Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fourth Tier Florida Coastal School of Law Grads Had the Worst Pass Rate on Florida June 2017 Bar Exam; Dean Blames Results on Admitting Dumb Applicants

We Take in Dummies: On September 22, 2017, the Jacksonville Daily Record published a Max Marbut article entitled “Florida Coastal School of Law grads struggle to pass Bar exam on first try.” Check out this opening:

“Of the 132 Florida Coastal School of Law graduates who in July took the Florida General Bar Examination for the first time, only 63 passed — that’s 47.7 percent, the lowest first-time pass percentage among the 11 law schools in the state.

The average first-time pass percentage for the July Bar exam was 68.4 percent, with Florida International University College of Law in the No. 1 spot at 87.8 percent.

In the past 10 Bar exams since February 2013, Florida Coastal students have bettered the state average just twice.

So, what’s behind the below-average performance?

Florida Coastal Dean Scott DeVito said how potential law students are tested and the law school’s niche are the main factors to consider when evaluating the statistics. 

“We take students who don’t do well on standardized tests. The LSAT is a standardized test and the Bar exam is a standardized test,” said Florida Coastal Dean Scott DeVito, referring in the first case to the Legal Scholastic Aptitude Test.

A student’s LSAT score is viewed by many law school admissions officials as being more important than grade point average when evaluating whether to admit a student.

DeVito pointed out that the 75th percentile LSAT score at Florida Coastal – the minimum score that would mean admission for 3 out of 4 applicants – is lower than the 25th percentile score (minimum for admission for 1 out of 4 applicants) at the other law schools in the state.

Florida Coastal’s 75th percentile score for students admitted in 2016 was 149. Compare that to 25th percentile scores at Florida International (151), Stetson University (152), the University of Miami (155), the University of Florida (156) and Florida State University (157).” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, taking in people with 141 LSAT scores is something that is beyond your control as dean of this for-profit, fourth tier in$TTTTiTTTTuTTTTion, right?! Do you expect the state board of examiners to dumb down the licensing test – in order to accommodate your subpar students and graduates, Scott DeVito?

Other Coverage: On September 18, 2017, the Florida Times-Union featured a piece from Eileen Kelley, under the headline “Florida Coastal Law School places last in Bar exam passage again.” Read the following excerpt:

“Less than one-half of all Florida Coastal School of Law graduates passed the Florida Bar examination on the first try, the worst numbers of the 11 law schools in the state.

In Florida, the bar is administered twice a year. The results of the July exam were released Monday.

The Jacksonville school’s pass rate of 47.7 percent puts it at the bottom of all Florida-based law schools.

Florida Coastal has the lowest ranking for the last four consecutive tests. Florida International University College of Law ranked highest with a 87.8 percent passage rate.

Though low, the 47.7 percent passage rate for Florida Coastal is a 91 percent improvement from the results of the winter 2017 examination when just one of every four students who took the exam for the first time passed.” [Emphasis mine]

You know that you are operating a diploma mill when a 47.7% pass rate on the July Bar Exam represents an improvement almost by a factor of two, from the previous administration of the test. What will the school put on its website and recruiting materials? Perhaps, “Florida Coastal: where you have almost a 50/50 shot at passing the Florida Bar Exam.” Sadly, the mentally deficient would continue to apply to this dump.

LST Report Info: Courtesy of the folks at Law School Transparency, here are the stats for the class who entered in Fall 2013, i.e. the same cohort who took this bar exam:

25th percentile LSAT: 141
50th percentile LSAT: 144
75th percentile LSAT: 148
25th percentile UGPA: 2.69
50th percentile UGPA: 2.97
75th percentile UGPA: 3.26

Look at those figures for a moment. What would make you think that such students would be able to kick ass on the bar exam, without some incredible increase in work ethic or brainpower?

Conclusion: In the final analysis, Florida Coa$TTTTal $chool of Law is only in this thing for the money. The "professors" and deans could care less about where their former students end up, as long as the federal loan checks clear. Remember, these supposed "legal scholars" get paid up front, in full. You, the student, are a mere mean$ to an end. Full-time tuition and fees amount to $46,068 - for the 2017-2018 academic year. For $ome rea$on, the school lists this on a per semester basis.


  1. "We take students who don't do well on standardized tests": By this, scamster DeVito meant not that the students are lousy but that standardized tests fail to reflect their brilliance.

    Bullshit. Standardized tests are precisely that—standardized. The only important reason for consistently doing badly on them is incompetence. Blindness may be another reason on a test such as the LSAT, part of whose content realistically requires diagrams that a blind person could not easily produce or read; but toilet law schools such as Horrida Coastal do not attract significant numbers of blind people.

    DeVito admits that those abysmal results on the bar exam stem from the practice of admitting people who don't do well on standardized tests (such as the bar exam). In other words, Horrida Coastal knows damn well that unconscionably many of its students will fail the exam, but it admits them nonetheless. Whose intere$t$ does that practice serve? Certainly not the students'.

  2. So they took in terrible students who did terribly on the bar exam. Who saw that coming? Now pay back those student loans. Chumps.

