The Department of Education has the authority to extend enrollment requirements for school loan discharges if there are “exceptional circumstances,” which is what should happen for students at the now-shuttered Charlotte School of Law, say a group of North Carolina U.S. Congress members.The letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, dated Oct. 26, is signed by U.S. Reps. Alma Adams, G.K. Butterfield and David Price, the News & Observer reports. All are Democrats, and they ask that students enrolled at the school between December 2016 and August 2017 qualify for a closed school loan discharge. The department in an August Fact Sheet (PDF) stated that the cutoff was April 12, 2017.The council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar announced in November 2016 that the for-profit law school had been placed on probation after it was found that the school was out of compliance with various admissions standards. Charlotte … [Read more...] about Lawmakers ask Dept. of Ed to extend student loan discharge for Charlotte School of Law students
Western state college of law
A federal criminal investigation involving Charlotte School of Law was opened more than a year ago, according to recently unsealed court documents in a qui tam lawsuit. The Orlando U.S. attorney’s office recently opted not to intervene in the case.The lawsuit was filed by Barbara Bernier, a former Charlotte School of Law professor, the Charlotte Observer reports. Her complaint (PDF)—which also names InfiLaw as a defendant and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claims that Charlotte School of Law manipulated bar exam and employment statistics by offering students who seemed unlikely to pass a $5,000 stipend to not take the test.The law school earlier this month announced that it would close, after being placed on probation by the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and losing both its state license and federal aid money.Bernier’s lawsuit also alleges that Charlotte School of Law exploited veterans … [Read more...] about Feds started criminal investigation of Charlotte School of Law, according to civil filing
About 46 percent of accredited law schools are failing to post charts about student scholarships and employment, or are reporting misleading and incomplete data, according to numbers released Wednesday by the group Law School Transparency.The number was even higher, the group says, before it notified law schools about problems it uncovered in an end-of-the-year review, the National Law Journal reports. Law School Transparency initially found that 78 percent of accredited law schools were failing to meet expectations. The percentage continues to drop—from 49 percent on Monday to 46 percent on Wednesday—as schools react to the findings and clean up their statistics.Law School Transparency analyzed the schools’ online data for compliance with new standards set by the ABA’s accrediting arm, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The section’s so-called Standard 509 requires all consumer information released by law schools to be complete, … [Read more...] about About half of law schools post incomplete job and scholarship data, group says; Which did best?
The atmosphere may be tense inside a Columbus, Ohio, auditorium filled with 1,300 law graduates taking the bar exam, but the outside parking lot looks a lot more like a carnival.There, alumni from all but one of the state’s nine law schools have pitched tents where they offer sandwiches, fruit, drinks, chips, cookies and emotional support to test takers on their lunch break, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.The tradition started about five years ago when the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law set up a tent to offer coffee and Tums to nervous test takers. Now the law schools appear to be competing for the best perks. Ohio State University’s law school brought massage chairs, while Case Western Reserve University’s law school brought Bella, an animal shelter rescue dog. “She was a crowd-pleaser, gazing especially lovingly at those holding turkey sandwiches,” the newspaper reports.Ear plugs and aspirin are also popular, the story says. … [Read more...] about Law Schools Offer Food, Massages and Friendly Puppy to Ohio Bar Exam Takers
A private law school in Southern California has been sold to Knowledge Investment Partners, in a transaction with an estimated value of $5 to $10 million. The Swiss-based company already owns seven educational facilities, most located in Europe.For the Western State University College of Law to retain its accreditation status, the school’s continued operation by its new owner must be approved by the American Bar Association and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, according to the Orange County Register. At present WSU is provisionally accredited by the ABA.The move will be a good one for WSU, predicts its outgoing dean, Maryann Jones, who plans to retire soon. “I’m feeling very positive about this,” she says.In recent years, WSU has faced increasing local competition from Whittier Law School and Chapman School of Law, which are ABA-accredited, and a law school is also planned at the University of California at Irvine. … [Read more...] about Calif. Law School Sold to Swiss-Based Educational Company
