Published May 11, 2023 on news.fiu.edu.
Written by Madeline Baro
FIU Law climbed 38 spots to rank No. 60 among the nation’s law schools (No. 32 among public schools), according to U.S. News and World Report rankings released today. This puts FIU among the top three law schools in the state alongside the University of Florida and Florida State University.
The law school’s meteoric rise – the second-highest ranking improvement of any law school in the country – reflects an update to the 2023-2024 U.S. News Best Law Schools methodology to prioritize measures that “identify clear and transparent outcomes for prospective students,” according to U.S. News. The changes were made following the input and feedback of more than 100 law school deans and other experts in the legal field across the country.
“This updated methodology better reflects the return on investment students are looking for in selecting a law school,” said FIU President Kenneth A. Jessell. “I am proud of everyone who has helped build FIU Law’s track record of success.”
Among the changes, increased weight was given to employment 10 months after graduation. The publication also put added weight on schools’ first-time bar passage rates and added “ultimate” bar passage rates, the latter of which measures the percentage of each law school’s graduates who sat for a bar exam and passed it within two years of graduation.
FIU Law has earned a reputation over the last 18 years for graduate outcomes that rank among the best in the country. A 2020 American Bar Association report found that FIU Law ranked No. 2 nationally for bar exam “overperformance,” which measures how well a law school’s graduates outperform their state’s average first-time bar pass rate.
“Since 2015, more than 87% of FIU Law graduates have passed the bar exam on their first attempt – the highest passage rate of any Florida law school,” said Provost, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth M. Bejar. “More than 91% of the Class of 2021 were employed in full-time, long-term positions or further graduate study within 10 months of graduation. The performance of our college of law has been a remarkable testament to the work of our faculty, staff and students.”
FIU Law Dean Antony Page expressed satisfaction. “The new rankings methodology better aligns with FIU Law’s core values of rigorously preparing our graduates for the practice of law in a supportive, student-centered environment,” he said. “The rankings now better recognize the responsibility law schools have of ensuring that new lawyers are able to begin successful careers.”
The part-time law program ranked No. 24 (No. 10 among public law schools) and FIU also ranked high for international law, coming in at No. 42 (No. 17 public). Specialty programs that also ranked in the top 50 among public law schools were trial advocacy (No. 30), legal writing (No. 35), intellectual property (No. 44), and environmental law (No. 49).
“The success of our law school can be attributed to the focused faculty and staff who work every day to make sure FIU Law is excellent and to our students who have exceptional grit and determination,” said FIU Board of Trustees Chair Dean C. Colson. “I know. I hire them.”