Saturday, February 22, 2020

Leveraging Noncognitive Skills to Foster Bar Exam Success: An Analysis of the Efficacy of the Bar Passage Program at FIU Law

I have posted frequently on the great success that Florida International University graduates have had on the Florida bar exam.  It seems like every time the results come out they are at the top.  Now, the ABA has published a list of Law School Rankings By Bar Exam Overperformance,  and guess who came out number one nationally?  Georgia.  But FIU was number two.

Raul Ruiz, Assistant Professor of Academic Support at FIU, has posted an article on SSRN explaining some of the reasons for FIU's great success on the Florida bar exam: Leveraging Noncognitive Skills to Foster Bar Exam Success: An Analysis of the Efficacy of the Bar Passage Program at FIU Law.


"With falling bar exam passage rates, many law schools have implemented bar exam preparation programs but are still struggling to improve bar exam passage rates. The increase in law school matriculants with LSAT scores below 150 had a statistically significant negative correlation with national mean MBE scores, and with the new ABA standard 316 mandating a 75% bar passage rate, law schools are facing mounting pressure to ensure that their graduates are ready and able to pass their bar examination expeditiously or risk losing ABA accreditation.

Law schools have been frustrated by the lack of results with their internal bar exam preparation programs. They often struggle to identify why their students continue to fail the bar exam. Not much has been written about the theory, design, implementation, and evaluation of an effective law school bar exam preparation program. This paper will discuss each of those areas with the goal of helping law schools achieve an important milestone: increasing bar passage rates for their students and maintaining ABA accreditation.

This paper will discuss what has caused a decrease in bar exam scores nationwide and how the bar preparation program at the FIU College of Law has counteracted declining pass rates. The focus of the bar prep program at FIU will be discussed in detail, so other law schools may utilize those same concepts."

Congratulations to Georgia, FIU,  and the other law schools that placed at the top of the overperformance list.  Maybe someone at Georgia will write an article on how they did it.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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