Saturday, August 26, 2017

Charlotte School of Law Gets Around to Notifying Its Students of Closure


https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2017/08/24/confirmed-charlotte-law-winding-down-operations.html

CharloTTTTTe SOL Will Officially Close: On August 23, 2017, the Charlotte Business Journal published a piece from staff write Jennifer Thomas, under the headline “CONFIRMED: Charlotte Law winding down operations, uptown campus to close.” Check out this opening:

“Charlotte School of Law’s days are numbered in uptown.

The embattled for-profit law school is in the process of notifying students, faculty and staff that it is winding down operations.

“Unfortunately, we have to. I don’t think we can avoid that at this point. This is not because we want to, it’s because we have to,”Dean Paul Meggett told the Charlotte Business Journal exclusively.

An exact time table for that to occur has not been finalized, but the fall semester won’t start Monday as scheduled, he adds.

“We’ve got to get our arms around a lot of different things, and we’re really just getting started.”

Charlotte Law’s focus remains on helping the roughly 100 students still enrolled at the law school find a path forward — many of whom still want to continue their education in Charlotte, Meggett says.

He has been dean for two months now, after spending a number of years on the faculty.

Meggett says he continues to field phone calls and emails from law deans across the country who are sympathetic to the school and the students' plight. Efforts are ongoing to match students with those opportunities.

“It’s just without a license we have to tread very lightly. We’re absolutely going to comply with N.C. law, but we want to make sure we are still able to help our students as best we can in this,” he says.

Roughly 20 faculty and staff will be displaced when the school officially closes.

That news comes less than a year after the American Bar Association placed Charlotte Law on probation — though its accreditation still remains in place through Feb. 3, 2018.” [Emphasis mine]

Sadly, many of the existing students at this fifth tier diploma mill will continue their “legal studies” at other in$titution$ happy to take their borrowed money. Then again, what do you expect from those who earned a 145 on the LSAT?

http://abovethelaw.com/2017/08/charlotte-law-finally-gets-around-to-telling-students-the-school-is-closing/?rf=1

Other Coverage: On August 23, 2017, Staci Zaretsky posted an ATL entry labeled “Charlotte Law Finally Gets Around To Telling Students The School Is Closing.” Read this portion:

“A little more than one week ago, word began to spread that the Charlotte School of Law would be closing its doors, “effective immediately.” This disappointing news came not from the law school itself, but from the president of its alumni association. Since that time, there has been no official announcement from the school about its closure — until today.

This morning, Interim Dean Paul Meggett notified students and alumni via email that the school “no longer has a path forward,” and would officially begin winding down its operations. Take a look at what the dean’s parting words were:

Announcement

Paul Meggett

Today, 10:00 AM

Dear CharlotteLaw Community:

We regret to announce that after months of extraordinary effort, Charlotte School of Law no longer has a path forward. On August 11, 2017, the school’s license to offer programs of study in North Carolina expired. Despite negative, often misleading headlines, we vigorously pursued ways to keep the school open and protect the interests of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We are heartbroken that we were unable to achieve the desired outcome. This closure has disrupted the lives of everyone in the CharlotteLaw community, particularly impacting our students’ dreams of achieving their educational and career goals. We are continuing to work diligently to help our remaining students to complete their legal education…

We are proud to have been Charlotte’s law school.

Sincerely,

The Leadership Team of Charlotte School of Law” [Emphasis mine]

Cool approach there. Good luck on the Bad Timing Awards. This email only came eight days after everyone was aware that your for-profit diploma factory was going to close up shop.

Conclusion: In the end, Paul Meggett is not to blame for this late notice. I’m sure that the "leadership team" at InfiLaw and Sterling Partners LLC prohibited the school’s administrators from contacting the students about this TTTTT closure. Hopefully, the affected students will be able to have their loans discharged. However, I expect that most of them will complete their degrees at another ABA-accredited toilet. After all, what’s $170K+ in non-dischargeable debt – for a “dream” of becoming a lawyer?

