December 3, 2012
New Florida Law School Still Looking For A Home
I wrote a short piece last March about yet another new law school debuting in Florida. The plan was to place it in Daytona Beach. That would have put the school relatively near Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Orlando where other law schools are established. I say relative as the distances range from approximately 60 to 90 miles between these locations and Daytona Beach.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal is reporting that Daytona Beach may not be the site of the new school after all. That’s because all parties involved were looking at the vacant building formerly used by the police which was supposed to have around 55,000 square feet. An appraisal showed that the building had only 38,000 square feet which was not enough for the proposed school of 600 students and 30 full-time faculty members. The incorrect figures were reported once and carried through the negotiations until the appraisal. Woops. The school is now looking at other options in Daytona Beach and possibly Melbourne, some 90 miles south.
I can’t believe that this is a viable project when law school enrollments are falling and jobs are scarce. Then again, any new school will likely pay lip service to things like median GPAs and LSAT scores, at least in terms of rankings. The fourth tier of the U.S. News rankings is a lonely place no matter how well capitalized a new law school may be. I wrote then:
Hope springs eternal. [MG]
This is an underserved market? Maybe we'll see a day where law schools dot communities like big box stores.