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Florida Law Schools Post Low Bar Passage Rates
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Ave Maria

Summary: Florida International University College of Law had the highest bar passage rate for first-time takers while the University of Florida had the lowest among law schools in the state.

Florida State University law school graduates taking the bar exam for the first time showed a slight improvement from last year. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the graduates showed a nearly 20 percent passage rate increase in February from last year.


This improvement put the law school second among the other Florida State schools, according to information from the Florida Supreme Court. The University of Florida and Florida A&M graduates had the lowest and second lowest bar passage rates for public and private law schools.

The two Florida law schools with the highest passage rate were Florida International University College of Law and Ave Maria law school, a private law school. Florida International boasted an 85 percent rate while Ave Maria had an 84.6 percent.

FSU College of Law Dean Erin O’Hara O’Connor said, “We’re very happy to see that our internal bar prep efforts led to a rise in our February exam results over last year and we look forward to seeing further improvements on future exams. Students who take February administrations of the Florida Bar Exam typically have less time to prepare than students who take July administrations, so this latest success is very positive and we’re extremely proud of our graduates.”

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FSU Law had 30 students take the exam in February. 23 of them passed or 76.7 percent. FAMU also had 30 students but only 11 passed, or 36.7 percent. UF had an even lower passage rate of 31.8 percent.

FAMU College of Law interim dean LeRoy Pernell stated, “While we are far from satisfied with the most recent passage rate, we remain committed to our efforts to improve bar performance as part of a series of initiatives designed to strengthen our entire legal education program.”

In the February exam last year, FSU had 22 graduates take the exam. Thirteen passed the exam or 59.1 percent. That same year, FAMU had 39 students take the exam. That time they had 18 pass the exam, or 46.2 percent.

Overall, 637 candidates took the 2018 February bar exam in Tampa. Of those, 57.9 percent passed compared to 575.7 last year. Florida Board of Bar Examiners executive director Michele Gavagni said, “If you go back over time, it has gone down over the past four years.” Five years ago in 2013, there was a first-time passage rate of 80.2 percent.

Florida can officially welcome 445 new attorneys. The graduates who did not pass can try again during the next exam is in July. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate can sit for the Florida Bar exam.

The complete passage rate results:

Ave Maria – 84.6 percent

FSU – 76.7 percent

Florida Coastal – 62.1 percent

Stetson University – 56 percent

University of Miami – 56 percent

Nova Southeastern – 50 percent

Barry University – 41 percent

St. Thomas – 38.9 percent

Florida A&M – 36.7 percent

University of Florida – 31.8 percent

Non-Florida schools – 36.6 percent

Do any of the results surprise you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about bar passage rates for other states, read these articles:




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