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Top 10 Law Schools for Hispanics

2014 - Florida law schools continue to dominate Hispanic Business magazine’s annual ranking of the best law schools for diversity practices, with Florida International University College of Law taking the top spot.

The website ranks the top ten law schools for Hispanics, assessing number of Hispanic students and graduates and number of Hispanic faculty members.

Other Florida law schools include Florida State University College of Law at No. 2, University of Miami School of Law at No. 3, and Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center at No. 5.

Three California schools made the list: University of Southern California Gould School of Law at No. 7, University of San Francisco School of Law at No. 8, and University of California, Los Angeles School of Law at No. 9.

Other schools include American University Washington College of Law at No. 4, University of Texas School of Law at No. 6, and University of New Mexico School of Law at No. 10.

The ranking by Hispanic Business looked at all postgraduate programs, not just law. University of New Mexico placed No. 4 in business, No. 6 in engineering and No. 10 in medicine. Across all disciplines, the university had a 31.6 percent Hispanic enrollment.

The University of New Mexico has a strong relationship with the Mexican American Student Association (MASLA) which offers no-cost practice LSAT examinations each fall across the state and a New Mexico High School Law and Advocacy workshop.

The University of New Mexico School of Law’s student body is comprised of 34 percent Hispanic enrollment and 11.4 percent Hispanic faculty. The University has 35 full time faculty members, 4 of whom are Hispanic.

At Florida International, more than 46 percent of students and 22.7 percent of professors are Hispanic. The school had been No. 2 in 2013.

Duke Hispanic Law Students Association

Duke University Hispanic Law Students Association - The goal of HLSA is to unite Hispanic law students and to provide a support network to connect students with alumni around the world. The organization is created to aid new students make the transition into law school, and to encourage prospective Hispanic students to come to Duke.

Law School Curriculum

Each ABA-approved law school provides basic training in American law sufficient to qualify its graduates to take the bar examination in all states. Most law schools require three years of full-time attendance, or four years of part-time study, if a part-time program is offered.

Although law schools differ in the emphasis they give to certain subjects and in the degree to which they provide opportunities for independent study and clinical experience, nearly all law schools have certain basic similarities. Most law schools rely on the “case method” approach to teaching.

First-year curricula usually include courses in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and criminal procedure, legal methods, legal writing and research, property law, and torts.

What are Lawyer Skills

What are Lawyer Skill Sets?
Reading and Listening
Lawyers must be able to absorb information, in most cases topics in which they are unfamiliar with. The ability to digest information from lengthy, dense texts is essential. Equally important is the ability to listen to clients and understand their unique issues and concerns.

Lawyers must be able to determine the fundamental elements of problems. They spend much time discerning the nature and significance of the many issues in a particular problem. In every issue, the lawyer must study the relationship between each element in order to arrive at an answer, result, or solution.

Lawyers must learn that because of the complexities of many issues and the number of laws either directly or tangentially relevant, they must be able to pull together in a meaningful, focused, cogent manner often large amounts of material.

As an advocate, the lawyer’s role is to represent his or her client’s particular point of view and interests as vigorously as possible. The American judicial system assumes that equitable solutions will emerge from the clash of opposing interests. The success of this adversarial system of American law depends upon the talents and training of the lawyers who work as advocates within it. Lawyers must be able to use their advocacy skills to marshal evidence and present arguments as to why a particular outcome is desirable.

Lawyers also spend a good deal of their time giving clients legal advice. Few ventures in the modern world can be undertaken without some understanding of the law. Through their knowledge of what the law involves, lawyers advise clients about partnerships, decisions, actions, and many other subjects. In many cases, the lawyer’s role as a counselor serves as much to prevent litigation as to support it.

Writing and Speaking
Whether in the courtroom or the law office, lawyers must be effective communicators. If lawyers could not translate thoughts and opinions into clear and precise English, it would be difficult for the law to serve society. After all, the law is embodied in words, and many of the disputes that give birth to laws begin with language its meaning, use, and interpretation. Litigation leads to written judicial opinions; congressional enactments are recorded as printed statutes; and even economic transactions must be expressed as formal, written contracts.

One of the lawyer’s primary roles is reconciling divergent interests and opinions. When the parties to a proposed transaction disagree, the lawyer, acting as a facilitator, may be able to help them negotiate to a common ground. Although the client’s interests are a lawyer’s first priority, often those interests are served best after compromise and conciliation have paved the way to an equitable settlement. Because lawyers are trained to see the implications of alternative courses of action, they are often able to break an impasse.

Law School Admission Council

LSAT Admission Test

LSAC administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) four times a year throughout the world. It is required for admission to all ABA approved law schools, some Canadian law schools and many non ABA approved law schools.

Law schools insist that the LSAT be taken by December for fall admissions.

The LSAT helps law schools make sound admission decisions by providing a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. Prospective law students come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, ethnic groups, and cultures.

Diversity of experience among applicants both personal and academic serves to enrich the law school applicant pool and, ultimately, the legal profession. The LSAT is not, of course, the sole factor law schools use to make their admission decisions. But it is the only common yardstick by which the ability of all prospective law students can be measured fairly.

The LSAT is a half-day, standardized test designed to measure some of the skills considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

The LSAT test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker's score. These sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning section, and two logical reasoning sections. The unscored section typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. The placement of this section, which is commonly referred to as the variable section, varies for each administration of the test.

The LSAT is scored on a scale from 120 to 180, with 180 being the highest possible score. A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies are sent to all law schools to which a candidate applies.