News Column

Top 10 Law Schools for Hispanics - 2005

September 2005, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine
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1. University of Miami
School of Law
Coral Gables, FL
(305) 284-2795
www.law.miami.edu

Total graduate enrollment 1,186
Hispanic graduate enrollment 178
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 15%
Total J.D. degrees earned 356
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 48
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 13% by Hispanics

The University of Miami School of Law offers a strong international business curriculum with particular focus on Latin America. Students have the opportunity to learn comparative law in Spanish and to study abroad in Spain. Job prospects for graduates include working in national and international law firms, government, corporations, and public interest organizations. Alumni include prominent state and federal judges, leaders in national and state bar organizations, partners in both large and mid-size law firms, and leading public interest lawyers. A number also hold public office or serve as legal academics. The school participates in the Hispanic National Bar Association Career Fair, the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, and the Prosecutors Minority Recruitment Job Fair.

2. University of Texas at Austin
School of Law
Austin, TX
(512) 232-1200
www.utexas.edu/law

Total graduate enrollment 1,484
Hispanic graduate enrollment 221
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 15%
Total J.D. degrees earned 544
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 53
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 10% by Hispanics

The University of Texas School of Law has graduated more Hispanic and African-American students combined than any other top-20 law school in the United States. Many of the school's 1,500 Hispanic graduates work at the highest levels of the bar and government, in state and federal judgeships, in public interest work, and with the national media. The school hosts the permanent office of the Texas-Mexico Bar Association and has established ties with Latin America through its Institute for Transnational Law. The Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association has 120 members. Staff includes Hispanics in high-profile positions such as the assistant dean of career services, the assistant dean for student affairs, the assistant dean for continuing legal education, the communi-cationsstrategy manager, and the director of admissions.

3. Stanford University
Stanford Law School
Stanford, CA
(650) 723-4985
www.law.stanford.edu

Total graduate enrollment 546
Hispanic graduate enrollment 67
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 12%
Total J.D. degrees earned 177
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 24
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 14% by Hispanics

Every year, Admit Weekend features special recruiting events for minorities, in addition to conversations with faculty, students, and alumni. Current Hispanic students play an active role in designing the weekend's activities and act as hosts for social events. The diversity of the student body and faculty (including two new Hispanic faculty members in the last three years) helps retain Hispanic and other minority students. The Stanford Latino Law Students Association (SLLSA) serves the day-to-day needs of students and sponsors school-wide events. For example, SLLSA has hosted a number of "Latino Judges Panels," which bring judges to campus for discussions. SLLSA also runs a mentoring program for entering students, which starts before school begins.

4. University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law
Tucson, AZ
(520) 621-3477
www.law.arizona.edu

Total graduate enrollment 464
Hispanic graduate enrollment 54
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 12%
Total J.D. degrees earned 159
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 22
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 14% by Hispanics

"The legal profession is increasingly diverse and global, so it makes sense that we would support diversity," says Toni Massaro, dean at the University of Arizona's Rogers College of Law. This deliberately small college draws students from the top 15 percent of the national applicant pool. Small classes, a strong writing program, a first-year mentoring program, and the Gonzales-Villarreal BRIDGE pre-entry program are open to all students, with a high percentage of minority students enrolling to enrich their experience. In addition to the core curriculum, the college offers study and work opportunities in immigration law and international law (through the affiliated National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade). Students also participate in La Raza, the local chapter of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

5. University of Southern California
Gould School of Law
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 740-2523
www.law.usc.edu

Total graduate enrollment 630
Hispanic graduate enrollment 71
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 11%
Total J.D. degrees earned 217
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 25
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 12% by Hispanics

Home to a student population whose ethnic, socioeconomic, and racial diversity is unparalleled among other top law schools, the Gould School of Law has set new standards for academic inclusiveness and innovation throughout its 100-year history. Of the school's current students, nearly 40 percent identify themselves as racial and ethnic minorities. An active La Raza Law Student Association, in partnership with the university's Mexican American Alumni Association, has established a scholarship dedicated to Hispanic students studying law at the university. La Raza hosts an annual reception for Hispanic lawyers and judges in the Los Angeles market and connects first-year students with upper-division students through a formal mentor program.

