- Florida’s bar exam passage rate increased by 8 percentage points in the July testing cycle, reaching 71.6 percent for first-time test takers, up from 54.7 percent in April.
- Florida International University (FIU) had the highest passage rate at 91.1 percent, followed by Florida State University with 83.4 percent, while Florida A&M’s law school had the lowest passage rate at 41.7 percent.
- Changes to the exam format, including transitioning certain subjects from essay format to multiple-choice questions, may have contributed to the improved passage rate.
Florida’s bar exam passage rate increased by 8 percentage points for the July testing cycle, reaching nearly 72 percent for first-time test takers, an increase from 54.7 percent in April.
Florida reported 2,163 first-time July examinees and is the most populous state to publish exam metrics thus far. Among the 14 jurisdictions that have shared their results, all but three have either improved their pass rates or maintained them compared to the previous year. A possible factor behind the improved passage rate could be the state’s decision to transition certain subjects from essay format to multiple-choice questions.
Florida International University (FIU) emerged as the top performer with a 91.1 percent passage rate, followed by Florida State University, which reported an 83.4 percent pass rate, and the University of Florida and Stetson University, both of which had 80.6 percent of their students successfully passing.
FIU has been a consistent performer in the Florida Bar Exam, reporting a passage rate of more than 87 percent for its law graduates on their first attempt since 2005, amounting to the highest passage rate among all Florida law schools. Florida A&M’s law school performed the worst among state schools, with just 25 of its 60, or 41.7 percent, of its candidates receiving a satisfactory score.
The July testing cycle represents a sharp increase in student success compared to April, when all but three law schools in Florida received a passage rate of fifty percent or lower, reaching a fifteen-year low point.
Earlier this 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. “This change responds to the feedback that we heard during our study.”
The examiners also plan to replace the Multistate Bar Examination in 2026. A formed committee, the NextGen Bar Exam Committee, stated that it will utilize insights gathered from the study to explore alternative exam designs.
“We are in the early stages of a long and important process,” said Rachelle Munson, Chair of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. “We are committed to Florida’s exam and our continued responsibility to protect the public and the judicial system.”