St. Thomas University School of Law

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St. Thomas University School of Law
Established 1984
School type Private university
Parent endowment $23.4 million
Dean Alfredo Garcia[1]
Location Miami Gardens, Florida, US
Faculty 31 full-time; 39 part-time
USNWR ranking Tier 4
Website St. Thomas home

St. Thomas University School of Law is one of the graduate schools of St. Thomas University located in Miami Gardens, Florida. The School of Law was founded in 1984. According to its 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 54.7% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, bar passage required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[2]


The U.S. News & World Report Diversity index places the law school in a tie for fourth place among all ABA-accredited law schools in its Diversity Index (2008 edition). St. Thomas is also first in the nation in conferring J.D. degrees upon Hispanic students, according to Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine (December 2006 Issue) and it was ranked as number one for Hispanic students by Hispanic Outlook magazine once again in its December 2015 edition. The former and current dean, Alfredo Garcia, serving from 2007-2010 and since July 2014 is the first Cuban-born dean of a U.S. law school. The Princeton Review ranks St. Thomas # 3 for the Best Environment for Minority Students (2009 edition).[citation needed] The diverse faculty is ranked # 9 in the country according to the Princeton Review.[citation needed]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school of law has several honors organizations such as a Law Review, Moot Court Team, International Moot Court Team, and a Trial Team. Recent success for the Trial Team includes placing two teams in the top 4 of the ABA Labor Law Trial Advocacy Competition, winning the Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial National Championship, and having a student advocate win the Best Closing Argument Award at the ABA Criminal Law Trial Competition held in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed] The St. Thomas University School of Law’s trial team continued its championship run by being crowned the 2018 ABA Labor and Employment Law National Trial Competition champions. The St. Thomas Law Review which publishes an annual, multi-issue volume covering a wide range of legal topics with one issue being dedicated issues of criminal law.[3]

First-year courses and beyond[edit]

In the first semester of law school, students are divided into sections and are automatically enrolled in Contracts, Civil Procedure, Torts, and Legal Research and Writing. The following semester students are enrolled in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Property, and Advanced Legal Research and Writing. Students in the first year have class Monday-Friday. In the second year, students are given the opportunity to choose the courses they take.

Upon completion of the first year, students are eligible to participate in a study abroad program that takes place in El Escorial, Spain. The Spain curriculum is designed to prepare students to practice law in the globalized atmosphere of the 21st century by broadening their understanding of International and Civil Law. Four, 3-credit courses are generally offered and each student must enroll in two of the four courses available.


Joint Degrees: The faculties of the law school and the graduate school offer five joint degree programs: the J.D./M.S. in Sports Administration, the J.D./M.B.A. in Sports Administration, the J.D./M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling, J.D./M.B.A. in International Business, and the J.D./M.B.A. in Accounting.


According to St. Thomas' official 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 64.6% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[4] St. Thomas' Law School Transparency under-employment score is 27.6%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2017 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[5]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at St. Thomas for the 2017-2018 academic year is $69,328, which refers to the cost of living on-campus.[6] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $233,742.[7]


The law school has three publications:

  • St. Thomas Law Review
  • Journal of Complex Litigation
  • Intercultural Human Rights Law Review

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Jose Baez - defense attorney in the Casey Anthony trial
  • Gaston Cantens - Vice President of Florida Crystals and former member of the Florida House of Representatives (1998-2004)
  • Ana Navarro - Republican strategist and political commentator
  • Juan-Carlos Planas - Former member of the Florida House of Representatives (2002-2010)
  • Isaac Wright Jr. - defense attorney who secured his own release and exoneration


External links[edit]