How to Get In: Florida State University College of Law

What can you do to set yourself apart in your application? Admissions officials have the answers.

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6. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?

Florida State University College of Law has a long application window each cycle. Our application window opens on September 1 and closes on April 1. We have a rolling admission process based on the strength of the application and admit applicants beginning in October through May each year. Before an application can be reviewed by the admissions committee, it must first be complete and meet all the requirements set forth on our application in terms of documentation. Once an application is complete, an applicant can expect that their application will be reviewed by the committee within two to three months of the completion date. Once the committee reaches a decision on the application the applicant is notified of their decision in writing by mail.

7. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?

The committee looks for an application to be thorough, to adhere to the guidelines and requirements set forth, and to be free of errors. The most common mistakes the committee sees occur in the personal statement. These errors include grammatical and spelling errors, a personal statement that is not long enough, and submitting a personal statement that is clearly intended for another law school as part of the application. Another area where applicants need to follow the guidelines and requirements set forth is in answering any questions pertaining to academic discipline or law violations. These questions require full disclosure and official documentation and sometimes an applicant fails to fully disclose the information in the application or provide the necessary documentation. Academic and law violations can cause an applicant with an otherwise strong application to be denied. Violations disclosed after an applicant is admitted may result in a revocation of admission, as well as difficulty obtaining admission to the bar.

8. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?

Students consistently tell us that our attentive, dedicated faculty of experts is what makes their law school experience so outstanding. Our professors are regarded as experts in the national legal community. Their scholarship is noted for its quality and impact, as well as its quantity: our faculty regularly ranks in the top 30 most downloaded law faculty on the Social Science Research Network, with our tax faculty in the top 15. Additionally, law schools nationally use books written by our faculty in subjects ranging from environmental law to tax law.

Stimulating, day-to-day interactions between our students and faculty characterize the collaborative atmosphere at our law school and often lead to lasting professional relationships after our students graduate. Because of our liberal arts orientation, we place great value on close working relationships among students and faculty. Having a liberal arts orientation also means that our students have a special relationship among themselves. Our students have a strong sense of community. They are proud of our law school and of one another. They are confident in their successes and are competitive without being cut-throat.

Our alumni are highly engaged with the law school and as a result we have extremely high placement rates as well as high alumni and student giving rates. This year, 81 percent of current students made cash gifts to the law school, and in recent years our alumni have had one of the highest giving rates in the country. We believe this demonstrates a high level of connectivity with a very satisfied and successful alumni base.

9. Which firms/organizations recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?

Law firms, state and local governmental agencies, courts and public interest employers all recruit our graduates. More of our graduates work in the private sector than anything else, and 10 percent work in business and industry versus a traditional law job.