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Quick Facts

  • 2014 - Year the department and college hosted 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)
  • 246 - Number of bachelor's degrees in legal studies awarded in 2015-16
  • 8 - Number of UCF Moot Court students who won a bid to the 2016 ACMA Championship Tournament
  • 10 - Number of students participating in the "Comparison of the Legal Systems of the U.S. and Great Britain" study-abroad program in England in 2016

Mailing Address

Department of Legal Studies
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida
12805 Pegasus Drive
Suite 343
Orlando, FL 32816

Phone: 407-823-1670
Fax: 407-823-3110

Upcoming Events

  • 2016

    • March 19, 2016 & April 16, 2016
      Continuation of the Youth Mentoring Program

      CTC Studios
      Photo (Left to Right): Wesley Figueroa, Keith, Gary Alderman

      In 2014, the City of Orlando launched My Brother's Keeper Orlando to address challenges that place Orlando's young men of color at educational, economic and social disadvantage.  As part of the program, the City's Families, Parks and Recreation Department, University of Central Florida's (UCF) Center for Law and Policy, Legacy at UCF and the Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE) at UCF partnered to create what was initially supposed to be a short-term career mentoring program for a group of African-American middle and high school students from low income families many of whom, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, envisioned themselves as future professional basketball or football players.  The mentoring program was designed to help them recognize their career potential beyond these narrow choices by expanding their horizons and exposing them to a broad variety of career options. Their mentor, City of Orlando Families, Parks and Recreation employee Gary Alderman, approached Center for Law & Policy Director Dr. Cynthia Schmidt explaining that "the kids don't know what they don't know," and as such cannot ask the right questions to start a career path. Since the youth could benefit from hearing about careers and life experiences, Mr. Alderman and Dr. Schmidt constructed an intergenerational mentoring program.

      LIFE members, who are a group of retired professionals in various fields, take classes at UCF each week. Legacy Scholars are first generation college students studying at UCF. All together, the team hosted two catered breakfast sessions with the fourteen (14) My Brother's Keeper Orlando youth, where LIFE members shared their wisdom and professional career knowledge, and Legacy Scholars were able to communicate their recent experiences with college. One of the most important outcomes of the mentoring sessions was the formation of relationships that continued beyond the meetings.
      One of the relationships that derived from the sessions involved a shy and quiet adolescent named Keith who shared his aspirations of becoming a rapper. This career announcement shocked everyone in attendance, because Keith would barely talk, and if he did it was scarcely above a whisper. Upon hearing that Keith wanted to be a rap performer, Dr. Schmidt reached out to Wesley Figueroa, music producer for CTC Studios in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Figueroa invited Keith and his mentor, Mr. Alderman, to the studio so that Keith could get a feel for the music business.  They visited the studio in December, 2015. While at the studio, Keith was a little bashful, and declined an opportunity to record at that first session. Mr. Figueroa put together a set of beats for Keith that he could take home and practice with, with the intention that Keith would go back to the studio and record over these beats.  Keith was ecstatic with this plan.

      The mentoring program amassed so much support from both Legacy Scholars (i.e. current college students) and LIFE members (retirees) and there was such positive feedback from the youth that all have decided to continue and expand the program. This semester the team hopes to execute two more sessions focused on money management, college preparation, networking, and public speaking.  And Keith can record his rap, find his voice, and pursue his dream.

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Learn More

Distinguished Speakers Series

The Center for Law and Policy brings distinguished speakers to the campus to discuss contemporary issues in law in the United States and around the world. See the Events links (above) to learn more.

Previous distinguished speakers include:

  • Professor Peter Zablotksy, Touro Law Center
  • Professor Larry Birdsong, Barry University School of Law
  • Jeff Ashton, State Attorney, Ninth Circuit
  • Federal District Judge Svetlana Zinovieva, Russia
  • Lawrence Walters, Esq., Walters Law Group

Students put in an enormous amount of time preparing for and competing in these tournaments. They develop critical thinking, public speaking and leadership skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.
— James Beckman,  Legal Studies Department Chair
I truly love my job and can say that your class and teaching helped push me to where I am today.”
— Daniel Friedline,  2013 graduate, former student of Instructor Mark Woodlock and city of Orlando employee
Teaching has made me a better lawyer in the courtroom and a better person in our community.
— Patricia Cashman,  Trial Attorney and Adjunct Faculty Member
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