Author Archives: Coastal Law

Fun Things to Do in Jacksonville While Attending Coastal Law

Florida Coastal School of Law is ideally located in Jacksonville, Florida on the Northeast coast.  With federal and state court houses located right downtown, and more than 80 local companies with national or divisional headquarters in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville offers law students an ideal setting for pursuing a law degree.

Debbie Duncan, Admissions Processor at Florida Coastal School of Law, shares her tips for things to do in Jacksonville while attending law school.  Debbie has been a resident of Jacksonville for the past 34 years. Her family has experienced many of the activities for hobbies, interests, and entertainment that Jacksonville provides.

Below are some of Debbie’s favorite things to do in Jacksonville.


We are season ticket holders with the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS and enjoy tailgating with friends and family before each home game.  The Jaguars play at EverBank Field, which is now home to the world’s largest scoreboard!

We love to golf and enjoy going to THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP every year.  Throughout the years I have met many famous golfers such as Lee Trevino, Fuzzy Zoellor, Jack Nicklaus, and Payne Stewart who shared a bag of Skittles with my daughter.  The Players Championship is played at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

NASCAR is another favorite.  The DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY is only an hour away from Jacksonville.  We attend the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 every year.

Outdoor Recreational Activities:

Jacksonville has the largest urban park system in the nation.  My child played many sports so we spent a lot of time at many of these parks. On weekends we loved to spend time at the beach. We particularly liked the beaches in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Fernandina. Jacksonville beach is pet friendly! Many residents take their pets to the beach for an early or evening run. The beach is Jacksonville is also great for adventure. Many students pick up surfing lessons or have beach sporting events at the beach.

Dining and Social Life:

Living in Jacksonville as long as we have, we know a lot of people and have a lot of social engagements. We attend fundraisers and different events at venues such as Epping Forest Country Club. Jacksonville offers a wide range of dining options. My favorite cuisine is Japanese but I sometimes like to step it up a notch at Ruth’s Chris.

Also, many of the student organizations on campus host social events at various restaurants around town including Black Sheep in Riverside and Painting with a Twist, to just name a few. Two of the favorites among the students for Mexican cuisine are Taco Lu and La Napolera. Both restaurants have great prices and delicious authentic Mexican dishes.

Although there are many things to do in Jacksonville, the city is within driving distance to Orlando, Miami, and Atlanta. Jacksonville is great place for students to live, work, and play while taking a break from classes and studying!

Please visit to find other exciting things to do in Jacksonville, Florida.


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Non-Traditional Law Students: Law School is for Every Age

A long time ago in a land far, far away, the typical law school student came straight from undergraduate school.  Times have changed and this is no longer the norm.  More and more “older” law students, known as non-traditional law students, are going to law school.  Of Coastal Law’s applicant pool in 2015, 24% were above the age of 30 and 27% of our 2015 matriculates were from ages 30-67! Our diverse community makes for an easy transition to law school, regardless of age.

Non-traditional law students attending law school seems to be a growing trend.  People are leaving undergrad to start their careers and later learn that a law degree will enhance their opportunities in the field they have chosen.  These non-traditional students go back to law school knowing exactly what they want to do once they obtain their law degree.

Additionally, some “seasoned” law students are coming back for a second career.  They were successful professionals that were ready for a change and saw a need for legal education in that new chosen path. They tend to be more focused and know the direction they want to go.

Some were busy raising a family and now their children are out pursuing their dreams. Now it is time for the parent to pursue their long awaited dream of attending law school.

Many law schools, including Coastal Law, encourage students with work experience to apply.   Even though the typical criteria like LSAT and GPA are important, work and life experience are also very valuable.   Some are already coming from fields in the justice system, such as police officers, Parole officers, paralegals, and many others.  They can bring that knowledge to the classroom not only to help themselves but their fellow classmates.   To help accommodate the busy schedules of our non-traditional law students who may already have a career or family responsibilities, Coastal Law does offer part-time day and evening classes.

According to there are several reasons why non-traditional law students may opt for a delayed start to law school, as well as several benefits:

  • They have had a chance to explore other fields and have a better idea of what they want to do.
  • They often begin law school in order to do what they love; not because they think they’ll make a lot of money.
  • They have reasonable expectations of the career and its requirements.
  • They have contacts outside of school, which allows them to find job placements quickly.
  • They may have more stable personal lives, which allows them more time to study.