27 comments:

  1. Yes, you can bet your ass that most of the dolts of Harlotte are scrambling to transfer to some other toilet school, rather than accepting the rare opportunity to saddle the public definitively with the cost of their stupid decision to enroll at Harlotte.

    They'll get their way. Scores of toilet schools will be delighted to take them a few days before, or even after, the start of classes. Transfer students don't show up in the data that You Ass News uses for LSAT and undergraduate GPA, so the law schools can take boatloads of low-performing transfer students without harm to the all-important "ranking".

    The comment about "those who earned a 145 on the LSAT", however, is too generous. Most of the previous (and final) entering class at Harlotte scored below that level. Harlotte is one of the eight law skules with a median LSAT score below 145. (Four others are at 145.)

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  2. Strange that the state pulled Charlotte Law Sewer’s license and the Feds pulled access to student loans. Whenever I read the law professor blogs, they tout “the only peer reviewed study on the subject of lawyer salaries” – Simkovic’s million dollar degree study! They also cite to Brian Lieter’s old blog post that claims solos earn an average of $100k+. Based on that “credible” research, now that Charlotte Law Sewer will no longer be able to churn out hundreds of newly minted JDs per year, the actions of North Carolina and the Federal government will cost the economy billions of dollars.

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    1. The good news is that that might be counteracted by the 20 or so faculty members who will now be able to go out and make it rain. The profs are public servants and they've given up millions over the years to teach law. Now they get to go out and make bank. I can picture it now. Scouring NC trailer parks and meth alleys for big torts and fraud cases, these social justice warriors will do great.

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    2. Do tell me what has become of the hackademic demigods of such exalted institutions as Indiana Tech and Whittier. Where is Dougie Fresh? Lamparello?

      Well, Peter Alexander, who didn't last a year as Indiana Tech's first dean, is temporarily teaching law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, or at least was doing so this time last year (http://ualr.edu/law/faculty/faculty-members/peter-alexander/). He had the course "Research, Writing & Analysis I", traditionally a pink ghetto considered unworthy of the tenure track. Allegedly he suddenly left Indiana Tech out of "a desire to pursue other employment opportunities". Yet that's the best that he could find. Nobody believed back then that he was leaving of his own volition, and nobody believes it now. It seems plain that he got the axe.

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  3. These students don't know how lucky they are. They just might have a shot at getting all kinds of student loan money written off their books while giving future employers a reason why they've been out of the workforce for a while.

    Too bad they'll probably just transfer to some other toilet that will be more than happy to bend them over and screw them even harder.

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  4. I guess that leaves North Carolina Central as the worst law school in the state now.

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  5. The only reason that other schools will take them is that they now that the ABA will never institute reasonable bar passage or employment standards for law schools. So they can take in all the 145 LSAT students as transfers, it won't hit their USNWR stats.

    We need more states like NC with the backbone to say, no, this is in predatory lending with a law school as the middle man.

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  6. Tomorrow is week 2 at my law school. And I'm not going. My heart was never into this.

    I can't handle the boredom. And I just got off the phone to let my parents know. My mother is upset. But I can't handle another day of law school. I'd rather go back to being a barista than do another day of this.

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    1. I wish I had done what you have done, 40 years ago. It is a very hard way to make a mediocre living.

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    2. You are making the right call.

      Don't let pride and ego keep you stuck doing something that you know isn't for you. Like 4:13 above, I wish I would have dropped out and not looked back. Instead, I stuck it out because I'm not a "quitter." Now, I'm barely getting by as a solo practitioner with no real chance of ever landing any sort of decent firm gig. Worse still, my odds of transitioning into some other career now are really poor because everyone thinks I should be some sort of rich lawyer.

      That's the sad reality of losing the law school gamble, and I lost big. Hopefully, you won't have to find this out for yourself.

