The Florida A&M University College of Law is reaching new heights this semester with the largest incoming class in the school’s history.
More than 288 first-year students are signing up for classes in the Orlando-based campus this fall.
One of the major reasons for the increase in applicants is because the school obtained its accreditation with the American Bar Association in 2009, said Lisa Taylor, assistant dean of admissions.
The total number of students at the school is just over 660. The school’s reputation has been growing since it reopened in 2002.
“Students are starting to take a serious look at the school,” Taylor said.
Students here on the hill are excited about the increase in students.
“This is a great step because this is something positive reflected on the school,” said Vakeesa Westmoreland, a fourth year biology student from Bruce, Miss.
FAMU’s College of Law has a nationally ranked clinical program.
“FAMU has a lot to offer and we are an up-and-coming school,” Taylor said.
Some students feel the law school’s growing reputation will help the university as a whole.
“This may increase the funds for the university, which will gradually increase the quality of the university,” Westmorland said.
The curriculum includes a full-time day program and a part-time evening program. Community service is a major part of the school’s educational agenda. Students serve throughout the Orlando community by educating lawyers and other future leaders on the importance of helping others.
Taylor said as they continue to build on academics, everything else will improve.
The law school is ranked number one in the nation for academic diversity by US NEWS and World Report. Students come from different majors including engineering and pre-healthcare.
Students at the school also made an improvement on the Florida Bar Exam. According to the Supreme Court, 62.5 percent of first-time examinants passed.
With all the accomplishments of the school, it will become more competitive to get in, Taylor said.
The school is always looking toward the future.
“As a law school we’re always trying to get better,” Taylor said.
The school’s history dates back to 1949 when it was originally opened in Tallahassee. The College of Law graduated 57 students from 1949 to its closing in 1968. Students who would like more information on FAMU’s College of Law can go to their website at law.famu.edu.