Showing posts with label College of Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label College of Law. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FAMU tops UF’s February first-try bar passage rate, again

The FAMU College of Law achieved a 72.2 percent first-try passage rate on the February 2014 Florida Bar Examination. That was 7.5 points higher than the University of Florida, which had a 64.7 percent first-try passage rate.

FAMU also topped UF on the 2013 February Bar Examination. For that exam, FAMU’s first-try passage rate was 82.6 percent and UF’s was 72.7 percent.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

FAMU’s 3+3 program serves as pipeline for prospective law students

FAMU has created a 3+3 Program that permits an  undergraduate student to complete three years (90 credits) of education at FAMU and then, during his or her fourth year of college, enroll as a first year law student at the FAMU College of Law in Orlando, Fla.

This program, funded by Title III, Part B grant from the U.S. Department of Education allows a student to complete an undergraduate degree and a juris doctor (JD) degree in six years (3+3) instead of the customary seven years. This help students save on tuition and allows focused and motivated students to start their legal careers a year earlier than normal. FAMU Law already offers the most reasonable tuition in the state of Florida; subtracting one year of undergraduate costs certainly enhances the College of Law’s value.

“According to the American Bar Association (ABA), FAMU is currently, and has historically been, the second best feeder school of applicants to the ABA approved law schools. The 3+3 program, which is unique to FAMU among HBCUs with law schools, will hopefully increase FAMU’s attractiveness as a destination for prospective law students,” said Jon P. Perdue, interim director of the FAMU Legal Scholars Preparatory Program.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

FAMU Law valedictorian earns one of the highest scores on the Florida Bar exam

FAMU College of Law alumna Denise Cespedes ('13), who grew up in Miami, Florida, earned one of the highest scores on the July 2013 Florida Bar Exam.

In recognition of her accomplishment, Cespedes was invited to address the 5th District Court of Appeals' Oath of Admission Ceremony on Monday, October 7, 2013. She joined other speakers with the distinction of achieving one of the top test scores. Only five examinees were selected for this honor from over 2,300 examinees that passed the exam.

"It is a proud moment for a law school dean to learn that one of your graduates was a top scorer on a Bar exam," said LeRoy Pernell, FAMU College of Law Dean.  "Ms. Cespedes is one of the reasons why the passage rate of our first-time Bar examinees has improved by nearly 22 percentage points since 2009.  We are very proud of her accomplishment."

Friday, November 01, 2013

FAMU Law takes top honors again at Moot Court Competition

Two FAMU College of Law students successfully defended FAMU's title by winning the Second Annual Puerto Rican Bar Association Moot Court Competition.

Just over a year after her victory in the inaugural competition, third-year law student Cameryn Rivera partnered with second-year law student Loren Vasquez to take top honors as Best Team against Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Cardozo School of Law, InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law, and Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law. Rivera brought additional prestige to FAMU by receiving the Best Advocate award for the competition.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Original FAMU Law graduates to receive Distinguished Alumni designation

The FAMU College of Law will bestow the designation of Distinguished Alumnus/a to all graduates of the original College of Law during Homecoming Week 2013, at the Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Banquet this evening, Thursday, October 17, 2013, in the School of Architecture Atrium.  The event will kick-off an historic College of Law reunion, honoring the 57 men and women who were members of the graduating classes from 1954 through 1968.

College of Law officials began planning the reunion at the request of Iving L. Mills, Jr., a member of the Class of 1966, who also serves as chair of the Inaugural Banquet.  The speaker line-up for the banquet program will feature President Robinson, and graduates of the original law school, including Florida Senator Arthenia Joyner, Class of 1968, who will officiate the program.

"At a time and place where the climate of advanced education for African-Americans was extremely volatile, the graduates of the original FAMU College of Law became true catalysts for change," said College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell.  "Honoring all 57 graduates as our Inaugural Distinguished Alumni is a fitting distinction for the legacy of their contributions."

Friday, September 27, 2013

FAMU Law raises its first-try passage rate on July bar exam

The FAMU College of Law’s first-try passage rate on the July Florida Bar Examination increased by 3.6 points over last year’s. A total of 71.1 percent of the July 2013 first-time test takers passed. Back in July 2012, 68.1 percent passed on the first try.

“What we’re doing is working,” Interim President Larry Robinson said in a quote published by the Tallahassee Democrat. “The overall trend is moving in the right direction, a positive direction.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FAMU Law alumnus wins Florida Bar’s environmental law writing competition

Michael Nichola, a 2013 graduate of the FAMU College of Law, won the annual Dean Frank Maloney Environmental Law Writing Competition, sponsored by the Environmental and Land Use Law Section (ELULS) of the Florida Bar. 

