FIU Law achieves highest bar passage rate three years in a row

Nicole Malanga/PantherNow

Ashley-Anna Aberdeen/Contributing Writer

FIU Law, for the third year in a row, has received the highest bar exam passage rate in the state.

Out of the 11 law schools in Florida, FIU Law had a passage rate of 87.8 percent, over 16 percent higher than the average passage rate in Florida, as posted on the Florida Bar Exam’s website.

Dr. Tawia Baidoe Ansah, acting Dean of the law school, recognizes a growth in the school and attributes it to a few things, such as the drive for excellence students have and the sense of community FIU Law offers its students. It’s for these reasons, he said, that FIU Law has risen in the rankings at a rapid rate, regardless of it being a “relatively young” law school.

In this short time frame, Ansah said, the school went from being unranked to ranking as the 140th best law school in the country and is now the 100th best law school in the country.

The school believes firmly in getting the best students admitted and funneling them through a really good program to the best jobs,” Ansah said. “A sense that this is a school that belongs to the community, it is constitutive of the community, it listens to what the community wants and is geared to giving the community the best product possible.”

This proves that the FIU Law School is equipping its students to successfully pass the bar exam, according to Ansah, and bringing them one step closer to becoming lawyers.

The school’s bar exam success is what made Katrina Santa Cruz, a first year law student, decide to attend FIU.

“FIU has the best law school in Florida. For the past three years they’ve had the highest bar passage rate and they gave me a pretty good scholarship,” Cruz said. “It makes me really proud. Honestly, it just motivates me to do even better.”

FIU Law is the only public law school in South Florida, so it is able to offer lower tuition costs to a wider student base.

In addition to FIU Law’s spirit of ambition and excellence, it has a strong sense of togetherness and community.  Thomas Kaelin, a second year law student at FIU, remarked “I think the community is a real big thing here because a lot of law schools have a very cut throat environment, but here it is a very close-knit community.” Both Dean Ansah and Cruz agreed that FIU Law’s community and open environment is one thing that makes it unique from other law schools.

Ansah believes this drive that Cruz has to excel is a common theme at FIU Law, creating an ambitious atmosphere.  
“There’s a sort of energy and a strength and a grit that characterizes FIU Law. FIU in general,” Ansah said. “I think grit is the word that describes FIU.”

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