For-Profit Law Schools for Sale?

By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 29, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Amidst reports of falling educational standards and profits, three for-profit law schools are reaching out for help and may be headed to a fire sale.

InfiLaw Systems -- which operates Arizona Summit Law School, Florida Coastal School of Law and Charlotte School of Law -- is reportedly taking steps to sell the law schools. All three have announced plans to join other educational institutions after failing American Bar Association standards.

Charlotte, which lost its federal funding for student loans, also lost more than a third of its faculty and students because of the educational debacle. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Charlotte covered up its failure to prepare students for the bar exam.

Investment Strategy

Joining other universities or colleges may signal the end of the for-profit schools, according to some observers. David Mulligan, an educational consultant, told the ABA Journal that InfiLaw's partners are trying to keep the schools going so they can sell them.

"My guess is that they can't just turn this over; they will have to go through a process to salvage their investment, and this is the first step," he said.

David Frakt, who was a candidate for dean at Florida Coastal, said InfiLaw has always been about profits. When he presented his concerns to the faculty and administrators in 2014, Frakt said profits were driving lower admissions standards.

"It was very obvious to me that the schools were headed to a disaster, because they were forced to admit hundreds of unqualified applicants with little to no chance of success," he said.

I Told You, No

Frakt never finished his presentation because the school president stopped him on the spot. Frakt explained it later in detail on the Faculty Lounge.

But rumors about the death of the for-profit schools were hardly exaggerated. The New York Times and Forbes, which called for-profits a "law school scam," laid out the schools' stories of failures, including high tuition, low admission standards, and even lower bar pass rates.

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