Florida A&M Holds Official Opening of Its New Law School Campus

Earlier this month, the historically black Florida A&M University held the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new campus of its law school in downtown Orlando. The new, $30 million building, adjacent to the federal courthouse, has a three-story atrium and 160,000 square feet of space. The building includes a mock trial courtroom and a 300,000-volume law library.

Florida A&M operated a racially segregated law school from 1949 to 1968, but white lawmakers closed the school believing that blacks had sufficient opportunities for admission at other state-operated law schools in Florida. But in order to increase the number of black lawyers in the state, the legislature authorized the reopening of the FAMU law school. The revived law school opened its doors in 2002 and graduated its first class last spring. While its new campus was under construction, the law school has been operating out of rented space in a downtown office building.

There are currently about 400 students enrolled at the law school and less than one half of the student body is black. The law school hopes to double its enrollment over the next three years.

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