The law school reform movement recorded another small but significant victory today, with the sudden closing of the Charlotte School of Law, just days before the fall semester was scheduled to begin. CSL was one of the three ABA-sanctioned institutions run by Infilaw, a particularly scammy for-profit outfit which I profiled three years ago, in a piece that modesty forbids me from pointing out described exactly how this particular higher ed bust out scheme was being run, and where it was going to end up.
The good news for the school’s
marks victims students is that those of them who remained enrolled to the bitter end, or who withdrew within the last 120 days, will now have their federal educational loans automatically discharged if they don’t transfer to another law school.
One student who transferred to another law school wrote to Above the Law:
Charlotte School of Law has never cared about its students, but the money they brought in. I’m sure their students will learn of its closure through the media. If students get an email, it will probably be later this afternoon.
On a personal note, I have no sympathy for the faculty of Charlotte School of Law. They brought this upon themselves and should be reminded of it. They were all well aware of the school’s problems and were complicit in its downfall with poor curriculum, grading curves, and being fine with accepting and then failing out unqualified students. Charlotte School of Law professors only cared about their jobs and positions, not the welfare of students. I do not wish terrible things on their families, but for all the faculty and staff at Charlotte School of Law, I wish the same fate the students will suffer upon them. I hope they encounter hard choices between a rock and a hard place, massive debt, and extremely poor job prospects as a consequence from coming out of that school.
This means that, after many decades over the course of which dozens of new ABA law schools were approved while none were ever shut down, four ABA law schools have gone out of business in just the last two years: Hamline,* Indiana Tech, Whittier, and now Charlotte (this represents 2% of all ABA schools). It remains to be seen if we are nearing some sort of tipping point, which will cause other university administrators who have been subsidizing money-losing law schools with bad reputations — several dozen ABA schools currently fit this description — to decide that they have been throwing good money after bad.
*Hamline University’s law school technically merged with William Mitchell, a free-standing law school, but since the new school is the same size as William Mitchell was prior to the merger, this in effect allowed Hamline to close its law school while minimizing reputational damage to the university as a whole.