Monday, April 24, 2017

Under Epps, FAMU Law first-try Fla. Bar Exam passage rate falls to lowest since its reopening

The Florida A&M University College of Law first-try passage rate on the Florida Bar Exam fell to the lowest since its 2002 reopening after the first year of Dean Angela Felecia Epps, who began on January 4, 2016.

A total of 46.2 percent of the FAMU Law graduates who took the February 2017 Florida Bar Exam passed on their first try. That is the first time the FAMU first-try passage rate has been below 50 percent since its reopening.

The FAMU law school reopened in 2002 and its first class graduated in Spring 2005. That class posted a 52.9 percent first-try passage rate on the July 2005 Florida Bar Exam.

FAMU Law saw its highest first-try bar passage rate under former Dean LeRoy Pernell. FAMU graduates had an 82.6 percent first-try passage rate in February 2013.

Pernell, who started leading the law school in 2008, stepped down in July 2015 under then-President Elmira Mangum. That same month, FAMU Law graduates got a 67.9 percent first-try passage rate on the bar.

The FAMU first-try bar passage rate dropped like a rock during the rest of the Mangum presidency. The Mangum administration appointed an interim dean effective July 1, 2015 and then selected Epps for the permanent deanship with a start date of January 4, 2016.  The FAMU Law first-try Florida Bar Exam passage rate was 56.5 percent in February 2016 and 52.9 percent in July 2016.

Last month, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Epps had submitted a formal plan for reversing the decline in the first-try Florida Bar Exam passage rate.

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