Monday, November 28, 2016
As I have mentioned here before, the Florida International University College of Law had the highest passage rate for first-time takers on the July 2016 Florida bar. I also just learned that they had the highest rate for first-time takers on the February 2016 and July 2015 Florida bar exams. This is a remarkable achievement.
Let's look at the details. Professor Louis Schulze started the current Academic Excellence Program at FIU in 2014. FIU first-time bar takers scored 87.3% on the July 2015 Florida bar versus 68.9% for all schools. In February 2016, the comparison was 84.6% versus 58.4%. In July 2016, it was 87.5% versus 68.2%. Miami was second in Florida for July 2016 with an 80.6% rate, and Stetson was third with 80.5. In July 2016, the University of Florida had a 78.6% passage rate, and FSU had a 78.8% rate.
FIU is 103 (tie) in the current U.S. law school rankings. Their students who took the bar in July 2016 had an entering LSAT 25th percentile score of 151. (I use this figure because it is probably the most suggestive for bar failure.) FSU had a 157; Florida 156; Miami 155; Stetson 152. Notably, FIU's graduates scored significantly higher on the bar than schools that had a much higher entering 25th percentile LSAT. This suggests that FIU's methods work well for marginal students. These results support the argument I made in my article How to Help Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Succeed in Law School, 1 Texas A & M Law Review 83 (2013) that law schools can do a much better job with minority students.
As I have said before, Professor Schulze achieved these remarkable results by adopting techniques from general educational research. You can find the homepage for his program here. He has also been presenting his methods for the last few weeks on the Faculty Lounge.
As I have said many times before, law schools can do a much better job at educating their students. FIU's bar results show that this is true.