The competition was open to all law students at Florida's twelve law schools, and submissions addressed topics on environmental or land use law issues of concern to Florida.  The selection marks the first time any FAMU College of Law student placed in this prestigious writing competition.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FAMU Law welcomes new faculty members

FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson addresses College of Law Entering Students during 2013 First-year Orientation week held August 5-8.
The FAMU College of Law bolstered its teaching corps with new additions for its fall 2013 course schedule.  Five new faculty members have joined the College of Law to teach during the 2013-14 academic year, along with several Orlando-area lawyers and jurists serving as adjunct instructors.

"We are excited to have our new faculty members join the FAMU College of Law family," said Dean LeRoy Pernell, who is entering his fifth full year at the helm.  "These new professors will further strengthen the quality academics offered at this prestigious institution."

The new faculty members include:

    Joseph Grant, who most recently taught at Capital University Law School, joins the College of Law as an Associate Professor.  He received his J.D. from Duke University, and will teach Property Business Organizations;

    Yolanda Jones, who most recently worked with Wayne State University Law School, joins the College of Law as Director of the Law Library and Associate Professor of Law. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, and her Ph.D. from Drexel University.  Her professional experience includes service in law libraries at Wayne State University, Villanova University, Indiana University and the University of Miami;

Monday, September 09, 2013

FAMU Law opens its doors to another diverse class of 1Ls

An ambitious class of first-year law students began its journey toward the juris doctor degree hooding ceremony on Monday, August 12, 2013. The new 1Ls are the 12th class since the FAMU College of Law was re-established in 2000.

In a trend that was experienced by nearly all law schools across the country, the College of Law seated a reduced class-size and saw an increase in the percentage of students opting for the part-time, evening program.  Consisting largely of non-traditional students who take fewer classes during the year, the part-time program law students has many students who maintain full-time jobs.  The program is often an attractive option for those seeing second careers and individuals looking to advance in the legal field.  Nearly 40 percent of this year's entering class is enrolled in the part-time program.

"Students who pursue the part-time program may do so for a number of reasons," explained Karemah Manselle, Assistant Director for Student Financial Assistance at the College of Law.  "In some cases, employers may reimburse tuition paid for certain coursework, which allows a student to incur less debt when completing their law degree."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Alum endows scholarship to help FAMU Law students prepare for bar exam

FAMU College of Law alumnus LaDray Gilbert, who grew up in the rural farm town of Malone, Fla., recently pledged $5,000 to the College of Law to assist graduates in preparing for the bar exam.

"I'm thankful to FAMU, the faculty and staff for giving me a chance to receive a legal education," expressed the 2009 graduate who returned home to Jackson County, Fla. after passing the Florida Bar exam the same year.  After encountering limited career opportunities in Jackson County, he established The Gilbert Law Firm in 2009, making him the first African-American attorney to establish a practice in the area.

The Gilbert Bar Scholarship will be awarded to deserving FAMU College of Law students toward expenses incurred while preparing for the bar exam. Gilbert has already contributed $1,000 toward the pledged total.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stowes becomes first FAMU Law student to clerk at the Florida Supreme Court

Ta'Ronce Stowes, a third-year FAMU College of Law student from Severn, Md., has accepted a position as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Justice James E.C. Perry of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee, Fla., becoming the first College of Law student to clerk at the Florida Supreme Court. He will begin the Clerkship in August.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment for Mr. Stowes,” said FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell. “The historic clerkship selection is a testament that more legal organizations are taking note of the talent developed here at the FAMU College of Law.”

Prior to attending the College of Law, Stowes served as a Distinguished Fellow for the U.S. Department of State, where he worked domestically in Washington, D.C. at Main State, and abroad at the U.S. Consulate in Cape Town, South Africa.  He received a B.S. degree in business management from Hampton University.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

FAMU Law’s big day before the Bar: A look at the numbers

FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell stands with Alicia Jackson, director of the Bar Exam Success Training (B.E.S.T.) Program, as they announce the Feb., 2013 bar passage rate to current law students, faculty and staff.
Rattlers near and far are still celebrating the FAMU College of Law’s game-changing performance on the Florida Bar examination.

FAMU Law’s first try passage rate on the February 2013 bar exam ranked sixth out of the 11 law schools in the state. Of the 23 FAMU Law students who took the exam, 19 passed on their first try.

