Author Archives: Lisa Desai

Scheduling and Registration

With the registration period just around the corner, you’re probably starting to think about the classes you’d like to take.  Scheduling is not as simple as it looks.  You need to consider classes are mandatory for graduation — required courses, your ALWR, foundation points, mandatory credits, and also keep in mind CPE credits.  You can find all of these requirements on the FCSL website.  Review the Registrar’s web page as well as the Student Handbook regularly.  Being well informed will ensure you are selecting the classes to graduate on time. 

Further, you need to develop a plan for the classes you want to take before graduation so that you don’t miss out on any opportunies to take courses that are taught infrequently. Think about the area you plan to practice in — if you plan on working in the criminal field, do you want to take Trial Practice?  Consider what state’s bar exam you will take and what subjects are tested — can you take classes on those topics to get an early start on bar prep?  Even if the material is not exactly the same, you may get a foundation or gain an understanding of the terminology used in the subject. 

Consider asking other students about classes and professors they enjoyed or recommend.  Make sure you look at the schedule for final exams to ensure you are not taking back-to-back exams.  Have a healthy mix of classes — consider taking skills courses along with doctrinal classes.   Do not wait to take your ALWR course in your final semester.  Make sure you get a degree audit each semester from the Registrar and continue to regularly check to see if you are on track to graduate.

If you’re still confused about registration, or would just like some advice about what courses might best suit your needs, schedule an appointment to meet with one of the Academic Success Counselors.  Pay attention to the requirements for a scheduling meeting that were included in the e-mail sent out from our department this week.  We look forward to helping you select the schedule that’s best for you!

Bar Application Information and Upcoming Workshop

Bar Applications require future examinees to provide very detailed information about their personal lives to undergo an extensive background check as part of the character and fitness process.  If a the state allows you to submit an early application, consider doing so as it may provide a discount financially but it also allows (1) you to address any incidents that have occurred that can create character issues early and start the process and (2) doing your application during your first year means that it will create less stress for you than doing it in your third year when most students are also working. 

The Florida Bar does give a discount to those students who submit their applications by the deadline listed in their first year – see www.floridabarexam.org, click on Checklists and Forms, then click on Register as a First Year Student.  Print out this first year checklist, gather the necessary information, and then create a login and password which is valid for only 6 months (so finish it in time to meet the deadline; if it is not completed within 6 months, all information is deleted). 

The actual application you fill in (where your login and password necessary) is much more detailed than that of general checklist.  In your third year, you will have to convert your student registration to an exam application. You can do this at www.floridabarexam.org, then go to Checklists and Forms, then click on Convert a Student Registration into a Bar Application.

 For those students who want to potentially be involved in an externship where a CLI (Certified Legal Intern) status is required but you do not plan on taking the Florida Bar exam- you can also get a discount by doing it early.  To do so, go to www.floridabarexam.org, click on Checklists and Forms, then click on Register for Certified Legal Internship (CLI) Clearance only.  This is the same application as the First Year Application.  However, this application is not converted in your third year.  This application will start the character and fitness process.  However, upon filing this application, you are not automatically a CLI.  You need to be selected into a CLI program by the Clinic Department, have the mandatory credit hours necessary, and then the Clinic Department requests that you are deemed a CLI by the FL Supreme Court, which will then decide whether to grant such a request.

For more information on when a CLI clearance is required, please see the Florida Board of Bar Examiners website (and applicable links) as well as the FCSL website page for Clinical Information.  If you are unsure if you are going to stay in Florida, you may want to do the full application, which only costs $25 more than the CLI Clearance Only application, and then decide whether or not you are going to stay in Florida and do the conversion application in your Third Year.  This would allow you to receive the discount of $300 (if done by the earliest first year discount) on the total cost of the bar exam.

If your state does not allow you to submit your application early, then see if you can still print out a current application and start gathering your information.  If you are unable to do that, gather all the information for Florida’s application, create a login and print off your completed application (and just not submit it).  Florida asks much more detailed questions than some other states and thus, you will have most of, if not all of, the information required for your state’s bar application. 

If you have any other questions about bar applications, see an Academic Success Counselor.  Please note that the Academic Success Department will be hosting a Bar Application Workshop on Thursday, October 18, from 12 – 1:30 p.m. in Room 250

At this event, the Director of the Clinical Programs, Professor Lynn McDowell, will make a brief presentation on the Certified Legal Intern status as it relates to the clinics and internships.  Associate Dean of Student Services, Dean Taggart, and Student Services Coordinator, Lauren Levine, will also be at the event to discuss the importance of consistency between your law school application and your bar application and how to make amendments to your law school application if necessary.  Finally, the Advanced Florida Bar Studies Professors will discuss the Bar Application process and students will start the bar application.  We look forward to seeing you at the event!