Florida's First Law School Chronicled in New Book

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Carolina Academic Press has published a compelling account of the history of Florida's first law school, Stetson University College of Law.

Carolina Academic Press has published a compelling account of the history of Florida's first law school, Stetson University College of Law.

The law school's account begins in 1898, the year Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders boarded ships in Tampa Harbor for Cuba to fight in America's short war with Spain. That same year, officials of the young John B. Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. considered starting a law program.

"Florida's First Law School: A History of Stetson University College of Law," was authored by Stetson Professor of Law Emeritus Michael Swygert and Gary Vause, former dean of the law school.

The book took nearly a decade to complete and details the rich history of the nation's number one ranked law school for trial advocacy. Over the past dozen years, the school's advocacy program has been ranked first in the nation eight times, and second three times.

Originally a small law school of few students, Stetson Law today has approximately 1000 students, six courtrooms, a state-of-the-art library, a part-time evening program and a law center in Tampa that shares space with a working court.

Stetson Law's programs include J.D. certificates of concentration in advocacy, elder law and international law; a J.D./M.B.A. dual-degree program; and masters of laws in international law and in elder law.

"Florida's First Law School" is available for purchase online at https://www.law.stetson.edu/bookstore/history/ and at the Stetson University College of Law bookstore at 727-562-7806.

Stetson University College of Law is Florida's first law school. It has educated lawyers for more than a century. Stetson is ranked first in trial advocacy and fourth for legal writing by the 2007 U.S. News & World Report national rankings.

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