The news will get even better when FAMU’s overall passage rate comes out later. FAMU Law graduates who don’t pass the bar on their first try have a strong record of eventually passing it after one or two retakes.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Striking Back! FAMU Law’s first-try bar passage rate tops state average and UF’s

Once again, the FAMU College of Law has defied its critics. Its first-time passage rate on the February 2013 Florida Bar Exam exceeded the state average.  At 82.6 percent, the FAMU College of Law beat the state average of 80.2 percent. It also bested five of the eleven Florida schools reported including Florida Coastal, Nova Southeastern and the University of Florida.  The score also exceeded the combined passage rate of the non-Florida law schools.

“We are extremely pleased with the efforts of the administration, faculty and students of the FAMU College of Law,” said Larry Robinson, interim president of FAMU.  “This news could not have come at a better time.  The examination results clearly demonstrate that the right steps are being taken to ensure that our law students are prepared to enter their profession.  Congratulations to the FAMU College of Law.”

The 82.6 percent first-try passage rate represents a 17.1 point increase from the prior highest rate for the February Bar that was achieved a year ago at 65.5 percent.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

FAMU Law professor, students submit amicus brief to U.S. Supreme Court

Three FAMU College of Law students assisted Associate Professor Patricia Broussard in an exercise that brought practical application to their studies in an Advanced Appellate Advocacy course. Third-year law students Stacy Hane and Akunna Olumba, and second-year law student Sabrina Collins completed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court for the Shelby County, Alabama v Eric H. Holder, Jr. case.

By definition, the amicus curiae is literally translated as "friend of the court" or someone who is not party to a particular case but presents information that bears on the case, but was not solicited by either party to do so. The amicus brief is commonly filed in appeals concerning matters of broad public interest, such as a civil rights case.

According to, the Shelby County v Holder case has at issue whether Congress' 2006 decision to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act under the pre-existing coverage formula of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act exceeded its authority under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and thus violated the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the United States Constitution.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gary to keynote FAMU Law hooding ceremony

Florida Attorney Willie E. Gary, who has earned his reputation as "The Giant Killer", will keynote the Ninth Annual FAMU College of Law Hooding Ceremony on May 11, 2013. The event will take place at 10 a.m., at the Hilton Orlando, 6001 Destination Parkway, near International Drive.

Gary is a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, where he earned the Juris Doctor degree. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1974, and with the assistance of his wife Gloria, opened the first African American law firm in Martin County, Florida. His practice has since grown into the partnership Gary, Williams, Finney, Lewis, Watson & Sperando, P.L., operating four offices.

Gary will address the spring 2013 candidates, who will have the juris doctor degree conferred in Tallahassee, Florida, at the University's Commencement Exercises on May 4, 2013. The Hooding Ceremony will recognize more than 150 candidates, including the fall 2012, spring 2013, and summer 2013 graduating classes.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

FAMU Law discusses solutions to poverty during annual symposium

With FAMU law students leading the charge, the Orange County Community Action hosted the Florida Association for Community Action’s (FACA) Third Annual Symposium on Poverty.  With the theme “Engaging Key Partners in Addressing Poverty” at the FAMU College of Law.

The Symposium was held to raise awareness regarding the issue of poverty and frame solutions to inevitably reduce the causes of poverty.  Through presentations and panel discussions, the Symposium on Poverty organizers developed an action plan consisting of strategies which address poverty in order to effectuate policy change locally and statewide.  Seven states currently offer a statewide initiative addressing poverty.  

Orange County Florida Mayor Teresa Jacobs provided opening remarks for the Symposium along with comments by Orange County Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell, District 6.  Key to the Symposium was a presentation by FAMU College of Law third-year students Rowena Daniels and Jennifer Druffel entitled “The New Face of Poverty.”  Daniels and Druffel worked with fellow law students Kalie Latter and Carrington Williams on research that was conducted under the supervision of College of Law professors Ann Marie Cavazos and Eunice Caussade-Garcia with the FAMU Legal Clinic Programs.

Monday, February 18, 2013

FAMU’s transparency undercut Fineout’s attempt to paint distorted picture

Back when the FAMU College of Law reached Destination Accreditation in 2009, many Florida newspaper readers were confused. The St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times, had used lots of ink to try and convince the citizens of the state that FAMU Law was doing a poor job preparing its students for the Florida bar.

A Times article in 2008 said that “FAMU…has the lowest bar passage rate, with a little more than half of the students passing.” The article only mentioned the first-try passage rates. It ignored the fact that FAMU’s overall passage rate stood between 70 and 81 percent during the years of 2005 through 2007.

The Times consistently left FAMU’s overall bar passage rates out of its coverage. That’s why many readers were shocked to find out that FAMU had satisfied the American Bar Association’s (ABA) bar passage rate standard in 2009. The ABA requires a 75 percent overall passage rate and FAMU Law was at 77 percent when it earned full accreditation.

