UF Levin College of Law students had the lowest passing rate among Florida law school students who took the most recent bar exam, according to results released by the Florida Supreme Court on Monday.
All law students need to pass the bar exam to practice as an attorney in Florida. Of the 22 UF law students who took the exam over two days in February, only seven passed — a rate of 31.8 percent.
“The results are utterly unacceptable given the caliber of our students and the quality of their education,” Laura Rosenbury, dean of the law school, wrote in a statement Monday.
Efforts by the school to prepare students for the February test were insufficient, and the college is considering a different approach for future exams, Rosenbury said.
Whitney Smith, a spokesperson for the law school, said the college and its faculty will consider intervening more in the courses students are taking.
In an email to law students, Rosenbury said the school will implement a bar preparation program for students during the three years they are at UF and consider controlling which classes students take.
“Given these shocking and disheartening results, we are rethinking this approach and doubling down on our intervention strategy,” Rosenbury said in an email.
All third-year law students will be required to submit a study plan and complete a free diagnostic exam before they graduate, according to the email. Administration will also provide support for third-years who are identified as at risk of failing.
Law students from Florida schools had an average passing rate of 53.4 percent. Florida International University students had the highest passing rate at 85 percent. The passing rate for students from Florida State University’s law school was 76.7 percent.
Patrick Brathwaite, a second-year UF law student, hasn’t taken the bar exam yet but said the exam was a wake-up call for both the students and school.
“Unfortunately, it takes a bad thing to find reason to improve a lot,” the 28-year-old said.