  3. Does he want the Florida bar'zam to be in coloring book format?

  4. "Legal Scholastic Aptitude Test" is wrong. LSAT stands for Law School Admission Test.

    1. Technically, it stands for Loser Sucker Asshole Test.

  5. More from that article:

    —— He said most students who enroll at Florida Coastal aren’t looking for a job with a high-profile law firm. Many graduates have specialized in family law or public service law, such as public defenders, prosecutors or counsel at nonprofits.

    Not quite half of the graduates from 2016 were in long-term, full-time legal or putative "JD Advantage" jobs ( Indeed, 40% of the graduating class was unemployed.

    —— Since DeVito became dean of the law school two years ago, the minimum LSAT score required for admission has increased from 141 in 2016 to 145 this year and will increase to 147 in 2018.

    I doubt that very much. Last year 141 was at the 25th percentile. The minimum score has not been published, but I doubt whether it was 141 (which would have meant that at least 25% of the class had that exact score). Raising the minimum score to 145, as allegedly has happened this year, would mean reducing the class size by more than half, unless magically this dying toilet school managed to draw in more applicants from that range. Raising it to 147 would make the class smaller still.

    —— “Raising the incoming credentials guarantees moving up. We’d like to settle at 149 in a couple of years. That could give us a first-time pass rate in the mid-70s — above the state average,” he said.

    Oh, sure. Why not say "We'd like to compete with Harvard in a couple of years"?

    Bear in mind that even at the 25th percentile, to say nothing of the bottom, a score of 149 would leave a law school squarely in toilet territory. Among the 21 law schools with 149 at the 25th percentile are Samford, Albany, Washburn. Toilets one and all. Yet Horrida Coastal aspires "to settle at" that level.

  6. Got to give DeVito his due. Admitting their bar pass rate was due to them taking in morons makes him funnier than Danny DeVito at his peak.

  7. Florida has about 10 ABA law skools and the highest ranked one is like 50th in the country.

  8. And yet the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar does nothing...

  9. Why would the ABA do anything about this? It's the same organization that accredits any school with a fax machine.

    1. ABA Mission and Goals

      The American Bar Association Mission:

      To serve equally our members, our profession and the public by defending liberty and delivering justice as the national representative of the legal profession.

      The ABA achieves its mission through tireless work toward four goals.

      Goal I: Serve Our Members.

      Provide benefits, programs and services which promote members’ professional growth and quality of life.

      Goal II: Improve Our Profession.

      Promote the highest quality legal education.

      Promote competence, ethical conduct and professionalism.

      Promote pro bono and public service by the legal profession.

      Goal III: Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity.

      Promote full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons.

      Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system.

      Goal IV: Advance the Rule of Law.


      Increase public understanding of and respect for the rule of law, the legal process, and the role of the legal profession at home and throughout the world.

      Hold governments accountable under law.

      Work for just laws, including human rights, and a fair legal process.

      Assure meaningful access to justice for all persons.

      Preserve the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary.


    On September 21, 2017, Yahoo! Finance re-posted a GlobeNewsWire piece labeled "Florida Coastal School of Law receives prestigious HEED Award for diversity." Read this portion below:

    "As the U.S. transitions from a majority Caucasian society to a racial plurality society, the number of diversity initiatives nation-wide grows, and with it, the promise of a more inclusive future.

    Florida Coastal School of Law (Florida Coastal) recently received the 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Florida Coastal as a recipient of the HEED Award based on the institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to support a broad definition of diversity on campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, as well as all others.

    More than 20 years ago, Florida Coastal’s founding leaders’ awareness of the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, coupled with their vision of a future in which lawyers accurately reflected the racial and ethnic diversity of society, inspired the establishment of the Jacksonville-based law school."

    Who cares if the "leaders" of the school are "committed to diversity" - if those students are unable to practice law? How does that improve their career outlook? Sadly, many minorities fall for the bait.

    1. "Diversity" is a euphemism for "blaxploitation".

  11. Pull Uncle Sugar's largess and this place would be history -- FAST!

  12. But Jacksonville FL "needs" a law school to be considered a Great City.

  13. That bar pass rate is shit.

  14. That's impressive. With a 75th percentile lower than the 25th percentile at other schools, the students almost by definition were rejected everywhere else, including powerhouses like Stetson.


    "About Coastal Law

    Founded in 1996, Florida Coastal School of Law (Coastal Law) is an ABA-accredited institution whose culturally diverse students graduate practice-ready through hard work and award-winning, ongoing practical training that is taught by supportive and experienced full-time faculty.

    Coastal Law has been recognized by The National Jurist magazine in its honor roll of best law schools for practical training. Unlike the 65% national law-school average, 100% of our students participate in pro bono legal work prior to graduation – which combined with our other experiential learning opportunities results in over 100,000 hours per year in practical training.

    Coastal Law’s competitive teams are consistent winners and have received individual honors at statewide, regional, and national competitions. We were National Moot Court Champions and have been ranked #1 in the nation for two of the last three years – adding to a decade of success as winners in 25 national competitions. Our Moot Court Honor Board is consistently ranked in the top 10 among all ABA accredited Law Schools.

