Florida International University’s College of Law is now among the top three law schools in Florida, alongside University of Florida and Florida State University, climbing 38 spots to the 60th spot among all the nation’s law schools.
U.S. News and World Report ranked FIU Law 32nd among the best public schools for Law education for the 2023-2024 year, and 60th among all law schools, surpassing for the first time the University of Miami. This rise reflects the second-highest ranking improvement of any law school in the US, according to the publication.
From the law curriculum, the part-time law program ranked 24th best in the country and 10th best among public law schools. The university also ranked 42nd for its international law program nationally, and at the 17th place for a public school, according to U.S. News and World Report.
In addition, trial advocacy ranked at 30th place; legal writing at 35th intellectual property at 44th, and environmental law at 49th.
“We have a very hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff, and we also have very hard-working students,” said Dean Antony Page. “We put together this program of legal education that seems to be working.”
The curriculum, he said, consists of small classes, and an emphasis to dedicate more resources to legal research and writing. “We have an academic excellence program that uses principles of cognitive learning science to help teach students how to teach themselves so that they become better at learning the law by themselves.”
FIU Law also included a course on international and comparative law for freshmen students as part of its foundational curriculum.
“We’re always tweaking the curriculum,” said Mr. Page. “For example, after Covid-19, we introduced a course on vaccine law. Recently, we’ve had courses on areas like the blockchain and artificial intelligence.”
“We have a wonderful experiential learning program,” he added. “There are three components to it: classroom simulations, such as our trial advocacy program; clinics, such as our immigration clinic, or our business innovation technology clinic; and internships.”
Students do internships “all over the place: at the state attorney’s office, with judges, with private firms or companies,” he said.
For these rankings, employment within 10 months after graduation, first-time bar passage and ultimate bar passage rates – which measures the percentage of each law school’s graduate taking the bar exam and passing it within two years of graduation – were analyzed.
According to FIU, a 2020 American Bar Association report ranked FIU Law second nationally for bar exam “overperformance,” which measures how students outperform their state’s average first-time bar passing rate.
Since 2015, more than 87% of law graduates have passed the bar exam on their first attempt, said Elizabeth M. Bejar, FIU’s provost, executive vice president, and chief operating officer in a statement. “More than 91% of the class of 2021 were employed in full-time, long-term positions or further graduate study within 10 months of graduation. The performance of our college of law has been a remarkable testament to the work of our faculty, staff and students.”
“Our goal is to help prepare law students so that, as soon as they graduate, they’re ready to add value right from the beginning,” said Mr. Page. “We try to teach our students to be as practice ready as we can, and our students tend to respond very well, and they work hard to get there.”