On June 29, 2017, President Donald Trump made his second group of nominations of prospective United States Attorneys. With the eight lawyers he nominated earlier in June, this group brings the current number of Trump’s United States Attorney nominations to seventeen – around 20% of the total number of positions. The nine lawyers he nominated last week are:Kurt Alme, the President and General Counsel of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation, to be the United States Attorney for the District of Montana.Donald Q. Cochran, a Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law, to be the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.Russell M. Coleman, a member of the Frost Brown Todd law firm, to be the United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.Bart M. Davis, the Majority Leader in the Idaho State Senate since 2002, to be the United States Attorney for the District of Idaho.Halsey B. Frank, an Assistant United States Attorney for the … [Read more...] about Trump Continues Focus on State Prosecutorial Experience in United States Attorney Nominations
In the midst of a four-year drought, when the state had its lowest rainfall ever, California finally established a regulatory regime, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, to control who gets what groundwater.Still in its infancy, the new law won’t have any real effect, California water lawyers say, until 2020 or 2021. Meanwhile, it’s a dangerous pumper-take-all frenzy—if you can find an overbooked driller to actually dig you a well.Lawyers outside the state who specialize in environmental law and water rights are baffled by why it took California so long, when states such as Colorado have had water laws for 150 years, predating the state constitution. Water laws not only vary by state but are also governed by aquifer, groundwater and subsidence districts, as well as other state and county agencies.Even in states where landowners own the water beneath their property, they’re not truly protected, as water does not respect property boundaries. The … [Read more...] about Drought sheds light on the California’s water law deficiencies
Two for-profit law schools are not meeting the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment standard, which measures debt-to-earnings ratios, the agency reported Monday.If Florida Coastal School of Law and Charleston School of Law fail the gainful employment standard again next year, they lose access to federal student aid, the National Law Journal reports.The Infilaw System owns Florida Coastal. Two of its other law schools, Charlotte School of Law and Arizona Summit Law School, were given a “zone” rating by the Department of Education, which means the schools were close to not meeting gainful employment standards, and must pass the gainful employment standard in one of the next four years to stay in good standing.Federal student aid for Charlotte School of Law students is already in jeopardy, after the department in December found that the school made “substantial misrepresentations” to current and prospective students regarding its compliance with … [Read more...] about Department of Education flags 5 law schools’ debt-to-income ratios, including 3 in Infilaw System
David Frakt is a lawyer, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve and a former law professor who has studied the relationship between LSAT scores, undergraduate grades, law school performance and bar passage rates. But he may be better known as the candidate for dean of the Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville (which had a July 2015 first-time bar pass rate of 59.3 percent) who was asked to leave the campus in the middle of his presentation to faculty and staff. He had dared to suggest that the school was risking its accreditation by admitting too many students with little or no chance of ever becoming lawyers.Frakt concedes that some applicants with modest academic qualifications can excel in both law school and practice, but he says there’s a point below which a candidate’s aptitude for legal studies and legal reasoning is highly predictive of failure.“However dedicated and skilled law professors and academic support staff may be,” Frakt … [Read more...] about What do falling bar-passage rates mean for legal education–and the future of the profession?
Brief SummaryThree recent opinions address lawyer mobility between jurisdictions. An opinion from the New York State Bar Committee for Professional Ethics issued a strong plea urging the New York Assembly or the Appellate Divisions to develop rules to address the issue of whether an out-of-state lawyer may serve as in-house counsel for a New York corporation and maintain an office in New York. A federal district court opinion discusses the challenge to New York’s requirement of non-resident New York licensed lawyers (but not resident New York lawyers) to maintain an office in New York. The court found that the restriction could give rise to a challenge under the Comity Clause. In a third case, a long-practicing lawyer from California challenged Utah’s admission policy requiring out-of-state lawyers to have graduated from ABA-accredited law schools. The Utah Supreme Court found that a lawyer’s unblemished record can outweigh the educational accreditation … [Read more...] about Trio of Recent Decisions Address Lawyer Mobility and Further Erode State-Based Jurisdictional Barriers