The Florida State University has named its acclaimed diversity-building Summer for Undergraduates Program for law dean, Donald J. Weidner, who recently announced his retirement. Weidner has twice been dean at FSU, 1991-1997 and then 1998 until now. Dean Weidner led the law school to the top tier of U.S. law schools; it has consistently been recognized as one of the nation’s best in job placement.
One of his greatest accomplishments is the Summer for Undergraduates. Created in 1992, it exposes students, particularly those from groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession, to the joys and the rigors of legal education. The students, selected annually from colleges and universities across the nation, attend a month of simulated law school at no charge, including room and board, and receive a $500 living stipend. Participants experience intensive instruction, legal writing, and exposure to legal professionals from a variety of fields. The program been recognized for Pipeline Diversity through the American Bar Association for innovation and leadership in diversifying the educational pipeline to the legal profession.
In 2000, Dean Weidner contacted Wayne and Pat Hogan of Jacksonville seeking support the program. “Year after year, the Summer Program helps students decide their futures,” said Wayne Hogan. “It is intensive and provides just the right introduction to law school and life in the law; after all, there are so many doors a law degree can open, which is the purpose behind the Program.”
With that in mind, Hogan announced that the University had named the program in honor of Dean Weidner. “Don had an idea and made it a reality. The opportunity the program gives to those underrepresented in our profession is a model for others to follow.” said Hogan, a 1972 graduate of the College of Law. “Don is a good friend and colleague. This program is his legacy and the renaming honors his drive and determination to see FSU’s College of Law and its students rise to the top of American legal education.”
Summer Program Renaming