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Thomas A. Clare, Esq., has sent a letter to a documentary filmmaker, who is working on a film about recent law school graduates:

I write on behalf of my client, The InfiLaw System (“InfiLaw”), regarding your inquiry into
interviews with Florida Coastal School of Law officials for a documentary you are making. I write to caution you as you proceed with fact-finding and information gathering associated with your planned documentary.

Prior reporting on the issues you plan to address, including law school attrition rates and student success, has been plagued by gross misinformation, factual errors, and a general misuse and distortion of available data and analysis. This is especially true as they have been applied to InfiLaw schools such as Florida Coastal. Individuals, such as Paul Campos, have distorted facts and data and engaged in nefarious and inappropriate investigative tactics in order to accomplish a false agenda attacking law school admissions and career advancement policies. As such, I caution you to carefully assess any information and facts you gather from Mr. Campos and any other purported “authorities” on law school success metrics and the risks and rewards of attending law school in this day and age. InfiLaw and its affiliated schools will carefully analyze and assess any statements made about them and will not be afraid to pursue legal recourse to protect its reputation against any false and reckless statements.

In addition, InfiLaw requests that you notify me immediately upon any decisions to include any references to or subject matter about InfiLaw or any of its affiliate schools in your documentary, and provide InfiLaw the opportunity to review and comment on them prior to any public dissemination.

Preparatory to anything else, why do so many lawyers write so atrociously? For instance, what does it mean to say that “individuals have distorted facts and data and engaged in nefarious and inappropriate investigative tactics in order to accomplish a false agenda attacking law school admissions and career advancement policies?”

I mean I get the general idea, which is that I’m supposedly lying about the scamminess of scam outfits like Infilaw, but good grief what prose! Note this and similar verbal atrocities are committed in the course of a one-page letter, which Thomas A. Clare, summa cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, probably charged his clients (which is to say the bill is being paid by Infilaw law students, and ultimately U.S. taxpayers) a couple of thousand bucks to excrete.

Anyway, as to the substance of that charge, two years ago I wrote an article that, among other things, pointed out that the Infilaw schools were slashing admissions standards drastically in order to keep a stream – more like a water cannon — of federal educational loan money flowing into the coffers of Sterling Partners. I predicted this would lead to a collapse in bar passage rates for the graduates of those schools. This is exactly what has since happened:

Bar-passage rates at the InfiLaw schools are now in a free fall. (The following percentages are for first-time takers of the July exam in the schools’ home states.) Florida Coastal’s bar-passage rate has fallen from 76 percent to 59 percent, Charlotte’s has fallen from 78 percent to 47 percent, and Arizona Summit’s has gone from 75 percent to an astonishing 30.6 percent.

This collapse has taken place despite the fact that, according to allegations in a lawsuit filed by a former Arizona Summit administrator, all three schools have been offering money to graduates who the schools identified as being at especially high risk for failure, to get them to hold off on taking the bar exam. Indeed, in July Arizona Summit’s dean confirmed that she had called various graduates the night before the exam, imploring them to consider the “opportunity” to withdraw from the test, in exchange for a $10,000 living stipend, that would be paid to them if they enrolled in enhanced bar-preparation courses provided by the school.

In other words, you might say there’s a trend in the data. For example here’s the bar passage rate for Arizona Summit graduates who are first time takers of the Arizona bar:

2012: 75%
2013: 70.5%
2014: 54.7%
2015: 40.3%
2016: 38.1% (February)

And it’s going to get worse, since over the last three years the Infilaw schools have thrown what little was left of their admissions standards out the window, and of course those victims people haven’t taken the bar yet.

Some other notes and questions:

*A few weeks ago the ABA passed new accreditation standards in regard to bar passage which, if they are actually enforced, will put the Infilaw schools – and quite a few others – out of business.

*My most vociferous critics in the law school world are very fond of threatening to sue people, but they never threaten to sue me. Mysteriously, even though according to their counsel I’ve been egregiously libeling the good folks at Infilaw and Sterling Partners, I’ve never heard from Thomas Clare, et. al., Instead these people direct their energies toward trying to get other people to avoid disseminating the poisonous fruits of my “nefarious and inappropriate investigative tactics.” (Those tactics consist of analyzing publicly-available data and then asking interested parties to comment on them).

*Speaking of libel, is Infilaw libeling me via its consigliere? The claims about me in this letter are false and defamatory, so do I have a cause of action against any or all of:

(a) Infilaw
(b) Sterling Partners
(c) Thomas Clare, and/or Clare Locke, a limited liability corporation?

Please identify the legal ISSUE, state the relevant RULE, provide an APPLICATION, and reach a CONCLUSION.

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