      You have an undergrad degree and, hopefully, not too much in the way of student loan debt. You are far better off trying to land a job working for your city or state government, and you'll be doing society as a whole a far better service.

      Best wishes to you.

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    3. The person whose "heart was never into this" never should have gone to law school, and probably not to university in general.

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    4. My mom was upset too. So was her mom. So I continued. I graduated in 2013 and never did anything meaningful with my law degree.

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  7. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article169769042.html

    Today, at 11:51 am, the Charlotte Observer featured a Michael Gordon piece entitled “Charlotte School of Law bilked $285 million from taxpayers, former faculty member says.” Take a look:

    “A lawsuit filed by a former professor of Charlotte School of Law accuses the failed school and its corporate owner of defrauding taxpayers out of $285 million by admitting hundreds of unqualified students, then manipulating records to keep them enrolled so the school could collect their government-backed tuition.

    Barbara Bernier says the for-profit school, which closed last week, conspired with its owner, the InfiLaw System, to inflate enrollment and maximize profits. She says Charlotte Law lowered admissions and retention standards while misrepresenting both the state bar exam scores of their graduates and their success in finding jobs, according to a 2016 complaint that became public for the first time this month.

    “The goal of the school has never been focused on education,” said Coleman Watson, Bernier’s Orlando, Fla.-based attorney. “The shareholder tended to be more important than the student body, and that’s why she came forward.”

    Contacted by the Observer, Charlotte Law spokeswoman Victoria Taylor issued a statement that the school “will defend itself vigorously against the allegations in the complaint. Beyond that, we do not intend to comment on pending litigation.”

    This could just be some crap from a bitter former faculty member, but the figure seems pretty specific. Then again, Bernier apparently didn’t speak out about this supposed manipulation while she was teaching those law students.

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    1. Bernier is a "sophisticated employee," capable of sifting through law school data, who knew the risks of working for a low ranked, for-profit law school.

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    2. That bitch didn't have a problem with what was going on until the paychecks stopped coming in.

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    3. Pretty sure that's the EXACT same business model for many, if not all, the not-for-profit shitholes too. It just looks better when regents, trustees, scamdeans and professors get fat checks instead of shareholders and business execs.

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    4. I'd like to see the claim, but it isn't available to the public. Reportedly Bernier is purporting to act in the public interest and wants in exchange for her efforts a percentage of the $285 million.

      She shouldn't get a goddamn penny. She was very much a part of the scam.

      As for the quantum of bilking, it seems to be calculated as 2000 or so students at full tuition (or 4000 at half tuition or whatever). If they borrowed that much, then, yes, the public has effectively been stung for a third of a billion. Lots of luck with wringing that money out of the InfiLaw scamsters. They never should have had access to a plugged nickel from the public coffers. And that goes just as well for their "students".

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  8. Nobody is interested in a middle age lawyer, unless s/he brings in some PAYING clients!

    Makes not one difference the quality of the c.v.

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  9. When is Cooley going to close its doors? I mean, it's the 2nd best law school in the country and all, but the lawyer placement there is still a joke.

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  10. http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/08/charlotte-law-school-closes

    On August 15, 2017, Paul Campos posted a Lawyers, Guns & Money entry labeled “Charlotte Law School Closes.” Here is the man’s take on this for-profit closure:

    “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 piecethat 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.”

    More than any other person, Paul Campos is responsible for these closures. Prior to him, the reform “movement” consisted of several recent law grads and an occasional chart or quick post from an adjunct faculty member.

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  11. It can only be hoped that the now ex-students realize how lucky they are and NOT transfer to another school. Take the loan forgiveness and seek out a new career-any new career-and be thankful you avoided financially ruining your life.

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  12. I have some advice for the unemployed law faculty. They could always move to Nebraska.

