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Florida Coastal School of Law

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Florida Coastal School of Law
Established 1996
School type Private for-profit
Dean Peter Goplerud
Location Jacksonville, FL, US
Enrollment 542
Faculty 104 (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 1 (See List)
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Florida Coastal School of Law is located in Jacksonville, FL


Florida Coastal was founded in 1996 as the United States' first for-profit law school. Critics initially argued that a for-profit law school was an ill-fated idea based on the theory that student achievement and profits should be not balanced against each other. The school immediately received temporary accredation from the ABA, and received its permanent accredation six years later.


FCSL's curriculum is geared towards producing practice-ready attorneys. In furtherance of this goal, FCSL offers a variety of certification programs in specialized areas of the law. FCSL currently offers an environmental law certificate, sports law certificate, international comparative law certificate, and the more general, yet practice-preparing advanced legal research and writing certificate. [1] Each of these certificates requires a substantial number of credit hours in course work and externships, as well as optional involvement in local and national Inns of Court.

FCSL also has an internship and externship clinical program, offering placements in a variety of legal fields. Criminal law externships in the United States Attorney's Office, the State Attorney's Office, and the Office of the Public Defender throughout Florida and the southeast United States are available to FCSL students. Recently FCSL began offering externships in international criminal law with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague, the Netherlands. Internships in consumer law are available through FCSL's Consumer Law Clinic, and students can learn to offer general legal assitance through a clinical program with Jacksonville Legal Services, a pro bono organization. [2]

Academic Achievements

Among its achievements, FCSL established the Center for Law and Sports in 2005. The Center offers students a comprehensive sports law curriculum in which to obtain a certificate in sports law and concentrate their legal studies on the rapidly changing and dynamic sports industry. [3] The Center for Law and Public Policy, which has been in existence for over five years, is run by Assitant Dean and Jacksonville City Council President Eric Smith. The Center brought acclaim to the school by bringing in well-known figures like United Nations Ambassador Nancy Soderberg and Florida Bar President Hank Coxe to speak to and network with students.

FCSL has also had great success with its moot court program. Cory Simmons, David Hollander, and Katherine Peters won the school's first national victory at the 2005 Chicago Bar Association Constitutional Law Competition. [4] Later that academic year, Chelsea Russel, John Canazarro, Jeremy Simons, Lacy Brinson, and Chris Duling ranked 24th in the world in the prestiguous Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Lawrence Perrone was named best oral advocate at the 2006 Vale National Corporate Law Competition, Cory Simmons received the best oral advocate award at the 2006 Prince National Evidence Law Competition, and of the two FCSL teams sent to Florida's state-wide Orseck Criminal Law Competition in the spring of 2006, both made it to the final round and argued against each other for the victory. Lawrence Perrone was named the Best Oral Advocate of the preliminary rounds. In the final round, Lawrence Perrone and Emilia Walker were both awarded the Best Oral Advocate award while earning First Place Honors. [5] Most recently, Patricia Horal, Rachel Williams, Lacy Brinson, and Rick Marshall swept the 2007 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition Southeast Regionals, winning Best Oral Advocate and Best Brief Awards. This team advanced to the finals in Washington, D.C. to be ranked among the top 10 teams in the world. FCSL's mock trial program has also recently gained the school notoriety. The team of Rafael Caso, Stephanie Saussman, Mitchell Bishop, and Janeen Mira placed second in the 2006 Buffalo/Niagara Mock Trial Invitational.

Points of Interest

  • Florida Coastal recently led all Florida law schools with an 81.9% pass rate on the July 2005 State Bar Examination.
  • The school ranked fifth for the February 2006 Bar Exam with 77.6% passage rate (after FSU, UF, FIU, and Stetson Law).
  • 70.1% of Florida Coastal graduates passed the February 2007 Florida Bar Examn
  • As of Fall 2006, Florida Coastal School of Law has recently moved to a new location, a five-story, 220,000 square foot facility which also includes a 1,400 space parking garage.

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