In the News

U.S. News Ranks UF Levin College of Law Florida’s Best Law School

By Ian R. Leavengood, Esq.

U.S. News and World Report Best LogoGAINESVILLE, Fla. – U.S. News and World Report released today its annual evaluation of the country’s top graduate programs, again ranking the University of Florida Levin College of Law the state’s best law school, a place it has held every year save one since the ranking originated. U.S. News ranked UF Law 24th among public law schools and tied for 47th overall, up two spots over last year. It ranked UF Law’s Graduate Tax Program first among public schools and tied with Georgetown for second overall, while the Environmental and Land Use Law Program was ranked seventh among public schools and 16th overall.

Read more: U.S. News Ranks UF Levin College of Law Florida’s Best Law School

Judge Nash Prevails in Landslide

Judge Chris NashJudge Chris Nash, former LeavenLaw partner, prevailed in a landslide in his bid for re-election to the Hillsborough County bench in August.  Judge Nash topped his opponent, Norman Cannella Jr., by a near 2 to 1 margin, gaining 65 to 35 percent of the vote in the August 26, 2014 election.

Governor Rick Scott appointed Nash to a judgeship last year, and Cannella Jr., a former Tampa prosecutor, announced his decision to run against Judge Nash only a few weeks into his tenure.  Cannella Jr. has been in private practice since 2001, but his father, Norman Cannella Sr., is a widely-known and widely-respected name in the Tampa legal community. 

Judicial elections in Florida are non-partisan; however, Cannella’s campaign engaged in political mudslinging by accusing Nash and Governor Scott of partisan favoritism.  In fact, Cannella’s campaign sent out a mailer stating, “Does Rick Scott speak for YOU?  Political appointments to the bench mean one thing…Political paybacks.”  Nash’s campaign remained above the fray, and Nash himself worked hard to campaign with integrity and to be an excellent judge at the same time.  In a lead-up to the election, in a Hillsborough Bar Association survey, 99 percent of responders stated that they either “highly approve” or “approve” of Judge Nash.  His 99% approval rating is the highest ever received in a Judicial Preference Poll conducted by the Bar, and Judge Nash carried the momentum through the election in August.  

Thank you to all of those who supported Judge Nash, and the LeavenLaw and Counsel for Life family will continue to support Judge Nash as he continues his bright future on the bench.