Thursday, April 19, 2007

hooray, we're No. 5!

So we had the fifth-highest bar passage rate on the February exam. Yeah, that's not good. At least we beat Florida Coastal. If the for-profit law school ever beats us, well, that would be embarrassing. The Dean said a couple of interesting things: First, FIU apparently strongly discourages some people (ie. those who won't pass) from taking the bar exam. Second, our rate, while lower than other schools, was higher than it had been in years (for the February exam). Whatever. I'm already terrified about the bar exam and I'm planning to devote every waking moment (more or less, with a few breaks) from May 15 through July 25 to it. But it's not so much because I want better statistics for this school - it's about me. I want to pass. I know when I pass it says something good about this law school, but that can't be my major concern, contrary to what the Dean said at that meeting.

From the Herald:

Florida International University's most recent crop of law school graduates had the state's highest percentage of first-time examinees passing the bar.

Of the group of 18 students who graduated in December 2006, all but one student passed the bar -- a 94 percent passing rate.

That's a higher percentage of passing first-time bar examinees than those of Florida's nine other accredited law schools.

''This is only our second cycle and the fourth bar exam taken by our students, so this is a special honor,'' said Leonard Strickman, the dean of FIU's College of Law.

FIU's College of Law, which opened in 2002, is the country's newest accredited law school.

The exam was administered in late February in Orlando, according to a news release just issued by the bar examiner' board.

Next on the list: Florida State University, with an 88.2 percent pass rate (30 out of 34 students), and the University of Florida, with an 83.3 percent pass rate (130 out of 156 students).

Rounding out the list of pass rates are Stetson (82.1 percent), University of Miami (76.9 percent), St. Thomas (74.2 percent), Florida Coastal (70.1 percent), Barry (69.2 percent), Florida A&M (52.4 percent) and Nova Southeastern (48 percent).

The 74.2 percent figure is a big improvement for St. Thomas' law school, which last year had a 35.5 percent pass rate for the February exam.


At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Michael Froomkin said...

I wrote this after our "good" score in the summer: Bar Pass Rates are Over-Rated As A Measure of Law School Quality. It's still relevant.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks the Prof makes a good point. Making lawyers is a law school's raison d'etre. But in better universities, many of the top students (most likely to pass the bar) will go to other states like New York. And trying to make the school "national" means you teach less Florida law, and talk more about majority and minority rules. We barely made any mention of the peculiarities of Florida law when I was there. That's probably why FIU did so well - I bet nobody from FIU could get a legal job outside the state.

Just you wait till Ave Maria moves down there - they had a 100% passage rate in Michigan just a couple years ago! Eleven law schools in one state!

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about the pass rate for the Feb. bar. Not that many students take it, therefore it is subject to wide variation and the results are not statistically significant.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the heck does "bar passage rate" measure? I find myself agreeing with Froomkin on this (although, I do find it a bit telling that he chides FIU for encouraging students not to sit for the bar . . . If the numbers are irrelevant, then who cares? And, why not discourage those who will fail to take the bar from taking it?).

I am at a "national" school, and there is little, if any, emphasis placed on teaching the bar. It would be silly and useless to "teach the bar." And, although many students go on to NY, IL, and DC from here, never has a single class I've been in focused on any particular jurisdiction's laws (save for CA, because, well, they are nutty, and it is good to show contrast with "the majority of jurisdictions").

I think the bar passage rate has much more to do with the ability of the individual. The higher ranked schools simply get more of the over-achievers, while the lower ranked schools are a bit more populist in their makeup. This is what gets reflected in the bar passage rates.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how many people who take the Feb. bar are in the top 25% or 50% of the class because that could be indicative of the lower passage rate compared to July.

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SUCKS for U of Miami! If I were planning on staying in Miami, I'd much rather pay the LOW TUITION at FIU Law than go over 100k in debt to attend UM. If UM was in the top 50 even, then it might be worth it, but it's not. And any future out of state employers would understand the economics.

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious about where these Feb. bar-takers fall in terms of class rankings. I am under the impression that few people on law reviews, and therefore at the top of the class, graduate early. This could easily account for the lower scores on the Feb. exam compared to July.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

February bar statistics are indicitive of nothing. It's a strange time to study for and take the bar. But good for FIU. The better other South Florida schools do, the greater the likelihood that UM will find motivation to do better.

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please... FIU is a garbage school and every employer in South Florida knows it.


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