Bar exam pass rate bumps up a bit
A scene from a Florida bar exam. Image via Tampa Convention Center.


The pass rate for the summer Bar Exam has jumped a little more than 3 percent from last year, to 71.3 percent for this July from 68.2 percent last July, according to results out on Monday.

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners released the figures for the July 25-26 examination. The results are for first-time test takers only, of which there were 2,266; overall, 3,246 sat for the exam.

The latest first-timers pass rate is the first increase on the summer exam since 2012, when the pass rate ticked up a tenth of a percent to 80.2 percent from 80.1 percent in 2011.

But that means the latest passage rate is still down nearly nine percent from its 2012 high.

Like many state bar exams, Florida’s is given twice a year, in late February and late July. More law students traditionally take the exam in the summer, immediately after graduation and bar review. A smaller number, including those who fail the summer exam, take the bar in the winter.

The number of first-time Florida Bar takers who passed the winter exam this year plummeted to its lowest level in eight years: Of 751 first-time takers, 433 passed, or 57.7 percent.

Passage rates have been trending down nationwide in recent years. Law schools have lowered their admission standards to fill seats as the number of overall applicants has declined.

Here are the July 2017 passage rates broken down by individual Florida law schools:

  1. Florida International University College of Law — 87.8 percent
  2. University of Miami School of Law — 84.2 percent
  3. Florida State University College of Law — 83.9 percent
  4. University of Florida College of Law — 77 percent
  5. Stetson University College of Law — 76.8 percent
  6. Nova Southeastern University College of Law — 70.2 percent
  7. St. Thomas University College of Law — 63.6 percent
  8. Barry University School of Law — 58.9 percent
  9. Ave Maria School of Law — 51.3 percent
  10. Florida A&M University College of Law — 51.3 percent
  11. Florida Coastal School of Law — 47.7 percent

Of test takers who went to law school outside Florida, 64.2 percent passed and lawyers from other states who also want to be licensed in Florida passed by 77.4 percent.

Statistics for previous exams are here.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


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