Author Archives: Coastal Law

NEW OCI: U.S. Army JAG Corps

The U.S. Army JAG Corps (Ft. Belvoir, Virginia) will be on–campus October 6, 2015 to interview 2Ls for summer internship program and candidates for active duty appointment. Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 via Symplicity.

 

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OCI: The Schwartz Law Group, P.A.

The Schwartz Law Group, P.A. (Jacksonville, Florida) will be on-campus on September 16, 2015 to interview 2Ls for a Law Clerk position. The position will  include research and drafting for a general practice law firm. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

 

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10 Tips for Preparing for Law School

There is a lot of advice floating around for students preparing to start law school in the fall or spring semester. Some people tell you to read preparation books, while others will tell you not to do anything but relax and enjoy your summer. In this post, a former Coastal Law student, and current Admissions Counselor,  gives incoming students great tips for preparing for law school.   As you read this list, keep in mind that a healthy balance of preparation and relaxation is your best approach.

  1. Check your email! You will receive plenty of emails from now until classes start. Be sure to read these emails for new updates and information. The Admissions Office and other departments or programs have important and helpful information to share. Don’t miss out by not reading your emails.
  2. Complete the financial aid process early. The sooner you submit your FAFSA, the sooner you will receive your financial aid package detailing tuition, potential scholarships, and loans.
  3. Start budgeting. Know your budget early so you can take out the lowest amount of loans necessary. Remember, you have to pay back what you borrow plus interest.
  4. Look for housing. Use a rental search company like Jacksonville Rental Finders to help ease the burden of a large scale housing search. They will work with you for free to find housing that meets your needs and budget.
  5. Save money for your move. Moving is expensive. Start saving early to prepare for all the expenses, such as first and last month’s rent, security deposits, moving trucks, or purchasing furniture.
  6. Move in as early as possible. Once you decide on a school and find your housing, move in as early as possible. Time your route to school and home during rush hour. Explore the area and all that it has to offer. When you need a study break, you’ll know what to do!
  7. Buy your course books after you receive your class schedule. Your book list will depend on your given professors. Once you receive your schedule, go to the bookstore’s website and find the books required for each class. Bonus tip: If you choose to buy through the Coastal bookstore, you can defer payment until you receive your loan stipend.
  8. Enjoy free time. Do not stress yourself out before you even have your first class. You will be busy for the next three years, so enjoy as much of your free time now as you can. Visit with family and friends and let them know your free time may be limited later.
  9. Be excited! Law school is a huge accomplishment and should be celebrated. Be proud that you have made it this far! Look forward to your legal education and take advantage of available opportunities.
  10. Read at least one of these suggested law school books.  Before burning yourself out, keep in mind that you do not need to read all of these before your first year starts. You don’t want to burn yourself out before you even begin law school.
  • Bridging the Gap Between College & Law School: Strategies for Success, Ruta Stropus & Charlotte Taylor (2001)
  • Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams, Richard Fischl & Jeremy Paul (1999)
  • Expert Learning for Law Students, Michael Hunter Schwartz (2005)
  • The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School, Charles H. Whitebread (2008)
  • Mastering the Law School Exam, Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus (2007)
  • What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know, An Introduction to the Study of Law, Tracey E. George & Suzanna Sherry (2009)
  • Legal Writing by Design, Teresa Rambo (2001)

For more detailed tips, check out our webinar on Preparing for Law School.

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Tips for Preparing a Competitive Law School Application

law student

Are you currently in the process of applying for law school and need help preparing your law school application packet? We understand the admissions process isn’t exactly an easy one. We’ve put together these tips that will guide you step-by-step on putting together a competitive law school application.

Components of a Law School Application Packet

First, let’s break down what’s included in your law school application packet.

  1. Law School application
  2. CAS report – includes: letters of recommendation, transcripts, writing sample, LSAT score
  3. Personal Statement
  4. Resume
  5. Addendum(s) – optional

Completing The Law School Application

All law school applications are different. Be sure to answer all questions thoroughly and accurately. If you are ever in doubt as to what a question means, do not hesitate to reach out to an Admissions counselor for clarification. Our admissions team is always here to help.

