Fredric G. Levin College of Law
|Levin College of Law|
|Parent endowment||US$1.250 billion|
|Location||Gainesville, Florida, USA|
|USNWR ranking||49th overall
2nd in Tax Law
9th in Environmental Law
26th among public universities
2nd among Florida law schools
|Bar pass rate||91.2% (July 2012)|
The University of Florida, Levin College of Law offers a three-year, full-time program leading to a Juris Doctor degree. It also offers advanced law degrees, including LL.M degree programs in taxation, international taxation, comparative law and environmental law in addition to an S.J.D. in taxation.
According to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, the Levin College of Law ranks 49th overall among American law schools and 26th among public law schools. It places 2nd in tax law and 9th in environmental law. The U.S. News & World Report ranks the Levin College of Law as the second-best law school in Florida, behind Florida State University College of Law but ahead of University of Miami School of Law. The attorney rating service SuperLawyers, whose rankings focus not on "bar passage rates, professor-to-student ratios and the number of books in the library" but instead upon "independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations" of the "quality of lawyers produced", ranks the College as the 8th best law school in the United States.
Its 2011 entering class consisted of 295 students, representing 87 undergraduate colleges, having a median undergraduate GPA of 3.64 and a median LSAT score of 162. Its 25th/75th percentile LSAT scores and GPA were 160/164 and 3.43/3.82, respectively. In 2009, the College adjusted the size of its incoming class from around 400 to approximately 300 students, in response to the competitive job market resulting from the recent national recession, to improve the resources and services offered to each student. The Levin College of Law is also well known for its commitment to diversity: 23% of the incoming class are minority students and 42% are women. The college currently only offers admission for the fall semester.
Required first-year courses are torts, criminal law, contracts, legal research and writing, constitutional law, civil procedure, property, introduction to lawyering, and appellate advocacy. Students are also required to take legal drafting and are recommended to take courses in evidence, estates and trusts, corporations, and trial practice.
Students can choose to pursue their J.D. in conjunction with another graduate degree, including a master's degree, Ph.D, or M.D. in one of the university's thirty three dual-degree programs. Students can also complete specific requirements in addition to those required for the J.D. and earn a certificate indicating specialization in estate planning and trusts, family law, criminal law, intellectual property law, environmental and land use law, or international and comparative law.
The College offers one-year programs leading to the degree of LL.M. in taxation or in international taxation. Nearly all students in the taxation LL.M. program are graduates of American law schools; the LL.M. in international taxation is open to graduates of both U.S. and foreign law schools. In a typical year, about 90 students are enrolled in these tax LL.M programs. The College of Law also offers an S.J.D in taxation. Nearly all courses in these programs are taught by full-time faculty. The College employs more full-time tax professors than any other law school in the United States, including several distinguished tax law experts.
The College of Law was founded in 1909. It was first housed in Thomas Hall, and then in Bryan Hall from 1914 to 1969. The college desegregated on September 15, 1958, with the admission of its first African-American student, and its faculty was desegregated shortly thereafter. In 1969, the college moved to its current location in Holland Hall, which is named after the former Florida Governor, U.S. Senator, and alumnus Spessard L. Holland (LL.B. '16). Holland Hall is located in the northwest section of the university's campus. In 1984, Bruton-Geer Hall, named after the parents of alumnus Judge James D. Bruton (LL.B. '33) and his wife Quintilla Geer Bruton, was added to the law school complex.
The College of Law was renamed the Levin College of Law in 1999 after prominent Pensacola trial lawyer and alumnus Fredric G. Levin (J.D. '61), who donated $10 million to the college, a sum that was matched by a $10 million grant from the state of Florida to create a $20 million endowment.
The College of Law underwent a major renovation between 2004 and 2005, creating new academic space and expanding the law library, which was named the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center after the former Florida Governor, U.S. Senator, and alumnus Lawton Chiles (LL.B. '55). The renovated Legal Information Center is now among the largest law libraries in the Southeast. A large elegant reading room within the Legal Information Center was named for former Florida Supreme Court Justice, university president and alumnus Stephen C. O'Connell (LL.B. '40).
In September 2005, Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke at the dedication of the renovated facilities. In September 2006, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited the College of Law to speak and to dedicate a classroom in honor of her friend, alumnus Chesterfield Smith (LL.B. '48). In August 2008, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts judged the college's Moot Court Competition, along with three other Federal Appellate Judges. That same semester, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens conducted a "conversation" with the student body, where the law students had an opportunity to ask Justice Stevens questions regarding his past decisions. In September 2012, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at the College of Law.
