Florida Bar exam sees dip in passage rate; FIU earns highest marks

by | Apr 20, 2023

  • The Florida Board of Bar Examiners released the most recent passage rates for the Bar Exam, with Florida International University (FIU) reporting the highest passage rate among individual institutions.
  • The passage rate for the February exam in Florida has been the lowest in 15 years, with just 54.7 percent of students passing, continuing a trend of depressed scores.
  • Except for FIU, the University of Florida, and Florida State University, no other law schools in the state were able to achieve a passage rate of 50 percent or higher.

The most recent passage rates for the Bar Exam have been published by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, indicating a decline in passage rates compared to those of the July 2022 cohort. Florida International University (FIU) reported the highest passage rate among individual institutions, with 13 of their 18 students clearing the exam.

Florida’s accredited law schools witnessed a historic low in student pass rates for the exam, with just 54.7 percent successfully passing, representing the lowest overall passage rate in 15 years and continuing a trend of depressed scores.

However, Florida International University emerged as the top performer with a commendable 72.2 percent pass rate, closely followed by the University of Florida (UF) with a 70.8 percent pass rate, and Florida State University (FSU) with 66.7 percent of its students successfully passing.

FIU has been a consistent performer in the Florida Bar Exam, reporting a passage rate of over 87 percent for its law graduates on their first attempt since 2005. This is the highest passage rate among all Florida law schools.

“The education FIU Law provides our graduates continues to prepare them for success on their licensure exam – and more critically, for fulfilling careers as lawyers,” said FIU Law Dean Antony Page.

Although the top-performing trio received high marks, their individual test scores were lower than those from the most recent July 2022 testing session. Specifically, the passage rate for the bar exam in July among graduates from the FIU School of Law was 81.2 percent, while for UF and FSU it was 78.7 percent and 74.9 percent, respectively.

With the exception of the three, no other law schools in the state were able to achieve a passage rate of fifty percent or higher. The schools with passage rates below the fifty percent threshold include Barry University School of Law, St. Thomas University College of Law, Stetson University College of Law, Nova Southeastern University College of Law, and the University of Miami. Florida Coastal School of Law performed the worst of all state law schools with just a single student passing the exam.

A decisive cause for the low passage rate has yet to be determined, though it is noteworthy that the July 2022 exam marked the first time in two years that the summer administration of the Florida bar exam was offered in person. The exam was administered remotely in July 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the 2021-22 academic year was the first time since the onset of the pandemic in classes were available in person.

Individuals who took the bar exam in February were likely required to complete the majority of their law school coursework through online sources or Zoom over the course of three years. Despite a lack of analysis regarding the most recent results, several studies have indicated that online learning often impedes academic progress.

1 Comment

  1. Joe walsh

    The Florida Bar has a vested interest in restricting admission. Why allow an increase in competition ?

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