Floridas First Law School Tampa Bay
Where law meets practice:Ranked #1 in trial advocacy
Ranked #2 in legal writing
A clinic or externship available for every student
Establishing the standard for practical legal education since 1900. Now more than ever, the legal profession demands that law school graduates be prepared to think like lawyers and be ready to practice law. At Stetson, you learn both.
Our professors teach interactive courses that carefully balance legal theory, policy and world-class skills training. Through experiences inside and outside the traditional classroom, you will learn to connect facts with doctrine, develop creative solutions, and understand an evolving array of legal issues. And from the very first semester, you will learn to advocate persuasively for clients and causes.
You will complete a rigorous required curriculum that emphasizes both learning and doing. You will apply your knowledge by researching issues, negotiating and drafting legal documents, presenting oral arguments, participating in mock trials, and working closely with practicing attorneys.
With a solid foundation, you also will have an opportunity to customize the balance of your legal education. You may choose to focus your elective courses on a particular field, pursue dual degrees, study abroad, serve on a journal, or intern for a judge or government agency. Regardless of your chosen path, the hallmarks of a Stetson legal education remain the same:
I urge every student to consider our clinic and externship programs. We know that employers value practical legal experience, and clinical programs provide important opportunities to expand your skills and distinguish yourself in the marketplace.
Christopher M. PietruszkiewiczDean and Professor of Law; Chair of the Bar Data Policy and Collection Committee, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions; Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Florida Bar Vision 2016 Commission, and member of the Law School Admission Council Board of Trustees,
B.A., University of Scranton; J.D., Loyola University (New Orleans); LL.M., Georgetown University
With more than 400 opportunities available each year, every student can do a clinic or externship.
There is no better way to learn the practice of law than by actually practicing it. Clinics and externships do just that, allowing you the critical opportunity to do real work in a living legal environment. Stetsons robust clinical program can provide you with this necessary experience of working with state and federal courts, government agencies, corporations, law firms or legal aid organizations.
Stetsons clinical courses are unique. Full-time law professors are closely involved as they supervise and mentor the students enrolled in each program. Courses are designed to enhance classroom-based learning and give students opportunities to gain valuable, real-world experience. These experiences allow students to observe and participate in the application of substantive law, and find solutions to problems that confront attorneys on a daily basis.
Externship courses place students in off-campus, legal environments where they observe and participate in the activities of host organizations. Externship placements vary widely and include state and federal courts, governmental agencies and local corporations. Consequently, students enjoy the unique opportunity to observe how these entities operate from behind the scenes. Students routinely perform functions such as reviewing documents, conducting research, and writing memoranda of law.
Most clinic courses also place students in off-campus, legal environments where they are authorized to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Placements include legal aid organizations, local governments, public defender offices and state attorney offices. Students routinely conduct research, interview clients and witnesses, write motions or memoranda of law, and advocate during hearings and trials. Most clinic participants are approved by the Florida Supreme Court as Certified Legal Interns (CLIs) authorized to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Consequently, CLIs may speak in open court and often includes arguing motions and advocating during criminal proceedings, including jury trials.
Stetson also has one in-house clinic, the Veterans Advocacy Clinic. Students in the clinic help veterans navigate the disability benefits application and appeals process of the Department of Veterans Affairs through the federal courts. In Fall 2014, Stetson Law and USF Health formed a first-of-its-kind partnership by joining forces to help Florida veterans through supportive clinical services, collaborative student training, and joint research.
Stetson provided me with such a strong foundation to begin my legal career as a prosecutor. As a certified legal intern, I had four jury trials while still in law school. I never wanted to do anything else.
Pam Bondi 90FloridasAttorneyGeneralB.A.,UniversityofFlorida;J.D.,StetsonUniversity
*source: 2014 ABA 509 report
A national powerhouse recognized for preparing lawyers for every stage of the legal process.
As the nations top-ranked law school for advocacy education, Stetson offers you unparalleled opportunities to develop and test your legal abilities from the first client contact through the final appeal. Beyond the typical courses in trial procedure found at most law schools, at Stetson youll discover a comprehensive range of advocacy electives, clinical programs, intramural tournaments and interscholastic competition teams, as well as certificates of concentration.
Effective advocacy is one of a successful lawyers most important skills regardless of practice area and Stetsons commitment to teaching advocacy is unmatched. Our lawyers and student-advocates excel in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in champion performances on our nationally and internationally lauded advocacy teams. Our professors have authored several leading books on advocacy, and our campuses feature seven courtrooms for experiential learning. Stetson annually hosts two interscholastic competitions: the International Environmental Moot Court Competition and the National Pretrial Competition.
During my skills classes and three externships, I learned how to be a lawyer through hands-on experience. My time on the Moot Court Board also has prepared me so well for my future career, giving me the opportunity to write briefs and argue in front of judicial panels.Jeremy Bailie 15Member,NationalVeteransMootCourtCompetitionChampionTeamB.A.,NorthlandInternationalUniversityJ.D.,StetsonUniversity
Legacy of ExcellenceStetsons winning record in mock trial, moot court and alternative dispute resolution competitions over the past 34 years is unmatched: 17 national #1 rankings for trial advocacy by
U.S. News since 1995
5 world titles
68 national championships
64 regional championships
43 state titles
43 best brief awards
111 best oralist/advocate awards
Recent championshipsMOOT COURT BOARD Andrews Kurth Moot Court National
Championship:2015champions JMLS International Moot Court Competition in
Information Technology and Privacy Law: 2013champions
National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition: 2013championsandbestpetitionersbrief
National Professional Responsibility Moot Court Competition:2012and2013champions