Florida International University College of Law is a place where students and their goals matter. We offer a first-rate legal education – full of practical and experiential learning opportunities.
More than twenty years ago community leaders and supporters, led by Cesar Alvarez, Co-Chairman of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, approached then Governor Jeb Bush with the idea to educate a different kind of lawyer. The plan was to provide South Florida’s diverse population with an opportunity to obtain an affordable, high-quality legal education. With the help of countless lawmakers and university leaders, Founding Dean Leonard Strickman along with a group of committed academics turned the vision into reality. FIU Law recruited an outstanding faculty, including several “Best Teacher of the Year” award recipients. Our experienced and respected faculty hold law degrees from Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Northwestern, Georgetown, and many other prestigious institutions.
The College of Law made spectacular progress in building a first-rate academic program and was provisionally accredited by the American Bar Association in 2004 and fully accredited in 2006 – the quickest possible time in which a law school may achieve full accreditation under ABA rules. An essential element in completing the accreditation process was the completion of a new, state-of-the-art College of Law building.
On February 10, 2007, the College of Law officially dedicated its new building to Rafael Diaz-Balart, in honor of Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart’s grandfather. During his tenure in the Florida Legislature, state Senator Mario Diaz-Balart sponsored the bill that resulted in the establishment of the FIU College of Law. Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall was designed by the internationally-known architect Robert A.M. Stern, Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University. The 153,000-square-foot facility is both a stunning architectural landmark and a practical educational space. Its open, airy design incorporates two spacious interior courtyards, an atrium and reading room that utilize natural light, an auditorium, a legal clinic and two teaching courtrooms.
Since our doors opened in 2002, FIU Law has graduated more than 1,000 students. Our graduates have ranked higher than all South Florida law schools, and higher than all public law schools in the state on two of the last four Florida Bar exams. Our graduates enter the legal marketplace practice-ready, and regularly excel in national and international competitions. In 2013, FIU Law won the 16th Annual National White Collar Crime Mock Trial Invitational, sponsored by Georgetown Law and the Georgetown University Law Center Barristers’ Council
Currently under the leadership of Dean R. Alexander Acosta, FIU Law is rapidly becoming one of the nation’s most exceptional law schools. Since 2009, the College of Law has ascended more than 40 spots to #105 in the U.S. News & World Report ranking. Its graduates are among the most employed in the nation. In 2012, 83 percent of FIU Law graduates seeking employment secured full-time, long-term legal jobs. That ranked FIU Law best in the state and 26th nationally.
From humble beginnings, FIU Law has quickly become a highly-respected institution with its own unique values and traditions.
FIU Law is on the rise, and its future is bright.