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Florida International University is jumping on the bandwagon and looking to sell naming rights to its law school for $20 million. Coming on the heels of news that Ave Maria Law School is offering for $20 million naming rights to the new facility it is building in southwest Florida is news that Miami-based FIU � Florida’s newest law school � is also trying to sell naming rights, but for the entire school. Ave Maria Law School is selling naming rights only to its new building. “Every law school I know of thinks their program can benefit significantly from getting a transformational gift,” said FIU Law School Dean Leonard P. Strickman. “We’re young and we need the support.” Strickman said the school is talking seriously with one individual about the donation, but declined to say who. The money, he said, would be used primarily for endowments, scholarships and professorships. FIU law school, which was founded in 2002 as the fourth public law school in Florida, last year named its building Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall at the request of the Florida Legislature. Diaz-Balart is the father of U.S. Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart. No money changed hands in the deal. In 1999, University of Florida sold naming rights to its law school to Pensacola trial attorney and alumnus Fredric Levin for $10 million and was criticized for selling at a too-low price. Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., who did a study of law school naming rights, said $20 million is the right amount for FIU to sell its name, but that the school would probably have a tough time. “You really are looking for an alumnus � they are the folks who are most likely to give you that sort of money,” he said. “But since they are a new school, they’ll have to look for people in their community, someone who has shown an interest in Hispanic affairs. FIU sells itself as a place that is Latino friendly.” Jarvis said the trend of law schools selling their names would probably continue, particularly in Florida, where the Legislature has been cutting back on funding for universities.

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