ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) College of Law was recently ranked seventh for providing clinical opportunities by National Jurist magazine, beating out other schools like Cornell, Harvard, Stanford and Rutgers Universities and making it one of two historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) on the list.
“We are pleased to be ranked with some of the most prestigious law schools in the country,” said FAMU Law Dean LeRoy Pernell. “This recognition demonstrates the value-added significance of our legal clinic.”
The September issue of the magazine for law students ranked the top 50 American Bar Association (ABA) law schools based on the total number of full-time clinical course positions offered per the number of full-time students. National Jurist used information from the Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools, 2008 edition to compile the list.
“In a field where hands on experience is in high demand, this is great news,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “The sun is indeed rising as we embark on a new day at FAMU. In taking steps to ensure the College of Law becomes a leader in producing the top lawyers in the country and is home of top-rate and credible academic programs, this is just a sign of things to come."
The FAMU College of Law’s Legal Clinic Program is under the direction of Assistant Professor Ann Marie Cavazos and includes Guardian Ad-Litem, Public Defender, Prosecution, Judicial Externship, Homelessness and Legal Advocacy, Death Penalty, Housing and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Community and Economic Development. Information sessions are held regularly to inform students of available opportunities. Students participating in the legal clinics have assisted Orlando’s indigent population with numerous court cases, and have been recognized for their winning efforts.
Last year, the FAMU Law Clinic received the 2007 Intergenerational Partnership Award, along with the Town of Eatonville, for its assistance with several projects geared toward historical preservation. “In harmony with the College of Law’s Mission Statement, the objective of the clinic is ‘to produce excellent legal professionals who will demonstrate professionalism’,” said Cavazos.
The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee. After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The reestablished FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.
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