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September 24, 2008

FSU law students slip
in bar-exam pass rate

By Angeline J. Taylor

The percentage of Florida State University law students to pass the Bar Exam given in July is 85.4 percent ranking the institution fifth among the state's 10 law schools, according to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

The board released the results of the Bar Exam this week. The University of Miami came in first-place with 92.4 percent passing the Bar. Florida International University (90.6) came in second while the University of Florida (89.4) rounded out the top three.

"We're disappointed, of course," said FSU's College of Law Dean Don Weidner. "Our overall rate was still pretty strong."

Before July, FSU law students' passing rate topped the list of 10 schools the last four times the test was administered. However, FSU students ranked in first place for the second part of the exam known as the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination Results. About 89 percent of FSU's students passed that part of the exam.

Nancy Benavides, the law school's associate dean for student affairs, said the second part of the test focused on ethics. Weidner said no data has been received to identify what area posed the biggest problem for students. That information normally comes in after the scores are released.

Sixty-seven percent of Florida A&M's law students passed the bar, putting the school last among the 10 universities.