    Coastal Law serves a student body that is nearly 50% diverse compared to just 13% diversity in the U.S. legal profession. Because of this, our institution is a recipient of the INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

    Thanks in part to our highly skilled faculty, Coastal Law has also been named by The National Jurist as one of the top innovative law schools in the country.

    Coastal Law operates on rolling admissions, and enrollment in our Full-Time JD Program is available in the fall, spring and summer. Regardless of when you start, you will receive the same quality education and curriculum.

    We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to Jacksonville."

    As you can see, the for-profit, fourth tier diploma mill is proud of its diversity achievemenTTTT. By the way, how the hell can you bill yourself as producing “practice-ready” graduates when you consistently pump out classes with pathetic, first-time bar passage rates? Last time I checked, one needed a law license in order to practice.

    Also, no one cares about your supposed Moot Court, i.e. fake court, teams and their supposed “success.” In the end, what matters is how many of your recent graduates end up in decent-paying legal positions. Just look at what this school touts on its website. Those are hallmarks of a low-ranked diploma factory. You don’t see Yale or Harvard talking about their moot court “prowess,” student body diversity, pro bono initiatives, etc. Furthermore, Florida Coa$TTTTal $chool of Law has rolling admi$$ion$. Only a fool would even consider applying to this place.

    1. Usually there is an inverse relationship between the degree to which a school touts its diversity and the degree to which its graduates can pass the bar and find jobs.

  16. "Doesn't/don't do well on standardized tests" is such a bullshit phrase to justify accepting dumbasses into law school. Just think about the most common reasons examines "don't do well on standardized tests."

    1. Anxiety. Okay if that's your problem, your struggles with the SAT, ACT and whatever tests you had to take to get out of high school would have given you a clue. Do some cognitive-behavioral therapy, get on medications or whatever, and try again. But if by the time you apply for law skule you still can't keep your wits about you in stressful you think practicing law is going to be a good career choice? Really?

    2. Problems with reading comprehension. Okay, but having good reading and writing skills is basically a bona-fide requirement for being a competent lawyer. Would you want someone representing you who has trouble with reading or expression? I have a son with dyslexia and he is intelligent in many ways. But he has no business going to law school!

    3. Lack of factual knowledge about the material being tested. Okay, so after 3 years of law school and maybe a review course, you still can't pass the bar? Maybe you're just not smart enough to be a lawyer, and maybe your low LSAT score should have been your sign...

    4. Difficulty with abstract thinking. Well, basically that means you're not very smart. Again, should you be a lawyer?

    So, the main reason examinees do poorly on standardized tests is that they are just not very smart.

    If this dean were talking about students who made good grades at competitive universities in rigorous degree programs, I'd listen. But I doubt that's what's happening here. Low tier law schools are taking anyone with a pulse and it is really hurting the profession and costing this country billions of dollars.


    Don't forget this report from the Florida Times-Union, back on January 27, 2017. It was written by Amanda Williamson, under the headline "Florida Coastal is one of two law schools to fail Department of Education’s gainful employment test." Enjoy this opening:

    "Florida Coastal School of Law flunked a recent report by the Department of Education measuring its graduates’ debt-to-income ratios.

    That means the Jacksonville school, if it fails again next year, could lose access to the federal student loan program — an outcome that would leave a vast majority of its students without a way to pay for their degrees.

    According to Florida Coastal Dean Scott DeVito, the for-profit law school is appealing the department’s results.

    In the meantime, however, school staff says a plan is already in place to raise gainful employment outcomes by next year. That plan includes increased scholarships, increased admission requirements and improved bar preparation courses. “The right course of action is to stay on course,” DeVito said in an email to students.

    The Department of Education introduced an initiative in 2010 designed to keep students from becoming burdened by debt they could not repay due to degrees that often left them struggling to obtain meaningful employment.

    Whether vocational programs at for-profit schools and non-degree programs at community colleges could obtain federal funding became lassoed to this new regulation, called gainful employment. Degree programs fail gainful employment measurements if a typical graduate’s loan payments exceed 20 percent of his or her discretionary income or 8 percent of total earnings.

    The regulations took effect in July 2015, and the department released its first gainful employment report this month.

    Two for-profit law schools failed to meet requirements: Charleston School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law. State universities and non-profit institutions do not fall under gainful employment. Florida Coastal’s debt-to-earnings annual rate was 21.35 percent, and its debt-to-discretionary-income rate was 34.63 percent.

    According to the Department of Education, roughly 85 percent of Florida Coastal students received loans or grants as of spring 2012. That equates to about $76 million in federal direct loans."

    Sadly, many misguided college graduates will sign on the dotted line, to attend this fourth tier cesspool. Yet, the politicians in black dresses consider them "a sophisticated subset of education consumers."

  18. Where is the Department of Justice in all of this? These TTTTToilets are knowingly and deliberately recruiting students who are very unlikely to ever be credentialed as lawyers. The objective of this scam is to defraud the students and the federal government by accepting funds from student loans underwritten by the federal government (federal crime). These schools recruit and accept such students from other states (interstate crime). Mr. Sessions? You hear us Mr. Sessions? Oh, I forgot--he is busy fighting the "War on Drugs!"


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