This month, NSU’s Shepard Broad college of law was ranked 56 nationally for their health law program and ranked 20 for their legal research and writing program by U.S. News and World Report. Schools ranked in specialties such as these law programs, are organized based on the amount of nominations received by law school faculty members nationally.
“We’re very proud of the recognition that peer faculty members from other law schools have for our program here at NSU. With NSU’s legal research in writing program being 20th in the country is really a tremendous testament to the work that our faculty to do in the classroom and as thought leaders nationally. For our health law program, we are seeing a similar recognition. We have a growing program and to move into the top quarter of the county with this new ranking is very exciting to us,” said John Garon, dean and professor of NSU’s Shepard Broad college of law.
According to Garon, both of these programs’ successes are in a direct correlation to their faculty members. Both programs include professors who speak at national conferences, have lead national legal writing organizations and other related accolades. These recent accolades however, are said to have been in direct response to the leadership of faculty.
“These rankings mean that [faculty] are not only recognized but well respected by our peers across the nation. Within the health law community, we generally agree with most of the rankings of the individual schools and I believe that the same can be said for the legal research and writing program,” said Kathy Cerminara, professor of law within the health law program.
Although the U.S. News and World Report only publishes national rankings of programs and universities, NSU has also unofficially earned state-based recognition as well. In Florida, NSU’S health law and legal research and writing programs earned No. 2 and No. 1 honors respectively.
“Legal writing in particular is one of the most important skills that new attorneys leave law school with. We have long had great respect for our legal writing program by the judiciary and attorneys in the community. Having these national ranking reinforce how good the quality of the education is for our students and reinforces the value the students bring to their employers. Perhaps more than new candidates [for the law program seeing these rankings and making NSU one of their choices], it will give additional ammunition for our graduates who are looking for jobs leaving law school,” said Garon.
There are a lot of factors that go into deciding a school to recommend to U.S. News and World Report but what this shows is that as NSU is gaining more national attention for the quality of the faculty from their teaching, scholarship and their national service, so are their programs.
“It should encourage students with an assurance that health law professionals and legal writing professions are strong and recognize that what we are doing here in our program is high quality. The students should be proud and it should motivate them in a sense to come here when they might not have otherwise considered NSU,” said Cerminara.
For the future, both of these programs hope to climb in the ranks of U.S. News and World Report and gain more notoriety and recognition for their programs as NSU becomes more widely-known and recognized.
“My hope is that we will continue to climb in these rankings and continue to add additional rankings over the next few years as NSU continues to rise nationally. What I think these rankings do, is it adds external recognition for what we have always know about the program. For students particularly interested in Health law program, they can see that national recognition for it. There is a lot of reasons why students come to NSU for law school and they come particularly for the concentration areas and health law is leading the way for us so that is what draws students towards the program,” said Garon.
According to Cerminara, the health law program at NSU offers courses within the broad area of health law to provide students the opportunity to explore an in depth look into the field. This program also allows for students to work interdisciplinarily with the pre-professional and professional health programs also offered at NSU’s main campus.
“We are increasing our interprofessional activities with both medical schools and with other health profession divisions like the college of psychology, which makes us stand out amongst the other law schools. We are expanding our clinical opportunities that interact with the health law students so they can have a nice broad exposure to all factors of health law. That way, they are ready for anything they encounter and interact with in their careers,” said Cerminara.