So if you are a “seasoned” student and considering going to law school and have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions office.  We have a very diverse student body of all ages and ethnicity’.  We encourage anyone desiring to pursue their dream of law school to make it a reality with Coastal Law!

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From Canada to the States: Earn your J.D. at Coastal Law

Do you currently reside in Canada and want to learn more about attending law school in the United States? We invite you to join Coastal Law’s admissions team to learn more about studying abroad in the U.S. to earn your J.D. The interactive webinar will discuss the academic and lifestyle benefits of attending law school in Jacksonville, Florida. Additionally, the admissions office will provide an overview of the steps you must take to apply and transition from Canada to the United States. Our guest panel will include current Canadian students and Coastal Law alumni who will share their experiences and helpful tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Date: Monday, March 14, 2016 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST

Don’t miss this webinar designed specifically for Canadian students! RSVP Link:  

Virtual Open Houses are interactive and can be accessed using a smart phone, international phone number, or via a tablet or computer.

Canadian JD Facts




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Coastal Law Announces Its Third Webinar Series Aimed at Aspiring Law Students

In its continued effort to provide thought leadership and insight to the questions and challenges that aspiring law students encounter, Coastal Law’s Admissions team launched a series of law school webinars for students or working professionals interested in attending law school. Now in its third round, the webinars cover a variety of topics including tips for completing a law school resume, understanding the admissions process, career advice from alums and employers, and more. The law school webinars also provide interested applicants the opportunity to learn more about Coastal Law’s J.D. programs in a virtual, interactive format.

All webinars are free and attendees can join by phone, tablet, or a computer. Attendees should RSVP in advance to ensure they receive updates and e-mails prior to or following the webinar. Webinars are scheduled for one hour with the opportunity to ask questions to panelists. Webinars are recorded and available for replay on Coastal Law’s YouTube channel for any students that may have missed a webinar or want to review a topic.

Schedule for 2016 Law School Webinars

2/15 – Come See the World with Coastal Law

Registration Link:

Description: Did you enjoy studying abroad during your undergraduate education? Do you feel like you missed your chance to study abroad? Join us for this webinar focusing on the many international opportunities to enhance your legal know-how. This webinar will include faculty and students who will share their perspectives with international externships, study abroad in France, and much more.


2/22 – Discover Coastal Law

Registration Link:

Description: Recently heard about Coastal Law but not sure what the benefits are of the school or the city? Experience Coastal Law with your Admissions Team guiding you through some of the highlights of the Florida Coastal and the City of Jacksonville. Our counselors will be providing you with facts about our facilities, programs and opportunities available to our students and landmarks in the beautiful City of Jacksonville.


3/7 – Alumni Spotlight: Traditional and Non-Traditional

Registration Link:

Description: A JD can provide you with many career avenues evidenced by our alumni’s career paths and aspirations. This webinar will feature two alumni who have taken the traditional route and two alumni who have taken the road less traveled.


3/21 – Coastal Law Spotlight: Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Registration Link:

Description: This Coastal Law Spotlight will focus on our Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. Students in the Immigrant and Human Rights Clinic are involved with both direct legal services to non-citizens as well as legal advocacy projects. This webinar will also highlight our annual Citizenship Day event taking place in April.


4/4 – Coastal Law Spotlight Webinar: 2-Year Accelerated & Dual Degrees

Registration Link:


4/18 – Coastal Law Spotlight Webinar: 3rd Year At Home & Bar-prep Program

Registration Link:

Description: Attending school away from home always comes with the added advantage of broadening your professional and academic horizon. Such is especially true in case of attending law-school. However, staying home also has its advantages; cost-saving opportunities, academic and otherwise, proximity to family and friends, along with networking and professional opportunities, to name a few. What if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you could do both and have a comprehensive bar-prep program at your disposal at no additional cost? If any of that interests you, come join us in our next rendition of Coastal Law Spotlight Webinars.

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Factors Considered When Accepting Law Students


Admissions committees review thousands of applications per year. The admissions committee at Florida Coastal School of Law reviews all the applications it receives holistically to ensure that the students selected can successfully undertake a rigorous program in the study of law and contribute positively to the profession and society.

Admissions decisions include attention to factors that enhance the educational experience of the entire student body. While LSAT scores, GPA, and the undergraduate institution attended are significant factors in the admission process, these are not the only factors taken into account. Admissions committees also look at the applicant’s personal statement, difficulty of the undergraduate course work, LSAT writing sample, letters of recommendation, work experience (resumé), maturity, community and campus involvement, advanced degrees, leadership, diversity, and background.