A new courtroom facility was completed in 2009. The facility, which was made possible by an additional $2 million donation from the Levin family, is named the Martin Levin Advocacy Center in honor of UF Law alumnus Martin H. Levin (J.D. '88). The facility is 20,000 gross square feet, two stories tall, and includes a state of the art courtroom. The new courtroom is designed to incorporate new technology to allow students to understand the role of technology in modern practice. Construction began on the second phase of the building (the second floor) in the Fall 2010 and was completed in Fall 2011. The second floor will include offices and meeting/seminar rooms.
The Fredric G. Levin College of Law has produced numerous United States Senators, fifteen members of the United States House of Representatives, a plethora of state governors, and a couple of United States Ambassadors. In the past forty years, four presidents of the American Bar Association were graduates of the college, more than any other law school for that time period. Since 1950, over sixty percent of Florida Bar Association presidents were graduates of the college. Numerous alumni have served as judges on the federal bench, and five have even served on the United States Court of Appeals. Seventeen graduates have served on the Florida Supreme Court, fifteen of them as chief justice. Ten graduates have served as presidents of a college or university.
In addition to their achievements in law and politics, the alumni have also excelled in other fields. Many have gone on to become influential journalists, writers, broadcasters, business leaders, activists, environmentalists, and even military officers.
Centers and institutes
|This section requires expansion. (June 2011)|
The College of Law is home to a number of institutes including the Center for Governmental Responsibility, the Center for Race and Race Relations, and the Elder Law Center.
The College of Law has over 40 active student organizations, including:
- Organizations devoted to interest in a specific area of law (criminal law, military law, business law, public interest law, tax law,immigration law, real estate law, etc.)
- Political and social organizations (Law School Democrats, Law School Republicans, National Lawyers Guild, American Constitution Society)
- The Federalist Society at the College of Law is considered one of the preeminent chapters in the nation. The chapter was selected to host the 33rd National Student Symposium in Spring 2014.
- The John Marshall Bar Association (JMBA) which organizes social activities for law students.
- Community service organizations for law students to use their legal skills to help the community (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
- Organization for students with a common background (Asian-Pacific American Law Student Association, Hispanic and Latino/Latina Law Student Association,Black Law Students Association, Jewish Law Students Association, Christian Legal Society, St. Thomas More Society, Lambda Legal, Law Association for Women, Spanish-American Law Students Association).
- The Florida Moot Court Team, governed by the Justice Campbell Thornal Executive Board. It competes every semester in state, regional, national, and intramural competitions.
- The Jessup Moot Court Team, participating in international law competitions
- The International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team, competing in international arbitration
- The Corporate & Securities Moot Court Team, which focuses on securities regulation, corporate governance, and fiduciary duties in business law.
- The Tax Law Moot Court Team, which competes annually in the National Tax Moot Court Competition.
The College of Law publishes the following law reviews:
- The Florida Law Review, the university's flagship publication
- The Journal of Law and Public Policy
- The Florida Journal of International Law
- The Journal of Technology Law and Policy
- The Florida Tax Review
The architectural style of Bruton-Geer Hall, completed in 1984, is best classified as brutalism; concrete features prominently in its design. The renovation of Holland Hall was completed in 2005 at the cost of $25 million and features brick and concrete.
The grounds of the College of Law contain several pieces of artwork. The newest additions are three metal sculptures by Jim Cole of the Rhode Island School of Design representing the three branches of government: The Legislative and The Executive (installed 2005) and The Judiciary (installed 2006). These sculptures also function as benches. The lobby of the law school library contains a sculpture made by Cole in the form of a chair entitled The Lobbyist.
Also contained on the grounds of the college are a series of large, intertwined metal rings, which have the appearance of being partially underground. They are known as "the Cheerios."
Deans of Levin College of Law
|1909–1912||Albert J. Farrah|
|1915–1947||Harry R. Trusler|
|1948–1958||Henry A. Fenn|
|1959–1970||Frank E. Maloney|
|1971–1980||Joseph R. Julin|
|1981–1988||Frank T. Read|
|1988–1996||Jeffrey E. Lewis|
|1996–1999||Richard A. Matasar|
|1999–2003||Jon L. Mills|
- "Part One" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "Untitled" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- University of Florida, About UF Law, Fredric G. Levin. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- FlaLaw Online, Justice Thomas: Stay upbeat, focused in law school. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- "UFF Press Release: 2/21/2006 - Gifts to fund $5.2 million advocacy center of UF law school - University of Florida Foundation". Uff.ufl.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "Facilities Planning & Construction - Project Pages". Facilities.ufl.edu. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- The official College of Law website
- FlaLaw Online weekly email newsletter
- UF Law magazine
- Gainesville Sun Article about the College's Rankings
- Link to the Legal Information Center at Levin
- Gainesville Sun info about the College
- Info about programs offered by the College
- Info about Levin's Capital Campaign
- Alligator article about the rankings
- Info about the Dean