CAS Report

  • Send all undergraduate transcripts to LSAC.
  • You do not need to submit a separate writing sample. Instead, your writing sample is part of your LSAT. The Admissions Committee reviews the writing sample to gauge writing skills and analytical ability.
  • Letters of Recommendation submitted directly to LSAC by your recommenders.

Submitting Letters of Recommendation

  • If you are a recent graduate, try to obtain at least one letter from a professor. He or she can speak to your scholastic ability and work ethic.
  • If you are not a recent graduate, you may ask an employer or someone who can speak about your work ethic.
  • Do not ask family or friends to write you a letter.
  • Make sure the person you ask knows you well and supports your decision to attend law school.
  • Provide the recommender with your resume and personal statement so he or she may gain further insight into why you want to attend law school and why you will be a valuable addition to the classroom.
  • Make sure to ask the recommender if he or she will be able to provide you with a positive/strong recommendation.

Law School Application Personal Statement

The personal statement allows the reviewer to gain insight into whom you are beyond your potential for academic excellence and why you might be a strong addition to the incoming class. The personal statement is also reviewed for writing ability and attention to detail. The personal statement may also be used to gain insight into an applicant’s motivation and interest in law school.

When brainstorming topics, consider the following:

  • What abilities, skills, or talents do you have that will help you become an outstanding law student and lawyer?
  • Why do you want to earn a law degree?
  • What life experiences or people have inspired and helped you become the person you are today?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • Be authentic.
  • Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! As your reviewing edits to your personal statement, keep in mind what message you are trying to communicate to the reviewer.

Law School Application Resume

We previously shared some tips for preparing your law school application resume. Remember the following:

  • Physical appearance: Make your resume easy to read. Use a template, good spacing, and a standard font (such as Times New Roman). Do not include photos or designs, avoid different colors. Remember, you want to make it look professional.
  • Education: Focus on college not high school. You can mention any honors, awards, or student organizations you were involved with during your time of attendance.
  • Work Experience: This section is where you will list and elaborate on any jobs or internships you have had. You can include both paid and unpaid work experience.
  • Bottom of Page: This is where you can list any extra-curricular activities; community service, publications, sports, etc. This gives the reader more insight into who you are and what you have to offer.
  • Proofread: Your resume must be error free. Read it out loud to yourself and ask at least one other person to review it as well. Remember, spell check doesn’t catch every error.
  • Length: Your resume should be one page. Focus only on the positive aspects of your previous career, education, and volunteer work.

Addendum(s)

These supplemental statements can be used to address any concerns you believe the Admissions Committee may have about your application. For example: academic probation, character and fitness issues, gap in time on your resume, low LSAT score, etc. You may also provide a supplemental statement to inform the Committee of any information that was not provided in the required portion of the application such as, diverse professional or personal life experiences.

For more detailed tips on preparing a law school application, check out Coastal Law’s webinar on Step-by-Step Guide to the Law School Admissions Process.

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Success, Now at Coastal Law

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There is one thing all successful people do. They take action. With a law school like Florida Coastal School of Law available to you, your ability to act on your legal education is more accessible than ever.

Diversity of Students. As one of the most diverse law schools in the nation, Coastal Law is home to students from all over the U.S. and all over the world.

 

We understand that for many hardworking people the demands of life don’t accommodate the demands of law school. That’s why we offer options.

Diversity of Programs. We’ve structured three programs to ensure that anyone with the grit to graduate from law school has a path to success. Choose the program that fits your goals:

Kenneth Jenkins succeeded at Coastal Law with three children, a wife and a job. Listen to his story now.

Location. Located in Jacksonville, Florida, just off of I-95, our non-traditional approach to legal education works for students who want to be change agents but don’t necessarily fit the mold of traditional law students

Classes for Fall are forming now. Call us at 1-800-769-2125 for more information. Be sure to ask about Saturday campus tour options!

View the 2015 -2016 academic calendar.

 

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Clinical Program Offerings for Fall

New Sections of PR and Financial Literacy have been added to the schedule – check to see if you might now be able to fit a clinic or externship into your schedule.

