Last August, the Charlotte School of Law officially went under, despite assurances from school officials and InfiLaw bigwigs that things were under control. Lawsuits continue to pour in from former students claiming they were lured in and victimized by false promises of success.
Just two years earlier, the Charleston (S.C.) School of Law was all but condemned. Tenured professors were fired, and talks of the school selling out to InfiLaw — the cash-cow consortium that owned now-defunct Charlotte and currently owns two other low-ranked, for-profit, schools — were rampant.
But that plan, backed by the school’s owners, fizzled amid much backlash from Charleston faculty and students. Typically, near-mutiny is not a good thing. Here, however, it may have saved the ship. According to the latest reports, Charleston is off the Department of Education’s “naughty list,” has healthy enrollment numbers, and is working toward becoming a nonprofit school.
Meanwhile, back at the InfiLaw ranch, another one of its entities is in hot — boiling — water with the American Bar Association. Failing to meet all sorts of standards, Charlotte shut down its operation back in August. Now, Arizona Summit Law School, already in critical condition for violating the same admissions and educational standards that caused Charlotte’s demise, is approaching life-support status.
The ABA recently informed the school that it is out of compliance with another standard, this one having to do with financial resources. The legal blog Above The Law called it a bad look for a probationer school to be found noncompliant with even more standards. But ATL reports that the school’s president, Donald Lively, is in good spirits.
Lively told the ABA Journal that the school has completed a second multimillion dollar capital raise and has “reduced cost structure commensurate with plans to maintain a substantially downsized school.”
Well, closed is downsized.
Though speculation about Arizona Summit’s closing might be premature, the narrative is certainly familiar, nearly echoing the everything-is-fine, nothing-to-see-here speeches Charlotte officials gave before abruptly boarding the school’s windows and changing the locks.
InfiLaw’s third school, Florida Coastal, was recently informed by the ABA that it too is out of compliance with several standards.
So, while Charleston Law appears to be enjoying sunnier weather these days, one can only imagine what ship-sinking storms would’ve followed InfiLaw up from its Florida headquarters.
If anyone there is unclear what tragedies might have befallen the young institution, a quick glance at Charlotte’s fate and the current state of InfiLaw’s other property’s might provide some clarity.