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Message from Don Weidner


As the data make clear, we at Florida State have an enviable job placement record. One reason we do is that our faculty adds value by delivering a sophisticated program of study that prepares students to enter the worlds of law, business or government at the highest possible level


Our first year curriculum is fairly traditional. It provides the foundation in history, doctrine, philosophy, process and analytical method that students need to approach their careers, beginning with the more specialized courses and internships offered later in law school. It includes a required course in Legislation and Regulation, designed to orient students as soon as possible to the reality that we all must navigate the regulatory state.


In the second and third years, we offer students an extremely broad menu of classroom and externship experiences. We have especially strong programs in business law, environmental law and international law. In each of these areas, we offer courses and experiences that go far beyond the basics. We offer all J.D. students certificate programs in each of these three specialty areas. We also offer an LL.M. program in environmental law and an LL.M. in American Law for lawyers from around the world.


Our business program goes well beyond traditional law courses in Business Organizations, Securities Regulation, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy. We offer advanced courses such as Antitrust, Corporate Finance, Business Planning, Dodd-Frank, Analytical Methods for Lawyers, Game Theory, Law and Economics, and Taxation of Business Entities. Our business faculty members are engaged scholars with experience at some of the nation's top corporate law firms. One has years of experience as a federal bankruptcy judge.


Everyone rates our environmental program as one of the best in the nation. Our environmental faculty members are national and international figures. Here again, we don't stop at the basics. In addition to basic courses in Environmental Law and Land Use Regulation, we offer a wealth of specialized courses, such as Climate Change: Science, Policy & Law, Coastal & Ocean Law, Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Law, Energy Law & Policy, Water Law and State Administrative Law


Our international program also goes beyond the basic courses in Public International Law and International Business Transactions. We offer specialized courses such as China Trade Simulation, Comparative Constitutional Law, Global Regulation of the Pharmaceutical Sector, International Aspects of Intellectual Property, and International Tax.


Our faculty members are actively involved with the work of our students. We believe collaboration outside of the classroom is as important as the classroom experience. Many of our faculty members work with students on their law review articles, moot court and mock trial competitions, business plans, or directed independent studies. Our clinical professors work closely with students in a rich array of externship programs and "live-client" clinics. Internship and externship experiences supplement the traditional classroom experience and often help our students with job placement upon graduation.


Our students love going to law school in Tallahassee. Although it is a relatively small city, Florida's capital city offers our students the chance to try on for size many different legal roles during the course of their law school studies. Many of our students find part-time employment or internships in one of Tallahassee's 500-plus law firms, state or federal courts, the Governor's Office, the Florida Legislature or one of Tallahassee's many state agencies.


Our alumni are extremely involved with our school and with our students. From the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court to business and government leaders, they often appear as guest lecturers or adjunct professors. Many participate in "networking noshes," coming to campus or engaging by videoconference technology. Many host placement receptions in their communities. More than 900 alumni have specifically volunteered to serve as Placement Mentors. They help our students with job placement in Florida and around the world.


I strongly recommend that you visit any law school you are thinking of attending. Visit during Monday through Thursday, when most classes are in session and most professors are in their offices. Sit in on classes and talk with students and faculty. If you visit Florida State, I am confident you will discover our extraordinarily collegial environment. Our students like their experiences at our law school and the careers we help them launch. Begin with the end in mind.


Thank you,
Don Weidner
Dean and Alumni Centennial Professor



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