The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law was recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report for having the most diverse law school in the nation.
FAMU tied for the No. 1 spot with Texas Southern University with a diversity index of 0.65. U.S. News and World Report also recognized FAMU as the most diverse law school for the 2006-2007 academic year.
“We’re very proud of this ranking because it acknowledges our sincere efforts to fulfill our mission of increasing representation of minorities within the legal profession,” said FAMU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell.
According to U.S. News and World Report, to identify law schools where students are most likely to encounter classmates from different racial or ethnic groups, U.S. News has created a diversity index based on the total proportion of minority students—not including international students—and the mix of racial and ethnic groups on campus.
The index is calculated using demographic data reflecting each law school's student body during the 2008-2009 academic year, including both full- and part-time students. The groups that form the basis for the calculations are African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and non-Hispanic whites. The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. The closer a school’s number is to 1.0, the more diverse is the student population. Law schools that enroll a large proportion of students from one ethnic group, even if it is a minority group, don't score high in this index.
To be included in the ranking, a law school must be accredited by the American Bar Association. The FAMU College of Law was provisionally accredited by the ABA in 2004. Because student-body ethnic diversity data are not consistently compiled and reported as yet for other types of graduate schools, U.S. News and World Report has prepared a diversity table only for law schools.
The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee. After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The Florida Legislature voted to reopen the law school in 2000 and Orlando was selected as the location. The reestablished FAMU College of Law opened its doors in 2002 and is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility at 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.