71ºF

New law school program will refund part of tuition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's no doubt about it: The path to becoming a lawyer is not only hard, but students have to shell out a lot of cash.

"As a law student, I support myself," Rosa Melia said. "Not being able to have a full-time job and only depend on loans is a huge thing."

So what if you fail after your first year? What if you cram for the bar, and you can't pass, even after your second try? Better yet, what happens to all of that money you invested?

Starting in the fall, a new program at Florida Coastal School of Law will refund part of that tuition. In other words, students could get back $10,000 of the nearly $40,000 annual tuition.

"If they have an opportunity to get something back to help them transition into their next way of life, that would really benefit the students," law student David Muray said.

If it sounds like a great thing, chances are it comes with a catch. In the case of this program, that catch is a whole list of requirements.

For instance, students have to be enrolled full time. They must complete a university grammar program and must attend all writing workshops during their first semester. And the list goes on.

University officials say they know they can churn out great lawyers, and they're certain they won't need to cut any checks.

"We believe they're going to be successful and they're going to have the outcomes that we know and our partnering with them to accomplish," said Rosa Dubose, of Florida Coastal School of Law.

The students agree. They say you should always study hard for your money, no matter what.

"You come in, you do what you need to do," Muray said. "The program may not even be an issue."