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Five questions with dean of FIU Law

Five questions with dean of FIU Law

Antony Page shares the secret behind FIU Law students' success and his goals to continue strengthening the college

March 3, 2020 at 3:00pm

FIU Law dean Antony Page gets around. Canadian-born, he holds triple citizenship—he’s also British through his parents and American by choice—and has spent time overseas as a diplomat in Europe and Asia. Educated as an attorney at Stanford, he is an expert in corporate governance and worked for the London and Los Angeles offices of a New York-based firm before making his way to the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law as a professor and later vice dean.

These days, Page—who arrived at FIU in 2018 with his wife and two teenagers—can’t say enough good things about South Florida, where he has poured his energies into meeting leaders in the local legal community and gaining a fuller understanding of the FIU law school’s place in a thriving metropolitan area.

What are your priorities?

We will nurture our many strengths, which include a student-centered culture that leads to success for our graduates. On that, we have a proven track record: In 2019, FIU Law placed No. 15 on a list of “Best Value Law Schools,” a national ranking that recognizes schools with excellent student outcomes and whose graduates do not incur overwhelming debt.

Another great strength: our faculty’s scholarship. The quality and quantity are first rate with FIU Law performing very well in a recent study of scholarly impact. From these positions of strength, a priority is to increase our interdisciplinary offerings. In many sectors, there is a growing demand for job candidates with legal training, although not necessarily a license to practice. Examples include our new master’s degrees in legal technology and health care law.

The FIU College of Law was founded more than 100 years after the school from which you earned a J.D. What does it mean to head such a young institution?

It is exciting! Since our founding nearly 20 years ago, the college has exceeded all expectations. [In 2019, U.S. News & World Report named it a top-50 public law school.] But we are focused on achieving even more. So much is possible, and I feel highly optimistic that we will progress to the next level. Our faculty, staff and other stakeholders all take seriously the connection between the academic enterprise and the “real world” impact that law schools should have upon the populations they serve.  

Does location in South Florida have any bearing on the type of law taught?

Miami is widely considered the business and legal hub of the Americas. International law is thus important for the college, and we are one of only a handful of U.S. law schools that include a required course in international and comparative law in our first-year curriculum. Many of our faculty have strong connections in the international community.

Have you cracked the code on why FIU law grads are exceptionally good at acing the Florida bar exam, almost always besting the other Florida law schools?

Two factors. First, our students: They are very talented and exceptionally hard-working. Second, our faculty: They deliver a rigorous curriculum that includes not only substantive knowledge of legal doctrine but emphasizes development of writing and analytical skills. 

Critical in all of this are professors Raul Ruiz and Louis Schulze, who implemented a unique program that teaches students how to teach themselves. This promotes success in law school, on the bar exam and in the practice of law. While eschewing “teaching to the test,” the program uses sophisticated data analyses to support students and capitalizes on cutting-edge methods from educational psychology and cognitive science.

What about living in South Florida have you enjoyed most, so far?

Cortaditos! Palm trees! Manatees! Sunshine! The vibrancy and excitement! More importantly, the friendliness of the people. My family and I have been welcomed with open arms.