Factors Considered When Accepting Law Students:

LSAT Scores: Admissions committees rely on LSAT scores to evaluate applicants’ logical reasoning, analytical, and reading skills, all of which are essential for success in law school. If a candidate takes the LSAT multiple times, most admissions committees will use the highest score, however, they will also be able to review the other scores to see if the LSAT score(s) has increased or decreased.

GPA: Undergraduate performance generally is an important indicator of how a student is likely to perform in law school. Admissions committees consider performance trends in the undergraduate grade-point average. If a candidate wishes to comment on irregular grade trends, they should do so in an addendum.

Course Selection: Candidates who take high level courses in undergrad often are evaluated in a more favorable light than candidates who choose to take lower level/less difficult courses. Because law school is a rigorous academic program, applicants that have done well in a challenging program are considered favorably.

Letters of Recommendation: The most effective letters of recommendation are those from professors and work supervisors who know the candidate well enough to write about the candidate’s work ethic and potential to succeed in law school. Most admissions committees do not look favorably on recommendations written by family members or friends.

Resume: Law schools want diverse and interesting classes. Diversity in thought, backgrounds and experiences. The law school resume can show the candidate’s leadership skills, entrepreneurship, drive, and many other unique qualities make them a good fit for a particular school.

Personal Statement: The personal statement is an opportunity for the reviewer to “meet” the candidate. Most admissions committees are looking for attention to detail, proofreading and grammar skills, and the candidate’s ability to communicate why they want to go to law school and that law school in particular. Admissions committees want to understand how the candidate will use their law degree to accomplish their professional goals.


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Coastal Law Announces Third Webinar Series for Prospective Law Students

The law school application process can be challenging.  Florida Coastal School of Law hopes to make the transition into law school as smooth as possible with its webinars designed for prospective law students. Now in its third series, the webinars are designed to assist prospective students at every stage of the law school process from submitting an application to succeeding in your first year of law school.

The webinars will take place twice a month and will be held every other Monday starting on November 2, 2015. Webinars will go live at noon, EST. Attendees can interact live through a chat screen, video, or by phone in real time using our interactive webinar platform.

There is no cost to join the webinars and each session is recorded for later viewing on Coastal Law’s YouTube channel.

For questions, email Megan Mattson at

Webinars for Prospective Law Students

11/2 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST

Topic: Which LSAT Test Prep is Best?


Wondering which LSAT test prep is best for you? With different options available to law school hopefuls, this webinar will help you find the right program for your learning style and schedule.  Attendees will hear from representatives of Focus Approach, Kaplan Test Prep, and Flagler College.  Presenters will share more information about their programs to help you make the right choice.  RSVP to reserve your space.

11/16 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST

Topic: What’s Next After the Law School Fair: Beginning the Application Process


Did you attend a law school fair and now wonder what to do next?  In this webinar, we’ll walk you through the next steps when applying to law schools.  From researching schools to putting together an application to choosing the right law school for you, we’ll share tips and answers your questions.  Presenters include Coastal Law’s Admissions counselors.  RSVP to reserve your space.

11/30 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST

Topic: Military and Veteran Support in Law School


Coastal Law is proud to welcome military and veteran students to our law school.  In addition to a growing military and veteran on-campus community that includes students, staff, and faculty, we provide various on-campus support resources and opportunities.  We also offer cost of living assistance for our military and veteran students.  Join us for this webinar with presenters that include a Veterans Affairs representative, a Coastal Law professor, current students, a Coastal Law alum, and a current JAG member.  RSVP to reserve your space.

12/14 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST

Topic: Building Your Resume in Law School


Between law school clinics, legal externships, honors organizations and pro bono work, law students have a lot of choices to building their resumes during law school.  Join us for this webinar where presenters will share how to get the hands-on experience law students need to help them stand out among their peers.  This webinar will include faculty and students who will share their own perspectives on the various options available to you.  RSVP to reserve your space.


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LSAT Program: Coastal Law Channel Program


Florida Coastal School of Law now offers prospective law students the unique opportunity to receive LSAT preparation through its Coastal Law Channel Program. This intensive on-demand program is taught by licensed attorneys using a curriculum that has helped students succeed on the LSAT exam for the last 20 years.

Students who enroll for the Fall term will be prepared for the February or June 2016 LSAT exam. Additionally, prospective students who qualify for the Channel Program and earn at least a 143 LSAT score will receive a scholarship to attend Coastal Law along with guaranteed admission into the Fall 2016 term. This one-time scholarship matches the Channel Program’s cost of $995.

