Emmett Wilson, Law Student

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This week, I’m writing about Emmett’s law student days at Stetson University. Did you know Stetson was Florida’s first law school? It was founded in 1900, and Emmett was one of the very first graduates (he was in the class of 1904).

When Emmett was in law school, from 1902-1904, Stetson’s law school was in DeLand, Florida, and most of the classes met in building called Science Hall. The law school wasn’t that big; in fact, Emmett’s graduating class had only 10 students.

The 1904 graduating class with 10 students. Emmett's best friend, Paul Carter, is in here as well. Source: Stetson University Archives

The 1904 graduating class with 10 students. Emmett’s best friend, Paul Carter, is in here as well. Source: Stetson University Archives

 

Here’s a description of Stetson’s law school — actually ‘law department’ back in the day:

A description of the law school facilities in 1903-04. They were 'second to none' at the time. Source: Stetson University Archives

A description of the law school facilities in 1903-04. They were ‘second to none’ at the time. Source: Stetson University Archives

 

Here’s an image from a Stetson brochure featuring the facility:

Students in the law library in the upper left corner. Notice the guy in the pale vest? Does he look familiar? He should! Source: Stetson University Archives

Students in the law library in the upper left corner. Notice the guy in the pale vest? Does he look familiar? He should!  He’s also somewhere in the practice courtroom photo, but even with the original, I can’t zoom in enough to pick him out. Source: Stetson University Archives

 

Back then, Emmett lived in a dorm called East Hall his first year of law school, costing about $206 year. It included “tuition, board, furnished room, lights, and washing.” Books cost him about $35 a year, and were references he’d use during the early years as a lawyer. When he was ready to graduate, his diploma fee was $5.

Today, the law department is a school unto itself, and is in Tampa Bay. It has definitely come a long way since Emmett’s day.

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