- Year the department and college will host the American Mock Trial Association's National Championship Mock Trial Tournament in Orlando (on April 11-13, 2014)
~40% - Percentage of legal studies graduates accepted into law school within two years following graduation (about 38% actually matriculate)
~850 - Number of legal studies majors in fall 2012, making the program one of the largest of its kind in the country, with approximately 40 substantive law classes from which to chose
9 - Number of books under contract or published by just two legal studies faculty members (Beckman and Bast) in the last nine years
Scholarships & Financial Aid
The Department of Legal Studies offers the following scholarships for students majoring in legal studies:
- Margaret M. Samet Memorial Scholarship
(also available to criminal justice majors)
- The Mott Law Firm Endowed Scholarship
- First American Title Insurance Company Scholarship
- Legal Studies Professional Development and Leadership Scholarship
- Robert and Pamela Kirby Endowed Scholarship for Legal Studies
Applications for these scholarships are available at the beginning of the fall semester. Pick up a hard copy of the application at the front desk of the College of Health and Public Affairs Dean's Office (HPA I - 335) or download one from the college's website. Check the college's home page (www.cohpa.ucf.edu) at the beginning of the semester for application forms and deadlines.
For additional information, contact Millie Erichsen at email@example.com or
Financial aid information and application forms may be obtained in the department office and the UCF Financial Aid
and Minority Affairs offices.
Cortez Whatley, a major in both legal studies and public administration, was elected president of UCF’s Student Government Association in March 2012 following two weeks of campaigning. He assumed his new role in May. Whatley and his running mate, Rachel Brill, ran a campaign and platform focused on improving campus life and expanding UCF’s impact on the community. Learn more
Michael Labbee (B.S. in legal studies, ’10) is a Juris Doctor candidate (Class of 2013) at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla. At the end of his second year, he ranked in the top 5% of his class. Since January 2012, he has been a research assistant for Professor Jason at Stetson.
Since spring 2012, Donatellio Williams, a dual legal studies and political science major, has worked with Associate Professor Carol Bast as an unpaid teaching assistant in her course, Law and the Legal System. Bast said his efforts have been instrumental in the smooth functioning of the class. She has been particularly impressed with "his ability to answer questions with a personable, yet business demeanor." Williams plans to attend law school then practice criminal law, representing criminal defendants.
Shamieka Seburn, a double major in legal studies and political sciences and minor in mass communications, is the UCF recipient of the Florida Executive Women Scholarship for 2012.
She has been on the Dean’s List and the President’s Honor Roll a number of times in her undergraduate career, and she is a member of Golden Key International Honour Society, National Black Law Students Association and Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. She plans to attend law school, and her dream job is working as a Judge Advocate General.
Andrea-Li Medina is the first student to receive the new Legal Studies Professional Development and Leadership Scholarship. She received the $500 award in fall 2010. "This scholarship helped me tremendously," said the legal studies honors student. "It was given at a time when I most needed it." This spring, she was selected to be a member of the 2011-2012 President’s Leadership Council at UCF. The honor recognizes her excellence in leadership, scholarship and service to the university and Orlando community. Medina plans to become an attorney, practicing in the fields of immigration, real estate and property, bankruptcy, and family law. She also aspires to become an immigration judge and one day return to UCF to teach and "give back to UCF what it has given me."
Legal studies major Lacy Page (pictured above with Florida Gov. Rick Scott) served as a UCF Legislative Scholars Intern
in Tallahassee in spring 2011. For three months, she worked in the legislative offices of Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner (District 9) and Representative Dorothy Hukill (District 28).
"It was a very enlightening experience that I will never forget," Page said. "There was not one day without some sort of excitement. I was privy to the ins and outs of Florida bills going from committee to law. I saw firsthand Florida voters' passion to have their voices heard in regards to bills because of the ultimate effect they will have on their lives. I attended committee meetings, House sessions and Senate sessions. I had the great honor of meeting our governor, attorney general, Senate president, House speaker plus many, many more movers and shakers that make up our state government. You could not ask for a better opportunity to see our House and Senate at work in an up close and personal way. I consider myself lucky to have had this prestigious opportunity and will always be thankful for it." More photos
Aboubakr Maaroufi (B.S., legal studies, '10) described his first semester at Barry University Law School as "unbelievably successful." "I received an A for every class and I even booked (received the highest score) my contracts class," Maaroufi wrote. "In addition to that, I was selected as a member of the Barry trial team. ... I know that the education I received as a student in the legal studies program played a big role in what I have been able to achieve here at Barry." He has been selected to serve as a Dean's Study Fellow in fall 2011, a position offered "to only a few of the most successful law students," said Lisa Kirscht, director of academic success at Barry. Update, 6/2011: At the end of his first year of law school, Maaroufi ranked first in his class. Update, 6/2012: Maaroufi was one of four members of Barry's Trial Team that went on to defeat Harvard University in the final round to win the ABA National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition held in March in Chicago.
Attorney Mark Nation (B.A., legal studies, '87) (above, left), founder of The Nation Law Firm, was named the College of Health and Public Affairs' 2009 Professional Achievement Award Winner. He is shown here with Michael Frumkin, dean of the college.
As a senior, Brenna Egan (B.A, legal studies; B.A, English, '10) received the Order of Pegasus award, UCF's most prestigious honor, and was named the 2010 Founders' Day Award Winner for the College of Health and Public Affairs. At UCF, Egan maintained a 4.0 GPA while remaining actively involved on-campus and in the Central Florida community during her four years at UCF. Egan was an active member of UCF's Mock Trial Team, winning five Outstanding Mock Trial Attorney awards at regional and national competitions. She also served as a volunteer teacher with Junior Achievement for four years, and she served as a volunteer jury advisor for the Orange County Teen Court. In addition, she took on the challenging Honors in the Major program in legal studies, which requires researching and writing a thesis. In spring 2010, she successfully defended her thesis, titled "The Battered Man: An Evaluation of Equal Justice under the Law." Egan will begin law school at Georgetown University Law Center in fall 2010. Update, 5/2013: Egan graduated first in her class from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Legal Studies' Instructor and Attorney Kathy Cook was named an honorary member of the Paralegal Association of Florida at the organization's 35th anniversary celebration on May 13, 2011. She received the honor in appreciation for her dedication and service to the association and paralegal profession. Cook is one of just two professionals to be awarded honorary membership in the organization. Click here
to enlarge photo.
Alumnus Matt Beck (B.S., legal studies, '10) is currently a student at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He completed a "great" summer 2011 internship at the U.S. Department of Justice and was invited to remain there this fall to write a monograph about alternative service of process in all 50 states for use in the Court of International Trade. "I'm pretty excited about writing something that will stay behind as an office resource long after I move on," he said. He also will write for the Georgetown International Law Review. Beck hopes to return to Orlando in 2012 as a summer associate at a local law firm.