Florida Coastal School of Law continues to innovate and develop programs that lead to positive student outcomes, both in the classroom and in post-graduation bar exam results. Recently, more than 90% of Coastal students who took one of two newly-implemented professional responsibility courses passed the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam). The results can be attributed to innovations by faculty that led to curriculum changes and improvements.
Continue reading for full details on the MPRE improvements.
Based on recommendations from all of the professional responsibility professors, Florida Coastal’s Innovation Committee made recommendations for this pilot program. In addition, alumni were asked for their input and feedback as to the improvements. The alumni board sought to improve Coastal students’ MPRE results, which had been lower in previous years. Alumni and board members viewed previous years’ lower scores as an inaccurate representation of Coastal’s commitment to professional preparedness.
“An important change we implemented this year was to make the MPRE the final examination for two of our professional responsibility courses,” said Interim Dean Chidi Ogene. “This seemingly slight change produced the highest scores the school’s students have achieved. In one course, 100% of the students passed; in the other, 85% passed the exam.”
Professor Annette Ritter and Professor Leigh Scales taught the new course. “We covered all of the materials and then spent four weeks taking practice MPRE tests,” said Ritter, who is the dean of experiential learning and professional development. “Reviewing test results along the way allowed us to target weak areas for further study. Through the process, the students gained confidence in their ability to do well on the MPRE.”
“It has been so gratifying to have our students receive their MPRE scores and thank us for this experience and helping them succeed” she said.
In addition, many of the students scored significantly above Florida’s cutoff pass rate of 80, with several scoring at 131 or better, a score that placed the students in the top 2% of all MPRE takers nationwide.
“It was a team effort - the faculty and alumni came together with a common interest in making our law school better and did just that,” said Preston H. Oughton, Esq., Jacksonville attorney and member of the Coastal class of 2008. “Both alumni and faculty could not be happier with the results and look forward working together again in the near future.”
The MPRE is a prerequisite to the bar examination in 48 of the 50 United States. The test is designed to measure the knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer’s professional conduct and ethics.
In addition to the MPRE, Florida Coastal had the second highest number of graduates take the General Bar Exam in Florida in the spring of 2014. The results were also positive – Florida Coastal grads ranked in the top five of 11 schools in the state with a pass rate of 72.9%.