Florida Bar Exam passage rate sees dip; Florida International University emerges as top performer

by | Apr 15, 2024

Florida’s Bar Exam passage rate for first-time test takers fell to 56.3 percent in February 2024, a decline from 71.6 percent in July 2023, with FIU leading with an 82.6 percent pass rate among state law schools.

Florida’s Bar Exam passage rate fell by 15.3 percentage points for the February 2024 testing cycle, reported at 56.3 percent on Monday for first-time test takers, a decrease from 71.6 percent in July 2023.

For the test cycle, conducted between February 27-28 in Tampa, 593 individuals sat for the full Bar examination for the first time. Of these, 334 successfully passed, resulting in a passage rate of 56.3 percent among the first-time test takers.

“Exam passage is but one step required before individuals may be admitted to The Florida Bar. Because some of those steps are not yet complete, as well as the multiple ways individuals may take different portions
of the exam, the number of candidates approved for admission may be smaller, or larger, than the number of first-time test-takers who passed the exam,” the Bar report states.

Florida International University (FIU) emerged as the top performer with an 82.6 percent passage rate. The university has been a consistent performer in the Florida Bar Exam, reporting a passage rate of more than 80 percent for its law graduates on their first attempt since 2005, amounting to the highest passage rate among all Florida law schools.

Florida-based accredited law schools saw varied success rates among first-time test takers. Ave Maria School of Law had a 16.7 percent pass rate, Barry University 48.9 percent, and Cooley Law School 47.8 percent. Florida A&M University achieved a 47.1 percent rate, while Florida Coastal School recorded no passes.

Florida State University had a 40.0 percent pass rate, Nova Southeastern University 51.6 percent, St. Thomas University 72.0 percent, and Stetson University 69.2 percent. The University of Florida posted a 63.2 percent rate, with the University of Miami at 40.5 percent.

Last year, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners announced changes to the state’s bar exam following a conducted study to ensure the exam assesses the skills and knowledge required for practicing law in the state. The updates, first implemented in the July exam cycle, include switching Trusts and UCC Articles 3 and 9 from essay questions to mostly multiple-choice questions.

“The board thought that devoting an entire essay to Trusts or Articles 3 and 9 put too much weight on those subjects,” said Mindy McNichols, vice chair of the group last year. “This change responds to the feedback that we heard during our study.”

The examiners also plan to replace the Multistate Bar Examination in 2026.


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