Home / General / Law school owners pocket $25 million in profits, won’t pay $21,000 for commencement reception

Law school owners pocket $25 million in profits, won’t pay $21,000 for commencement reception

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It was a fundamental principle of the Gradgrind philosophy that everything was to be paid for. Nobody was ever on any account to give anybody anything, or render anybody help without purchase. Gratitude was to be abolished, and the virtues springing from it were not to be. Every inch of the existence of mankind, from birth to death, was to be a bargain across a counter. And if we didn’t get to Heaven that way, it was not a politico-economical place, and we had no business there.

The Charleston School of Law, a for-profit ABA-approved school in South Carolina, appears to be on its last legs, as the the two men who own the school have announced they might not enroll an incoming class this fall.

As a parting gift to the students who have paid these gentlemen tens of millions of dollars over the last three years, George Kosko and Robert Carr have decided they aren’t going to pony up for a commencement reception this week:

If Charleston School of Law’s newest graduates want better than Ramen noodles at their commencement reception, they and their friends are going to have to pay for it.

The troubled law school’s two-member board cut the traditional post-commencement reception from its budget this year — despite pulling in $25 million in profit from the school between 2010 and 2013. The move has pushed student and alumni groups to take up a collection to cover the cost, said Matt Kelly, president of the Student Bar Association.

He and others, through Dean Andy Abrams, have asked board members and owners George Kosko and Robert Carr to reconsider holding the reception, which last year cost $21,000. “We’ve given them two weeks to stand up and do the right thing, but they haven’t,” Kelly said.

The law school is holding it’s commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon at The Citadel’s McAlister Field House. The event usually is followed by an outdoor reception for the graduates and their families and friends, Kelly said.

His group, along with the school’s alumni association and the Charleston County Bar Association’s student division, expect to raise about $6,000 for a simple reception after the commencement ceremony.

Tuition at the law school this year is $39,096, and many students borrow more than a $100,000 in student loans to pay for their law degrees.

More precisely, the 85% of Charleston’s 2014 graduating class that took out law school loans took out an average of $147,000 in such loans, which means that, with interest accrual and origination fees, they had an average of about $170,000 in law school debt alone this past November, when those loans began to become due.

Also, less than half the class got any kind of law job, and nobody got a good one.

At least they got a reception.

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