Prior to 1950 the state of Florida had only one public law school--at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The rivalry between FSU and UF was not limited to sports--it also extended to academic programs--and in the 1960s FSU wanted its own law school to keep pace with the Gators.
In 1965 the legislature authorized a law school at FSU (Chapter 65-309, Laws of Florida) and President John Champion appointed two committees to get the school up and running. B.K. Roberts, then a Florida Supreme Court Justice, was named to head one of the committees and spearheaded the effort to establish a law school at FSU. The committee led by Roberts found and hired a dean (Mason Ladd) and made arrangements for faculty, classroom space, and books for the law library. By September 1966 the school opened in Longmire Hall with an inaugural class of 166 students.