6. University of Florida
Fredric G. Levin College of Law
Gainesville, FL
(352) 392-2087
www.law.ufl.edu

Total graduate enrollment 1,153
Hispanic graduate enrollment 112
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 10%
Total J.D. degrees earned 408
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 48
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 12% by Hispanics

The school's offerings include a joint J.D./M.A. in Latin American studies, a summer program with the University of Costa Rica, exchanges with the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City and Brazil's Pontifica Universidade Católica do Río de Janeiro, and an annual conference on legal and policy issues in the Americas. Five Hispanic law professors teach at the school, including Berta Hernández-Truyol, a founder of the Latina and Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) movement. Social activities range from Hispanic Awareness Month to SangriaFest organized by the Spanish American Law Students Association. Prominent University of Florida alumni provide student mentoring and the alumni network acts as a resource while students are in school and throughout their careers.

7. University of Connecticut
School of Law
Hartford, CT
(860) 570-5100
www.law.uconn.edu

Total graduate enrollment 743
Hispanic graduate enrollment 62
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 8%
Total J.D. degrees earned 172
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 3
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 2% by Hispanics

The University of Connecticut School of Law participates in pre-law outreach by holding forums and mini "law days" in cities that have Hispanic majority populations in the state. In the High School Mentor Program, 75 percent of the participants are Hispanic. The Connecticut Lawyers Group (CLG), an organization dedicated to expanding diversity in the state's legal community, has partnered with the school to host programs and networking opportunities for Hispanic and other minority law students. Support from the Latino Law Students Association has helped to double the number of self-identified Hispanics matriculated since 2000. Affiliations with the CLG, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association allow students to meet members of the bench and bar.

8. Southwestern University
School of Law
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 738-6717
www.swlaw.edu

Total graduate enrollment 967
Hispanic graduate enrollment 100
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 10%
Total J.D. degrees earned 248
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 34
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 14% by Hispanics

Committed to diversity throughout its 94-year history, Southwestern continues to attract and support a large contingent of Hispanic students. The school belongs to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. The Latino Law Students Association is one of the most active groups on campus and has been honored by the Mexican American Bar Foundation. Southwestern students have served as National General Counsel and Western Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association/Law Student Division. The school offers several scholarships for students of Hispanic heritage, academic support programs, and alumni mentor programs. The campus includes a historic art deco landmark: The Julian C. Dixon Courtroom and Advocacy Center, the most technologically advanced center of its kind.

9. University of California, Los Angeles
School of Law
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 825-2080
www.law.ucla.edu

Total graduate enrollment 943
Hispanic graduate enrollment 74
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 8%
Total J.D. degrees earned 328
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 27
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 8% by Hispanics

The law school is home to the Chicano-Latino Law Review, one of a few legal journals in the country devoted to scholarly analysis of issues relevant to Spanish-speaking communities. The La Raza Law Student Association advocates for training that prepares students to meet the needs of the legally underserved, particularly in the Hispanic community, and provides academic support for students through a mentorship program. Faculty members, consistently honored for teaching excellence, are among the nation's most prolific legal scholarly authors.

10. Florida State University
College of Law
Tallahassee, FL
(850) 644-3787
www.law.fsu.edu

Total graduate enrollment 748
Hispanic graduate enrollment 66
Percent Hispanic graduate enrollment 9%
Total J.D. degrees earned 205
J.D. degrees earned by Hispanics 23
Percent of J.D. degrees earned 11% by Hispanics

In addition to hosting programs and events geared towards recruiting Hispanics, the college strives to provide a supportive environment for current students. Organizations such as the Latino Graduate Student Association, Cuban American Student Association, and Puerto Rican Student Association provide mentoring and peer support for Hispanic students.


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Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine


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