Florida International University College of Law

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FIU College of Law
Florida International University College of Law Logo.png
Established 2000
School type Public
Parent endowment $138 million
Dean Antony Page
Location Miami, Florida, U.S.
Enrollment 475 (Fall 2015)[1]
Faculty 28[2]
USNWR ranking 100[3]
Bar pass rate 87.8% (July 2017)[4]
Website law.fiu.edu

The Florida International University College of Law is the law school of Florida International University, located in Miami, Florida in the United States. The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association, and is the only public law school in Southern Florida.

Seven times in its history, the FIU College of Law has ranked first in the state of Florida with the state's highest bar-passing rates (February 2005, February 2007, February 2009, July 2011, July 2015, February 2016, and July 2016).[5] In 2007, the school also ranked first in Florida in the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam with a 96% passage rate.[6][7]

According to FIU's 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 70.1% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation,[8] with 79% of graduates seeking employment securing full-time, long-term legal jobs.[1]


Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall, home of the FIU College of Law

Florida International University worked towards the creation of a public law school in South Florida for many years, beginning with the 1986 appointment of Modesto A. Maidique as University president. Maidique met resistance from the Florida Board of Regents, which had a number of graduates of other Florida law schools, and opposed the opening of any new public law schools in the state. The establishment of this institution was finally realized in 2000, when Governor Jeb Bush pushed the project through the state legislature, along with the re-establishment of a law school at Florida A&M University.

Shortly thereafter, the College of Law hired Leonard Strickman as its inaugural Dean. Strickman, a Yale Law School graduate, had previously served as Dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Law and the University of Arkansas School of Law, and had been a member of the ABA Accreditation Committee during the 1990s, and had chaired 15 ABA accreditation site visits.

The College of Law is one of the university's 26 schools and colleges and was founded in 2000. It officially opened its doors in August 2002, received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association in August 2004, and was granted full accreditation on December 1, 2006. The inaugural class graduated on May 22, 2005.

FIU, preparing for only its second graduation in Spring 2006, had passing scores from 19 of 22 students who took the Bar exam in February 2006. The state average — including graduates from all 10 Florida law schools and out-of-state graduates who took the Florida test — was 73.2 percent.

On February 10, 2007, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an Associate Justice for the United States Supreme Court, headed the Dedication of the new law school building. She formally dedicated the building and delivered a keynote address along with other dignitaries. The Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall Dedication took take place at the then-named FIU Arena and was preceded and followed by tours of the new law school building.

In May 2009, the institution announced that United States Attorney Alexander Acosta had been selected to replace Strickman as Dean, with the latter's retirement from the position. Acosta left in 2017 to become United States Secretary of Labor.


The 2017 U.S. News & World Report's "Best Law School Rankings" ranked the FIU College of Law at 100[3] in the United States. This represents an increase of more than 51 spots since 2009.

FIU is currently the fourth-highest ranked law school in Florida behind only Florida State University College of Law, University of Florida's Fredric G. Levin College of Law, and the University of Miami School of Law.[9] The magazine also ranked FIU at 53 in the U.S. for its part-time law programs.[10]

In October 2010, the FIU College of Law was ranked Top 10 Best Value school in the nation by The National Jurist.[11]

In April 2007, it was revealed that FIU Law graduates passed the February 2007 Florida bar exam with a 94 percent passing rate, the highest in the state of Florida.[12]

In March 2007, the FIU College of Law received its first national ranking in U.S. News & World Report. FIU was ranked in the third tier of the four tiers of law school, marking the first time in several decades that a new law school has been so highly ranked.[13]


According to FIU's official 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 81.6% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[8] FIU's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 15.0%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2015 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[14]

Exam Passage[edit]

The FIU College of Law has been noted for its consistently high bar passage rates. FIU Law graduates ranked 1st in the state of Florida, in terms of percentage of students who pass the Florida bar exam on their first attempt ten times in the school's history, including six of the last seven administrations (July 2015, February 2016, July 2016, July 2017, February 2018, and July 2018).

FIU also ranked 1st in Florida in the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) with a 95.5% passage rate in 2007.[6]

