four-story building was designed by Rhodes+Brito Architects of Orlando. The new building opened to students in 2005. Of the 1,807 who applied to the school in 2009, 630 were accepted and 234 enrolled.[7][10] Seventy-seven percent of the entering class are Florida residents, and 42% are non-minority students.

During the 2012-13 application cycle, the College of Law experienced a steep decline in applications, which dropped 35 percent over the previous year.[11]

Compliance with American Bar Association accreditation standards[edit]

In February 2013 the American Bar Association, the institution responsible for accrediting American law schools, sent the College of Law a 31-page report outlining areas where the College of Law may fall short of accreditation standards.[12] The ABA expressed concern over a high number of students dropping out of the law school who were eventually re-admitted only to drop out again. Additionally, the ABA expressed concern over the bar passage rates of students with academic struggles.[13] The report filed by the ABA notes that 30 percent of students who enroll at the College of Law do not graduate or pass the bar exam.[14]


External links[edit]