St. Thomas University School of Law
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|St. Thomas University School of Law|
|School type||Private university|
|Parent endowment||$23.4 million|
|Dean||Alfredo Garcia |
|Location||Miami Gardens, Florida, US|
|Faculty||31 full-time; 39 part-time|
|USNWR ranking||Tier 4|
|Website||St. Thomas home|
St. Thomas University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The School of Law is located on the main campus of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida. The School of Law was founded in 1984 and includes a multi-level library, a moot court amphitheater, faculty and administrative offices, a computer lab, and classrooms and offices for student organizations. The architectural combination of the law school buildings and breezeway provides a setting to study law, including an outdoor classroom that is usable for parts of the year. One prior dean of the law school is former Florida attorney general Bob Butterworth, who held the position from 2003 through 2006.
According to St. Thomas' 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 43.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.
The U.S. & World Report Diversity index places the law school in a tie for fourth place among all ABA-accredited law schools in its Diversity Index (2008 edition). St. Thomas is also first in the nation in conferring J.D. degrees upon Hispanic students, according to Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine (December 2006 Issue) and it was ranked as number one for Hispanic students by Hispanic Outlook magazine once again in its December 2015 edition. The former and current dean, Alfredo Garcia, serving from 2007-2010 and since July 2014 is the first Cuban-born dean of a U.S. law school. The Princeton Review ranks St. Thomas # 3 for the Best Environment for Minority Students (2009 edition). The diverse faculty is ranked # 9 in the country according to the Princeton Review.
The school of law also has several honors organizations such as a Law Review, Moot Court Team, International Moot Court Team, and a Trial Team. The Trial Team, under the supervision of the highly touted Florida attorney Michael Mayer, has had a long history of success at St. Thomas University School of Law. Recent success for the Trial Team includes placing two teams in the top 4 of the ABA Labor Law Trial Advocacy Competition, winning the Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial National Championship, and having a student advocate win the Best Closing Argument Award at the ABA Criminal Law Trial Competition held in Chicago, Illinois. The Trial Team's website can be found at http://www.stutrialteam.com Another honors organization is the St. Thomas Law Review which publishes an annual, multi-issue volume covering a wide range of legal topics with one issue being dedicated issues of criminal law.
In the first semester of law school, students are divided into sections and are automatically enrolled in Contracts I, Civil Procedure I, Property I, Torts I, and Legal Research and Writing. The following semester students continue on to Contracts II, Civil Procedure II, Property II, Torts II, and Advanced Legal Research and Writing. Students in the first year have class Monday-Friday. In the second year, students are given the opportunity to choose which courses they take. Recently, The St. Thomas Mock Trial Team was ranked third in the nation.
School of Law Merit Scholarships- Scholarships are available to qualified J.D. students based on scholastic achievement and the availability of funds. For entering first-year students, eligibility is based on the LSAT and undergraduate GPA. Eligibility for second and third-year students is based on class rank and law school GPA. Consideration for merit scholarships is automatically given to all students; no formal application is required.
Donor Scholarships-The law school also provides its students the opportunity to seek donor scholarships from numerous organizations.
Joint degree programs
The faculties of the law school and the graduate school offer five joint degree programs: the J.D./M.S. in Sports Administration, the J.D./M.B.A. in Sports Administration, the J.D./M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling, J.D./M.B.A. in International Business, and the J.D./M.B.A. in Accounting.
Summer-in-Spain study abroad program
St. Thomas University School of Law conducts a summer study abroad program in El Escorial, Spain each summer. El Escorial is in the beautiful foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains, about 25 miles northwest of Madrid. With an elevation of 3,432 feet, the area enjoys a pleasant year-round temperature.
The program is A.B.A. approved. St. Thomas, along with students from other law schools can study various subjects in International and Comparative Law. Grades from St. Thomas Summer-In-Spain program counts toward the residency requirement.
According to St. Thomas' official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 43.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners. St. Thomas' Law School Transparency under-employment score is 29.1%, 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.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at St. Thomas for the 2014-2015 academic year is $65,082. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $233,742.
St. Thomas University has three publications:
- St. Thomas Law Review
- Journal of Complex Litigation
- Intercultural Human Rights Law Review
- Jose Baez - Harvard Law professor and defense attorney in the Casey Anthony trial
- Juan-Carlos Planas - Former member of the Florida House of Representatives (2002-2010)
- Gaston Cantens - Vice President of Florida Crystals and former member of the Florida House of Representatives (1998-2004)