ñFelicidades!, Levin College of Law.
For the seventh time in nine years, UF's law college has been named as one of the top 10 law schools for Hispanic students by Hispanic Business Magazine.
The magazine ranked the college fifth among U.S. public schools and eighth overall, for private and public, for its recruitment, retention and education of Hispanic students, according the magazine's Web site.
Berta Esperanza Hernandez-Truyol, a professor for the college, was born in Havana and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 7 years old. As one of four Hispanic tenured or tenure track faculty members at the law college, she cited the importance of a diverse teaching staff and student body in the recruitment process.
"There are a series of factors that students care about when they choose a school: ranking, cost, reputation, success rates, employment rates," Hernandez-Truyol said. "But, all things equal, Latina and Latino students probably gravitate to a place that offers them all kinds of role models."
According to the Office of Admissions, Hispanic enrollment at the college reached 9 percent in 2009.
This percentage has increased dramatically since professor Hernandez-Truyol began her career in education.
"When I started teaching in 1982, I think there were 22 full-time tenure track Latina and Latino faculty in the country," she said, adding there are now more than 180.
"You can't have that kind of progression without more Latinas and Latinos going to law school,"she said.
The University of New Mexico School of Law secured the top spot in Hispanic Business Magazine's rankings.
Florida State University College of Law ranked No. 3, and the University of Miami School of Law ranked No. 5.
"The number of Florida schools on the list is not necessarily because of a large Latina and Latino population in Florida," Hernandez-Truyol said.
She added New York has a large Hispanic population but did not receive a spot on the list.
"I think that it shows that the Florida schools are understanding of the needs of their population," she said.
UF's law college has several outreach efforts, including summer programs and student and faculty exchanges with universities in countries such as Brazil and Costa Rica, Hernandez-Truyol said.
When the results of next year's ranking are released, Hernandez-Truyol expects that UF's law college will once again appear on Hispanic Business Magazine's list.
"I think the real kick came the first time we received a top 10 ranking," Hernandez-Truyol said. "In the years after that, it has become a wonderful affirmation."