Florida Bar Exam
passing rates
Bar exam date[15] Bar passing rate
February 2005 100% (1st in Florida)
February 2006 86.4% (3rd in Florida)
July 2006 79%
February 2007 94.4% (1st in Florida)
July 2007 85.9%
February 2008 78.9%
July 2008 90.6% (2nd in Florida)
February 2009 81.5% (1st in Florida)
July 2009 80.9%
February 2010 71.4%
July 2010 84.2%
February 2011 88.2% (2nd in Florida)
July 2011 89.6% (1st in Florida)
February 2012 85.7% (3rd in Florida)
July 2012 80.3%
February 2013 91.7%
July 2013 82.8%
February 2014 81.3% (3rd in Florida)
July 2014 78.2%
February 2015 63%
July 2015 89% (1st in Florida)
February 2016 84.6% (1st in Florida)
July 2016 87.5% (1st in Florida)
February 2017 78.9% (2nd in Florida)
July 2017 87.8% (1st in Florida)
February 2018 85% (1st in Florida)
July 2018 88.1% (1st in Florida)
passing rates
MPRE exam date[15] MPRE passing rate
February 2006 90%
July 2006 80%
February 2007 91.7% (2nd in Florida)
July 2007 95.5% (1st in Florida)
July 2008 90.6%
February 2009 82.9%
July 2009 81.4%
February 2010 86.1%
July 2010 85.4%
February 2011 93.9% (2nd in Florida)
February 2012 95.9% (2nd in Florida)
July 2012 90.6%

Admissions and Tuition[edit]

FIU College of Law admissions[16][17]
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Applicants 1,901 1,887 2,071 2,129 2,675
Admits 545 551 568 492 595
% Admitted 28.6 29.1 30.1 26.2 22.2

This table does not account deferred
applications or other unique situations.

The College of Law only admits students during the fall to its full-time day program or its part-time evening program. Admissions is done on a rolling basis.

For Fall 2016, 1,901 students applied for admissions into the FIU College of Law, 545 were accepted, and 130 enrolled for the day program and 16 for the evening program. The Fall 2016 entering class had a median LSAT score of 156 (out of a possible 180 points) and a 3.64 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). 62.9% of students were ethnic minorities, and 52% were women. The average age is 25 for the day program and 28 for the evening program.[18][19][20]

Annual tuition for in-state students in the day program is $21,407 and $14,501 for those in the evening program.[21] Annual tuition for out-of-state students in the day program is $35,650 and $24,150 for those in the evening program.[22]

Specialty programs[edit]

Specialty programs[edit]

  • International and Comparative Law Program
  • Legal Skills and Values Board
  • Board of Advocates
  • Community Service Board
  • Trial Advocacy Program[18]

Faculty and administration[edit]



The FIU College of Law has about 30 full-time faculty members (including the Dean and the Associate Dean for Academics, both of whom teach on an occasional basis), and also has various visiting professors who teach subjects within their areas of expertise.

Founding Faculty[edit]

The founding faculty are the professors who came to the University before it was opened to students. Under Strickman's guidance (and with the added incentive of South Florida's temperate climate), the College of Law recruited a highly experienced founding faculty that included:

In addition, Professor John Stack already a long-time professor of political science at FIU before the foundation of the law school, and director of the Jack D. Gordon Public Policy Institute, became a jointly-appointed faculty member in the College of Law and the Political Science department.

Notable Faculty[edit]

While many members of the College of Law faculty are known and well-published within the legal community, several are particularly notable.

Notable Adjunct Faculty[edit]


A view of the main entrance to Rafael Díaz-Balart Hall, home of the FIU College of Law.

The Florida International University College of Law opened with a class of 67 full-time and 60 part-time students. LSAT and GPA scores placed the inaugural class around the middle of Florida's 11 law schools.[25] The first graduate was Rosann Spiegel,[26] also a previous FIU alumnus, who finished the program a semester ahead of schedule. Spiegel graduated in December 2004 and passed the February 2005 bar examination - briefly making FIU the only law school in the country with a 100% bar passage rate.[27]

In January 2010, FIU College of Law students placed first among the Southeastern States Regional American Bar Association negotiation competition. Students also placed second in the Zehmer Mock Trial Competition and second on the brief at the Skadden Arps International FDI moot competition.[28]

The student body has also formed a Law Review and a Moot Court team, as well as a Student Bar Association and other student organizations, such as a chapter of the Federalist Society, a student newspaper called "Ipsissima Verba", and a Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS). Currently, the institution has about 450 students, including part-time and full-time first, second, and third year students. Eventually, the school is projected to have a capacity of about 600 students at a time.

FIU Law Review[edit]

Established in 2004, the FIU Law Review is the law school's official student law review.[29] The FIU Law Review is committed to facilitate FIU Law’s growth and impact in the legal community.

The Review organizes two symposia and publishes two symposium-based issues annually (Fall and Spring).[30] Articles Editors and Staff Members also write about current changes in the law on the Law Review’s blog.[31]

Recently, the Law Review held a symposium on separation of powers.[32] Previously, the Review has held symposia about religion and the law,[33] aviation and space law,[34] layers of law and social order,[35] and immigration law.[36]


The FIU College of Law is unique among American law schools in that it requires all students to take a course entitled An Introduction to International and Comparative Law during their first year. Other required first year courses are more typical - Constitutional law, Torts, and Contracts in the first semester, Criminal law, Civil Procedure, and Property in the second, and legal writing classes (called Legal Skills and Values, or simply LSV) throughout. However, each of the substantive classes also dedicates a portion of its discussion to international and comparative issues in that area of law.