Classes start next Tuesday, apply and register now!


Channel Program Application:


Price: $995

Program Details:

  • 60 hours of on-demand LSAT preparation
  • 12 hours of on-demand legal writing instruction designed to give pre-law students a competitive advantage in their first-year, mandatory legal writing class
  • Class term: November 24 – February 6
  • Release dates: Every Tuesday from November 24 to February 2

Required Materials: Available from the Law School Admissions Council (

  • 10 Actual, Official LSAT PREPTESTS, with Comparative Reading Comprehension (Exams 52-61)
  • 10 Actual, Official LSAT PREPTESTS, Volume V (Exams 62-71)
  • The Official LSAT PREPTESTS 72-76

For more information:

LSAT Program
Peter Gormanly, Esq.
(914) 763-0128

Legal Writing Program
Megan Mattson, Esq.
(904) 256-1264

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Connecting With Coastal Alumni

Stay Connected: Ways to Network with Our Alumni Base

The Florida Coastal School of Law Alumni Association represents more than 5,000 graduates of Coastal Law.  Coastal law has produced alumni whose contributions have enhanced the legal communities of not only Jacksonville but throughout the United States and across the world.

All students who graduate from Coastal Law become members of the Alumni Association, with no dues or fees needed to join.

The Alumni Association has 13 Alumni Chapters across the country that provide a local presence and opportunities for alumni to network with each other and with prospective, accepted, and current students.

As an alumnus myself, I know how important it is to stay connected. Here are a few ways to engage with our alums.

Alumni Event Calendar:

The Alumni Association offers alumni the opportunity to network and socialize, assist with admissions, mentor and speak to students as well as sponsor and help plan events. Stay up to date with alumni events as there could be an event in your area soon! Click here to see our Alumni Event Calendar.

Alumni Admissions Referral Scholarship

The Florida Coastal Alumni Admissions Referral Scholarship is a one-time $2,000 scholarship awarded each semester to incoming full or part-time students who have been recommended by a Florida Coastal alumnus. Students should request a recommendation at least two weeks before the deadline to allow the alum giving you a recommendation enough time to write and submit a recommendation for you. Alumni may submit recommendations until August 26 for students entering in the Fall 2015 class.


“Like” The Alumni Association Facebook Page


Join the Florida Coastal Alumni Association Facebook page where you can find exclusive alumni news and updates. Join this page today and click here for a list of Alumni Chapter Facebook groups for you to join and connect with alumni in your region.


It is never too early to start networking. I encourage students to take the time to get to know our graduates and ask them questions. Whether it is about the coastal experience or practicing in a certain area of law or region, Coastal alums are a valuable resource.


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Common Mistakes Made in Law School Applications

No Decision Yet?

What’s Holding Your Law School Application Back From The Committee? There are some common mistakes students make in their law school application. Here are the tips to avoid them.

As the Admissions Processor for Florida Coastal School of Law, one of my responsibilities is to make sure that each application we receive is completed with all required documentation before sending it on to the committee for review.  With that being said, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the most common reasons your application may come back with an incomplete status.


  • Character and Fitness Questions: Please read all of these questions carefully and provide all the information asked for.  Especially question #4 pertaining to academic warning, probation, or suspension.  Remember…if you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, an explanation is required.
  • Waiting on CAS Report: Please check your LSAC account to make sure the required documents arrive in a timely manner.  If the documents have not been received within 2 weeks, you should contact your undergraduate institutions and/or recommenders again.  LSAC will not release your CAS report until everything is received.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Often times, your recommenders push writing the letter to a later time and end up forgetting to do it.
  • Transcripts: Make sure you notify all undergraduate institutions you have attended to send LSAC your official transcripts.   These are required to calculate your cumulative GPA.
  • Law School Transcript and Letter of Standing: If you previously attended law school these two items are also required.
  • Hold LSAT: If you are registered to take the LSAT, FCSL will automatically hold your application until we receive the new score.  You can, however, request that we review your file with your current LSAT score.


What are some of the questions you have regarding the law school application? Leave a question in the comments below.

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Time Management

time management Dreamstime.comThe first of the Academic Workshop Series, Time Management will focus on reviewing and assessing studying habits from the previous semester and learning more efficient and successful studying skills. Also this workshop will focus time management strategies to help students organize their study schedules.

Join the Center for Student Advising (CSA) on Tuesday, September 8th from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm in Room 465. Lunch will be provided. RSVP on Symplicity or to

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