 

In –HOUSE CLINICS

Disabilities & Public Benefits Clinic available for 4 or 5 credits

Class time Monday and Wednesday 10:00 to 12:00

Job # 9151

Business & Entrepreneurial Clinic available for 3 credits

Class time: Tuesday and Thursday 2 to 3 30

Job # 9152

 

Immigrant & Human Rights Clinic available for 4 or 5 credits

Class Time: Friday 9: 30 to 1: 30

Job # 9153

 

Criminal Defense Clinic available for 4 credits

Class 1 to 3 Tuesday and Thursday ( Court Tuesday a.m. and Friday a.m.)

Job # 9150

 

Family Law Clinic available for 4 or 5 credits

Class time: Monday and Wed 3: 45 to 5: 45

Job# 9149

 

Caribbean Law 3 credits

Class time: Tue and Thur 10:00 to 11:21

Job #9154

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Florida Coastal School of Law Ranks 3rd in February’s Bar Exam Results

Florida Bar Exam ResultsThe results of the February 2015 Florida State Bar Exam for first time takers were released yesterday and Florida Coastal School of Law ranked third in the state among all state law schools at a passing rate of 74.5 percent. The overall bar passage rate for first-time takers of February’s exam was 64.3 percent for Florida law schools. One of the most diverse law schools in the US, Coastal Law’s results were 10 percent above the state average among all Florida first time bar passers.

Fifty-one Coastal Law graduates took the February 2015 General Bar Exam for the first time. In total, there were 1,820 takers of the exam.

“The students’ hard work and commitment in meeting this core professional requirement is tremendous. We very much look forward to watching our graduates continue to develop into exceptional professionals,” says Mary Margaret Giannini, Dean at Coastal Law.

Director of Academic Success, Missy Davenport, says she is always excited to see student’s hard work pay off. “Our graduates are dedicated and their hard work has inspired the entire Florida Coastal community. We are extremely proud of their efforts, and it was an honor to work with them. We are excited to see what they will accomplish as they begin their professional careers.”

Recently ranked among top 20 law schools with a grade of A+ in providing students with practical training by the National Jurist, Coastal Law distinguishes itself among other law schools for its innovative programs.

The Jacksonville Bar Association Swearing in Ceremony will take place on Friday, April 24th at the Duval County Courthouse, room A13, at 4:00 p.m., the Honorable Timothy J. Corrigan presiding. The courthouse located at 300 North Hogan Street, Jacksonville, Florida.

Coastal Law wishes to congratulate all of its newest members and colleagues of the Florida Bar!

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Educational Technology Program

Educational Technology Program Coastal Law

Coastal Law students enrolled for Spring, Summer, or Fall 2016 J.D. programs will receive a MacBook Air® computer equipped with AppleCare® service and support programs.

 

As part of a new program launching today at Florida Coastal School of Law, students enrolled in Spring 2016, J.D. FastTrack 2016, and Fall 2016 J.D. programs will receive a MacBook Air® computer.  Staying on the cutting edge of legal education has always been a mission of Florida Coastal School of Law. Just this year, Coastal Law was listed as one of only 20 law schools across the country to receive a grade of A+ by National Jurist and Pre-Law Magazine as a  best law school for providing students practical training. In the most recent bar examination results, Coastal Law ranked 3rd in the state among all Florida law schools with an overall bar passage rate of 74.5 percent, 10 percent above the state average.  Coastal Law also has the #1 nationally ranked moot court team in the nation.

Consistent with its goal to innovate legal education, Coastal Law created the Center for Law Practice Technology, an in-house program designed to prepare students for the new evolving legal marketplace. To enhance that program, Coastal Law is excited to launch the new, Educational Technology Program (ETP). The ETP will ensure that all Coastal Law students have access to the training they need to help increase employment prospects in the legal marketplace and chosen career path.

The MacBook Air® computers will come equipped with  AppleCare® service and support programs.

Spring classes begin January 26, 2016.  Classes are enrolling now.

Have questions about this new program? Contact Associate Dean of Admissions at acardenas@fcsl.edu or by phone, (904)256-1231.