    "You might also have to learn to be a giver, not a taker. Givers tend to be happy people."

    http://abovethelaw.com/2011/05/possibly-the-most-hypocritical-commencement-speech-ever/

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  13. https://www.jdjournal.com/2017/01/25/charlotte-school-of-law-official-caught-on-tape-admitting-bar-passage-scheme/?utm_source=MMNA&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=t_17740--dt_20170128-cid_34271-Did_5100190-ad_JDJ~MMNA-logid_[MCTS_CESLOGID

    Back on January 25, 2017, JD Journal featured a Teresa Lo article headlined “Charlotte School of Law Official Caught on Tape Admitting Bar Passage Scheme.” Here is the full text:

    “An explosive new audio leak has shown the tricks Charlotte School of Law did to boost their bar passage rates. The troubled law school was already under scrutiny by the American Bar Association for its low admission standards and a bar passage rate that was just as dismal.

    Charlotte School of Law consistently had the poorest pass rate in North Carolina, and the school’s official passage rate for first-time students on the February 2015 bar exam was listed as 42%. However, damning audio obtained by WFAE showed that the school’s actual rate would have been in the 20s if school administrators hadn’t concocted a way to increase their numbers.

    In a secret recording made by a Charlotte professor in 2015 (click here for the audio), the school’s assistant dean for student success, Odessa Alm, admitted to a group of faculty members that they worked to defer 21 students from taking the test in order to not end up with the horrendous statistic.

    “You know if we didn’t have the extended program last time – if we all didn’t work really hard to defer the 21 people we deferred, our pass rate would have been 20-something percent,” Alm stated on the tape.

    The school allegedly pushed faculty to divert troubled graduates into a deferral program that also paid them almost $11,200. While optimists could say that the intention was to help students in need, many in the legal world see the gesture as trying to hide that the school doesn’t prepare its graduates to actually become working lawyers.

    Former Charlotte School of Law professor Andrew McAdams spoke with the Charlotte Observer about how the school pressured faculty to encourage at-risk students to participate in the Path to Success bar deferral program instead of taking the bar after graduation. He said that he felt uncomfortable giving that advice.

    “I didn’t feel comfortable approaching them, but the expectation was that we would approach them. And I felt like if this is something we’re doing, I think for transparency purposes, it should be documented and we should be able to communicate, this is what it is,” McAdams said.

    While this recording is shocking, the school has been battling a poor reputation for quite some time. Charlotte School of Law is a for-profit university owned by the Infilaw Law School System, which The Atlantic called a “scam” and “predatory.”

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  14. Here is the conclusion of that piece:

    “[InfiLaw School officials] are now admitting huge numbers of students with credentials including lower LSAT scores and GPAs that would have barred them from getting into these schools three years ago,” The Atlantic wrote in 2015. “The admissions process at the InfiLaw schools is now close to a fully open-enrollment system, that inevitably matriculates many people who have little chance of ever passing a bar exam.”

    Earlier this month, the Department of Education said that the school’s students would no longer be eligible to receive federal student loans because of its performance issues. In November, the ABA placed Charlotte on probation because it was not compliant with ABA standards.

    When asked about the leaked tape, Charlotte School of Law stated that the topic is dealing with pending litigation so they could not comment. The school is facing a class action lawsuit brought on by students who said they were misled into enrolling.”

    Listen to the audio, when you have the chance. It is sickening, and it is 37 minutes and 35 seconds in length. You will see how these pigs view their students. There is plenty of exlicit language in that recording. You will also note the mocking tone used. Odessa Alm sees her students as lazy morons and liars who can barely tie their shoelaces. If that is the case, then she needs to recognize that the administrators of this for-profit cesspit admitted them – and gladly took their borrowed money. If nothing else, Alm is passionate about workshops.

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  15. http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/feds_started_criminal_investigation_of_charlotte_school_of_law_according_to

    Apparently there is an ongoing Federal criminal investigation into Charlotte Law Sewer and the Infilaw seamsters.

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