Originally founded as the law school of the University of Orlando in the early 1980s, the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law (Barry Law) became part of Barry University in 2000. Prior to joining Barry, the law school had a prolonged process to receive full accreditation from the American Bar Association. After additional financial contributions from the school’s namesake, philanthropist Dwayne A. Andreas, the school finally received full accreditation from the A.B.A. in 2002. While Barry University is located in southern Florida, the law school has remained in its original location in Orlando. As part of the Catholic Barry University, the law school is the only Dominican law school in the country and embraces the Dominican tradition to infuse the study of law with faith.
The Juris Doctor program at Barry Law requires students to complete 90 hours of residential coursework. The program may be completed through a full-time program (day or evening classes) as well as a part-time program. The program’s first-year curriculum is comprised of 30 hours of required courses that include five core academic courses: civil procedure, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. Students also complete a two-semester study of the skills of legal research and writing. Barry Law also requires all students to complete between 27 and 32 hours of additional required courses. The second set of required courses include business organization, commercial law, constitutional law, criminal law, evidence, Florida Civil Practice, and professional responsibility. All students are also required to complete a capstone course, an upper-level writing assignment, 40 hours of pro bono work, and one to six hours of skill-based studies.
The remaining credit hours (between 28 and 33 credits) are filled through elective courses. Barry Law’s curricular offerings are extensive, providing students with an opportunity to master almost any practice area. Students may also pursue a certificate in Children and Family Law by completing a prescribed slate of 15 credits as well as experiential learning in one of the school’s family law based clinical programs. The certification appears on a student’s transcript and reflects their mastery of core practice area.
Barry Law’s Juris Doctor degree may also be earned through a part-time evening program. The program requires students to attend classes only twice per week in the evenings making it a practical alternative for working students. All degree requirements are the same although part-time students generally complete the degree in four years.
Barry Law offers students who earned their law degree in a foreign law school the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree in American Legal studies. The program requires students to complete 24 hours of coursework over the course of one year of residential study. Students may transfer up to 15 hours into the Juris Doctor program upon completion (and acceptance into the J.D. program).
Career and Career Placement
Based on the most recent employment outcome data, over 77% of all graduates of Barry Law are employed within 10 months of graduation. However, of those employed, only 76% secure long-term, full-time careers. Additionally, 82% of employed graduates find careers that either requires a law license or prefers a Juris Doctor degree. The remainder of graduates find careers in other professional or non-professional positions, seek additional education, or continue to seek employment after graduation. For those employed, small law firm work was the most common career option (30%) followed by careers in the business sector (20%) and government (14%). A substantial number of students also opted for careers in the public interest sector (9%). Of students who did find employment, over 86% remained in Florida to begin their careers.
The Career Services Office (CSO) at Barry Law strives to connect students with employers in meaningful ways throughout their education at Barry Law. The CSO offers a host of panel discussions, workshops, and speaker presentations that help students discover their career goals and network with potential employers. The professional staff also meets individually with students to explore various career paths especially non-traditional legal careers. The CSO organizes annual career fairs and the school’s on-campus interview program. All Barry Law students have access to “Barry Connect,” an online career database for jobs targeted at Barry Law students and graduates.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
To prepare students to practice law, Barry Law offers five in-house legal clinics as well as eight external field placement opportunities. Through a certification process offered by the Florida Supreme Court, students can become certified legal interns and work on real cases in a variety of practice area. The in-house clinics include juvenile defense, immigration, environmental law, family law, and bankruptcy. The externship program offers students additional opportunities in family law while also a number of additional practice areas. In the clinical program, students work with faculty experts and real clients. In the externship program, students work in law firms and legal offices in the regional legal community in a variety of capacities. Both programs teach students the fundamental skills of practicing law. In externships, students also begin to build their professional networks.
At this time, Barry Law requires residential coursework for all its degree programs.
At Barry Law, students stay active and engaged outside the classroom through a wide range of student organizations, competition teams, and community organizations. Most organizations focus on practice areas or social issues where students to come together to help solve various social issues. Students also share their passions outside of the classroom in community groups that organize golf outings, plan exercise events, or celebrate a shared ethnicity. Barry Law’s mock trial and moot court teams are nationally competitive. Barry Law also remains connected to the surrounding community through its volunteer tax return program and commitment to pro bono service.
The Barry Law campus is located on the eastside of the Orlando metropolis in the Baldwin and Azalea Park neighborhoods. The location offers students easy access to both Orlando’s vibrant downtown as well the rich forests that sit between the city and the coast. Surrounding the law school are a range of affordable housing options. Some of Florida’s most famous beaches–Cocoa and Daytona–are less than an hour away. In all, Barry Law offers students affordable living with access to some of the country’s best recreational opportunities.