Which Random Florida School Dominated The Bar?
It’s that time of year again. The time for bar exam results to trickle in. These days, it’s also the time to head scratch and point fingers as to why passage rates dropped again. Last year’s July results were bad. This year, all signs are pointing to results being possible worse.
It’s unclear what exactly happened in Mississippi, where the passage rate dropped an eye-popping 27 percentage points from 78% to 51%. With 12 states so far reporting passage rates, only two have increased their scores from last year. Iowa gained five points from 81% to 86% and North Dakota went from 63% to 69%.
But the Florida International University College of Law has provided a bright spot. The largely unknown school increased its bar passage rate by 11 percentage points and is now at 89%—better than any other school in Florida. Coming in second is the state’s flagship school, the University of Florida College of Law with a passage rate of 87.3%. The state’s other major university, the Florida State University College of Law had a passage rate of 80.3%. The school with the lowest passage rate in the state was Ave Marie School of Law at 47.8%.
According to Above the Law reports, the bump results from a big-time effort by the school to increase passage rates. “In addition to the hard work of his students, [Dean Alex] Acosta attributed FIU’s success this year to a new academic excellence program he created, headed by professor Raul Ruiz. Ruiz worked with each student, customizing a course of study to best prepare them for the exam and identifying their specific weaknesses, and made himself available throughout the summer to work with them,” said a statement from the school, published by Above the Law.
That’s some serious commitment and effort, and represents a big shift in how legal educators and administrators are handling legal education. Gone are the days when law students were terrified of their professors. Now, at least at Florida International, there is more effort (and hand holding) designed to get students to pass the bar. But if that’s what it takes, more power to them for putting in the effort and overcoming the the trend of decreasing bar passage rates.
Source: Above the Law
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