Upper level requirements also include an additional course relating to international law, an additional LSV class, a writing seminar, and a course in Professional Responsibility.

Clinical programs[edit]

The FIU College of Law offers six in-house clinics:

  • The Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic
  • The Community Development Clinic
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Clinic
  • Family Law and Education Advocacy Clinic
  • The H.E.L.P. (Health, Ethics, Law and Policy) Clinic, and the Education Advocacy Clinic.
  • The Immigrant Children’s Justice Clinic
  • The Investor Advocacy Clinic[37]


Rafael Díaz-Balart Hall

The Florida International University College of Law operates out of the Rafael Díaz-Ballart Hall, designed by renowned architect Robert A. M. Stern. A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the law school's building on May 22, 2005 (the same day as the inaugural commencement). $34 million was budgeted for the construction of the facility. The new building is also on the University Park campus, across from the FIU Arena and adjacent to the Recreation Center and a 1,000-car parking garage.

On-campus housing is available for graduate students in the College of Law at the University Park Towers and the University Park Apartments through the graduate housing community.


  1. ^ a b "Fiulaw factsheet 2015". Issuu. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "FIU Law Faculty Directory - Law". law.fiu.edu. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b (subscription required) "U.SNewsWorldReport". 
  4. ^ "July 2017 General Bar Examination Overall Method". Florida Board of Bar Examiners. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "Florida Board of Bar Examiners - Examination Results FAQ's and Statistics". www.floridabarexam.org. 
  6. ^ a b "FIU Law School with highest passing rate in Florida". Archived from the original on 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  7. ^ "FIU Law Grads Achieve Top Bar Pass Rate in Florida". law.lawnet.fiu.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  8. ^ a b "Employment Summary Report". 
  9. ^ "Best Law School Rankings - Law Program Rankings - US News". rankingsandreviews.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. 
  10. ^ "Best Part Time Law Programs - Top Law Schools - US News Best Graduate Schools". rankingsandreviews.com. Archived from the original on 2012-12-14. 
  11. ^ "FIU Law ranked Top 10 Best Value School". law.lawnet.fiu.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-11-14. 
  12. ^ Morales, Laura (April 17, 2007). "FIU Law Students Tops on Bar". p. B2. Retrieved April 18, 2007. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Best Graduate Schools - Education - US News and World Report". Usnews.com. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  14. ^ "Florida International University Profile". 
  15. ^ a b "The Florida Board of Bar Examiners released the results for first-time takers of the February 2010". sunethics.com. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Law admission rates" (PDF). Official site. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2009-04-21. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "ADMISSIONS BY STUDENT TYPE" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-10. 
  18. ^ a b FIU fact sheet 2010-11[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "2010 Fact Book" (PDF). opir.fiu.edu. 
  20. ^ "Danko Law LLC". dankolawllc.com. 
  21. ^ "Financial Aid". FIU College of Law. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  22. ^ "Financial Aid". FIU College of Law. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  23. ^ https://law.fiu.edu/faculty/administration/
  24. ^ http://panthernow.com/2017/05/25/college-of-law-appoints-new-acting-dean/
  25. ^ "LSAT Test Prep on Web and Mobile - LSATMax". LSATMax. 
  26. ^ "Florida International University Alumni". Fiualumni.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  27. ^ "Stop Spammers". fiualumni.com. 
  28. ^ "President Rosenberg updates university community, answers questions at open forum". FIU News. 
  29. ^ "FIU Law Review – Florida International University College of Law". fiulawreview.fiu.edu. [permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "FIU Law Review - Florida International University College of Law". ecollections.law.fiu.edu. 
  31. ^ "FIU Law Review Archives - Law". law.fiu.edu. 
  32. ^ "FIU Law Review hosts Separation of Powers Symposium - Law". law.fiu.edu. 
  33. ^ "FIU Law Review hosts Religion and the Law Symposium - Law". law.fiu.edu. 
  34. ^ "Aviation and Space Law – Spring 2015 – FIU Law Review". fiulawreview.fiu.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. 
  35. ^ "Layers of Law – Fall 2014 – FIU Law Review". fiulawreview.fiu.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. 
  36. ^ "Immigration Symposium at FIU…". Nuestras Voces Latinas. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. 
  37. ^ Help for victims of shady[permanent dead link] miamiherald.com

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°45′25″N 80°22′40″W / 25.75690°N 80.37780°W / 25.75690; -80.37780