3.5 out of 5 Stars
Accessible professors that really care about their students; solid reputation in the Central/Southwest Florida market.Downers
There are too many classes only offered at night to accommodate the school's large population of part-time students.Comments
Not the school to go to if you want to move out of state. It is a great school but does not have the national reputation needed to be hired outside of Florida.Would You Recommend
The classes first year definitely get you "thinking like a lawyer." There are some professors that are known to be extremely Socratic, while others are not like that in any way. You experience the Socratic method more in your first year than in any of the following two; at least in my experience. Class sizes first year are roughly sixty people and it can be competitive at times. Overall though, the students promote more of a "team" environment than you get at most other schools. Sure, there are those people who are pretty cut-throat, but it is law school and those people will always be there. It is best to identify these people early on and keep this in mind as you go through school. The faculty is pretty accessible overall. Some of them relate more to students whereas some others are not as open. We have very good faculty in the realm of criminal law and trial advocacy. I cannot think of a single professor that Stetson employs that has not done something/continues to do something that is pretty meaningful to their area of expertise. The workload first year is ridiculous, but it is the first year of law school! They put you through the ringer, but making it through that first year is almost a right of passage. The second and third years are not walks in the park either. The stress is still there for classes and I say you work pretty hard all three years. It depends on what sort of classes you take. Stetson grades on a forced curve the first year, and then a curve in the upper level classes as well. Therefore, you have to study hard and perform well to beat that curve. The school increased the curve recently from 2.7-2.9 the first year to 2.9-3.1 (I think!). This makes for a little bit of a higher GPA average coming out of first year, which looks good on paper when up against other schools who have much higher curves. To the outside employer who is not aware of the tough curves of some schools, having a lower GPA than a school with a higher curve can make you look bad versus that other person when in reality, with the curve in place, you have done quite well.Quality of Life
The city of Gulfport is rather cheap to live in but I do not think it is the nicest. A lot of people live at Golfview across the street. This is a popular apartment complex with students at school because of it's proximity. The campus is stunningly beautiful. The grounds are kept nearly perfect and the architecture of our campus is second to none. The school was actually a top of the line hotel in the 1920's and walking around campus you can understand how this was so. The school has great facilities for courtrooms, classrooms, etc. A lot of old schools (even though Stetson is the first law school in Florida) put you in dumpy classrooms with sub-par facilities, but I cannot say I ever was in a below average quality facility at any point in Stetson. Sure it is expensive, but walking around the campus it is like a country club. As far as happiness goes, the school is located on it's own, although connected to Stetson University in Deland, Florida, so you do not have the undergraduate campus around to keep the social scene going at all hours. There are pluses and minuses to this. It is harder to meet non-law students at times because you are so enthralled in your studies that getting away is not that easy. That being said, Tampa is very close and downtown St. Petersburg is a really cool night-life spot so students often break away by going to those places.Admissions
When you apply to Stetson you must have taken the LSAT, have your letters of recommendation on file with LSAC, as well as your transcripts and any essay that you have written for them as a personal statement. The wait process can be lengthy so it is best to apply early. It also makes a "weaker application" stronger because you do not have as much competition earlier on. I feel like it is harder to get into the school later in the admissions process. I would recommend getting the application completed and to Stetson by Thanksgiving or December 1st. This way you are way ahead of others. If you are sitting around waiting a long time, this is a good thing, as you are unlikely to hear right away unless you are extremely strong or extremely weak (application wise). Stetson does take people off of the wait list so do not be completely discouraged if you are waitlisted.Level
Socratic method for basic classes, fantastic clinic and internship opportunitiesAdmissions
LSAT, essay, committee
some theoretical teaching but mostly practical applications. Most teachers use a modified Socratic method (groups of students were put on call) or just took volunteers.Quality of Life
Everything works great on campus except frequent hiccups with the wireless internet in classrooms. Staff and faculty members are all friendly and willing to help students (from professors to librarians, to public safety officers). Besides increasing high tuition rate, cost of living is quite reasonable.
The student environment is very competitive at Stetson, but not cut-throat. Most students are willing to help other students.Admissions
Fairly typical questions, however admission/student life personnel were very warm and inviting with regards to explaining the admissions process as well as interest in each student.Level
Most courses equally deal with theory and practical applications. Stetson places a heavy focus on practical "skills" course, but there are still a good variety of options for students who don't prefer those.Quality of Life
Campus is beautiful, well kept. I love the libraries.Admissions
Admissions process is very traditional, similar to most schools, uses the LSAC.
Scholarship opportunities are great. Plenty available. Financial Aid office is best I've ever worked with.Level
It all varies. Some classes are theoretical and some are more practical. The opportunities are there at Stetson to make your law school experience what you want though. Exceptional placeQuality of Life
Cost of living is more reasonable than you think. I live on the bay with a water view for 500 a monthAdmissions
Most important factors are Undergrad GPA and LSAT scores of course. As long as you haven't committed any felonies, the school will base its admission on these two primarilyLevel
Socratic method is rarely used; grading is on a curve, fairly competitive; unique programs: international law, elder law, environmental law, etc.; quality of teaching varies from poor to excellent; research opportunities are very extensive and varied; workload seems reasonable.Quality of Life
Library is great; staff is excellent. Courtrooms and dining are great. Crime and safety is good. Nice, chill place to be.Admissions
Personal statement, LSAT, UGPA, scholarships for those with high LSAT?UGPALevel
Overall, I have had a very good experience with my classes, the quality of learning and of the professors. Not all classes are taught in the same manner - Stetson seems to allow the professors to determine the manner of study. I have had some that teach via the Socratic method and others that are more casual - with a ongoing repor with the class, and still others that primarily lecture only.Quality of Life
I have never lived on campus. The campus has a full size, heated olympic pool, two tennis-courts, a basketball court, a large work-out room, a recreation room with a large screen TV and ping pong table. In addition, there are several computers labs, a fantastic library, and all of this is along the coastal region of west-central Florida.
Our Elder law courtroom is the best in the country - designed for the needs of the elderly and handicap.
The staff is friendly and helpful. Our dining has improved over the past two years and is recommendable.
Overall, the quality of life while attending Stetson is very high.Admissions
Similar to other schools that I applied for.
There are plenty of scholarship opportunties - I believe 20% of the students are rec'g some type of scholarship assistance.
LSAT scores are above avg - Most are 155 or better.Level