Click to Apply for Spring 2016

Click to Apply for J.D. FastTrack

Click to Apply for Fall 2016

 

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Ten Tips for Writing a Law School Resume

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Students applying to law school have to submit a law school resume. What to include in a law school resume can be confusing, at first. Resumes submitted  with your law school application are different than what you may have submitted for jobs prior to law school. Law school applicants want to be strategic about what they include and do not include in their law school resume. Applicants want to include only the information that an admissions committee member needs to know. For example, the traditional “objective” section in most other resumes are not necessary in law school resumes. Lastly, certain life experiences, personal journeys, etc., are suitable for your personal statement but not on a law school resume.  Read below for more information.

Ten Tips for Writing Your Law School Resume

  1. Physical appearance – Make your resume easy to read. Use a template, good spacing, and a standard font (such as Times New Roman). Do not include photos or designs, avoid different colors. Remember, you want to make it look professional. You’ll learn in law school that attorneys and the legal profession pay close attention to formatting details.
  2. Objective – You do not need to use an objective on a resume for law school. The Admissions Committee is aware that your goal is admission to law school.
  3. Education – Focus on college and not your high school education. You can mention any honors, awards, or student organizations you were involved with during your time of attendance in college.
  4. Honors – Did you receive any academic honors, scholarships, or awards while in college? Were you given special recognitions by an employer or volunteer organization? If so, the resume is a great place to identify what those are and when you received them.
  5. Work Experience –  This section is where you will list and elaborate on any jobs or internships you have had. You can include both paid and unpaid work experience. Use only fragmented sentences and begin each bullet point with an action verb. Example: “Drafted legal memoranda…” or, “Researched family law issues…” Do not use, “Responsibilities included…” Also, avoid the first person pronoun as it is redundant since the resume’s subject is you.
  6. Bottom of Page – This is where you can list any extra-curricular activities; community service, publications, sports, etc. This gives the reader more insight into who you are and what you have to offer.
  7. Proofread – Your resume must be error free. Read it out loud to yourself and ask at least one other person to review it as well. Remember, spell check doesn’t catch every error.
  8. Professional e-mail address – Now is a good time to open a new professional email address account.  An email such as, “Busygirl86@mymail.com” should be retired or reserved for personal communications only.
  9. Length– Your resume should be one page. Focus only on the positive aspects of your previous career, education, and volunteer work.
  10. Personal references -Do not include a references section. Even a phrase such as “References Available Upon Request” is generally considered to be space wasters. The Letters of Recommendation you provide to LSAC satisfies this requirement.

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Coastal Law Named A Best Law School for Practical Training

For the second year in a row, Florida Coastal School of Law was named a best law school for providing its students practical training by National Jurist Magazine, a leading news source in legal education. Coastal Law was listed in the top 20 of all law schools listed and received a grade of A+ in 2015, up from an A- in 2014.

This year, only 86 schools earning a B grade or higher were selected by the National Jurist and will be recognized in its March 2015 issue. Schools were ranked by the number of full-time students who take simulation courses, externships, clinics, or who participate in interschool skills competitions.

“Practical training is a buzzword for most schools and many are turning it into practice,” said Jack Crittenden,” Editor In Chief of The National Jurist.

The heartbeat of the experiential programs lies in the variety of clinics Coastal Law offers its students. There are six in-house clinics and eleven practitioner clinics, a hybrid between a clinic and an externship. Students can earn credit for participating in one of the many clinics in areas including immigration, family law, business and entrepreneurship, to criminal defense law. Experience handling cases with a public or governmental agency or not-for-profit corporation or in a judicial internship provides students with a competitive advantage when seeking employment.

Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, Annette Ritter, says that the clinics at Coastal Law equip students to navigate and influence the rapid social, economic and technological changes in the legal industry. “Our goal at Coastal Law is to prepare all of our students for 21st century legal practice. Our clinics provide the best opportunity for students to gain valued experience while under the supervision of some of the top legal educators in the nation.”

To learn more about Coastal Law’s experiential learning programs, visit us at www.fcsl.edu/clinics. And to read more about the A+ ranking read the full article in National Jurist magazine’s March issue bit.ly/NationalJuristAplus.

 

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