Law School Closures Mounting
All good things must come to an end, and so do some bad things -- even law schools.
Since the economy began to push down law school enrollments about seven years ago, the impact has trickled down in a series of law school changes and closures. While the pressure has helped some educators find new ways to attract and retain students, others have looked for solutions in all the wrong places.
Lowering admission standards, misleading students, and otherwise reneging on the law school promise, the dross has dropped out. Here's a list of the good, the bad and the ugly in law school changes and closures:
In 2014, Thomas Cooley Law ]School closed its Ann Arbor campus and is now affiliated with Western Michigan University.
In 2015, Hamline Law School merged with William Mitchell College of Law to form Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
In 2016, Indiana Tech Law School closed after only four years with the worst bar pass rate in the state.
In 2017, Whittier Law School announced it will close after posting a 22 percent bar passage rate last year.
The ugly truth is that many more law schools have closed or soon will be. But at the top of the should-close-soon list are:
- Arizona Summit Law School
- Charlotte School of Law
- Florida Coastal School of Law
According to reports, these law schools have taken the low road in the economic downturn. Charlotte, for example, lost its federal funding for student loans and had its accreditation status placed on probation.
InfiLaw Systems, a for-profit company that owns all three schools, apparently is trying to sell them off because they are not so profitable anymore. It hasn't exactly worked out for their students, either.
Charlotte, at the bottom of the class with a 46 percent bar pass rate, is now the subject of an investigation by the state attorney general's office. Officials are concerned that students were lead down the garden path with an average of $50,000 in loan debt each year.
- The Closing of Whittier Law School: A Sign Of Things To Come? (Lawyerist)
- For-Profit Charlotte Law School Is Subject of North Carolina Inquiry (New York Times)
- Struggling For-Profit Law Schools Look for a Way Out (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)