The FAMU interim administration made the wise move of posting the latest ABA report on FAMU Law on the university website last week at the same time that it sent out a press release on the issue. When Associated Press reporter Gary Fineout tried to use the ABA report to paint a distorted picture of FAMU Law’s bar passage progress, Rattlers already had the full facts.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fineout article omits FAMU Law’s 82.97% overall bar passage rate

The FAMU College of Law has achieved an overall bar passage rate that exceeds the rate that the American Bar Association (ABA) requires for accreditation. But you won’t read about that in the recent article written by Associated Press (AP) reporter Gary Fineout that appears on the Miami Herald website.

The ABA Accreditation Committee released a preliminary report from a site evaluation team visit to the FAMU law school during March 25-28, 2012. Fineout rushed to put a negatively slanted article on the document on the AP wire.

Fineout wrote that “the 31-page report points out that 30 percent of the students admitted either do not graduate the school or do not pass the bar exam.” That information came from finding #59 on page 17 of the report. But Fineout’s article, as it appeared on the Miami Herald’s website, declined to mention the information from finding #58 on that same page.

FAMU reported updated data to the ABA after receiving its Florida Bar passage results from February and July 2012. According to the report, that “revised the number of non-persisters/never attempted to 53 of 694 graduates, or 7.6%.” Fineout’s article ignored that information.

FAMU’s 2007-2011 overall bar passage rate was 79.04 percent based upon the data from the site visit. It went up to 82.97 percent after FAMU submitted the updated data.

A 75 percent overall bar passage rate meets the requirements explained in Interpretation 301-6 of the ABA accreditation standards.

Friday, November 30, 2012

FAMU moot court team takes top honors in competition

Pictured (l-r): Assistant Professor Rebecca Olavarria, coach; Cameryn Justice Rivera, second-year law student; Mfon Etukeren, third-year law student; and Assistant Professor Kristy D’Angelo-Corker, coach. 
Two FAMU College of Law students won the inaugural Puerto Rican Bar Association Moot Court Competition.  The team was comprised of third-year law student Mfon Etukeren and second-year law student Cameryn Justice Rivera.  They earned top honors in the moot court competition beating teams from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Fordham Law School and Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law.

The contest was hosted by the Puerto Rican Bar Association and will be held each year in a different city.  Moot Court competitions simulate actual court proceedings at the appellate level. Participants in this year’s competition received a set of hypothetical facts involving the constitutional rights of Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico to vote for President of the United States.  The teams were required to write briefs and then argue the “case” before a panel of three judges selected by the competition organizers.
The FAMU College of Law Moot Court program is directed by Professor William Henslee, and the winning team was coached by Professors Rebecca Olavarria and Kristy D’Angelo-Corker.

Monday, October 01, 2012

FAMU Law welcomes largest class of Rattler undergraduate alumni

FAMU All-Stars pose on the steps of the College of Law during Orientation week for first-year law students. Pictured: (front row, l-r) Ella Gilbert, Jennell Loper, Jasmine Anthony, Tanisha Swaby, (back row, l-r) Antonio Rosado, Racquell Perry, Katia Wilson, Alexis Peterson, and Benjamin Garcia.
For first-year law student Racquell Perry, one major variable that contributed to her decision on which law school to attend after completing undergraduate studies at FAMU was “atmosphere.”

"By attending the FAMU College of Law, the benefit is having a family atmosphere," explained the Miami native, who received her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, with a concentration in Juvenile Justice, this past spring.  "It is important that you feel comfortable wherever you are," she said.

Perry joined a host of ambitious first-year law students who began the three- to four-year journey toward the juris doctor degree on Monday, August 13, 2012, as the FAMU College of Law welcomed its 11th class since it was re-established in 2000.  "I chose FAMU College of Law because the faculty, students and community leaders genuinely want to see us succeed and they make themselves available in any way possible," Perry said.

Into a lecture hall filled with unfamiliar faces, Perry arrived at the College of Law for orientation two weeks prior, along with a handful of "FAMUly" from her undergraduate years at FAMU.  The 2012 entering class boasts the largest contingency of FAMU undergraduates compared to each of the previous ten classes.  And, like Perry, many of the first-year students holding undergraduate degrees from FAMU were identified as FAMU All-Stars.

"We are pleased that more students from our main campus in Tallahassee realize they can obtain a quality legal education at their alma mater," said College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell.  "The number of All-Stars who have enrolled this year is a great indication that our mission is well received."