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Percent of those passing the February Florida bar exam tumbles

05/04/2009

Overall passage rates for those taking the February bar exam tumbled sharply as only graduates from two Florida schools — Florida International and Stetson — topped the 80 percent rate, and then only barely at 81.5 percent and 80 percent respectively.

At the bottom end, just slightly more than half of the graduates taking the test from Barry University and Florida A&M University passed the test.

Contrast that with the July 2008 exam results when in excess of 80 percent of graduates from eight of Florida’s 10 law schools passed, with two of those schools seeing more than 90 percent of their students passing the bar. Overall, 70.7 percent of those taking the general bar exam passed in February, compared with 82.5 percent who passed last July.

It should be noted that many more graduates traditionally sit for the test in July than do in February. Last July, 2,367 people took the exam compared with 784 who took it in February. But looking back over a full year, those who took the February 2008 passed at a 76.4 percent clip compared with the 70.7 percent mark this February.

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners released the results from the February exam April 13.

A total of 784 people took the exam, 377 from out-of-state and the remainder in-state graduates. The FBBE also said 831 took the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam in March, 222 from out-of-state and the remainder from the 10 Florida law schools.

FIU topped those who took Part A and Part B of the general bar exam; 22 of the 27 Florida International grads passed, or 81.5 percent. Stetson University took second with 60 of its 75 graduates passing or 80 percent. Nova Southeastern University was next, with 29 of its 40 graduates passing, or 72.5 percent. Next was St. Thomas University, where 19 of 27 graduates passed, or 70.4 percent.

— Courtesy Florida Bar News