Orlando Is FAMU Panel's Top Choice for New Law School

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TALLAHASSEE, FLA.

A five-member committee ranked Orlando, Fla., as the top choice for Florida A&M University's new law school, which is scheduled to open in 2002.

The committee earlier this month ranked Orlando above Lakeland, Tampa and Daytona Beach, but the final decision will be made by the Board of Regents on a recommendation from FAMU President Dr. Frederick Humphries and university system Chancellor Dr. Adam Herbert.

A FAMU spokeswoman said that Humphries and Herbert would review and discuss the committee's rankings, but are not bound to recommend Orlando to the regents.

If Orlando ultimately is picked by the Board of Regents, the law school will anchor redevelopment efforts for Orlando's Parramore district, a historically Black and economically depressed neighborhood.

"This is extraordinarily important for the city of Orlando," says Susan Blexrud, the Orlando mayor's director of communications. "It will really help define the revitalization efforts in the Parramore district."

City officials have been lobbying the Orlando Magic and local theme parks to help endow sports law and entertainment law programs if the city lands the law school. …