Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Post by a Former Charlotte Law Prof, Part II: How Charlotte Law Treated its Students.




[This is the second of a two-post series on InfiLaw-owned Charlotte School of Law, written by a former law professor there. The first post concerned the treatment of faculty and staff. This post concerns the treatment of students.]

To increase student body size, the school has been dropping its admission standards even more. It is now possible for students who scored in the 10-20 percentile on the LSAT to get in. The school also expects its faculty to make marketing calls to accepted students in order to entice them. The staff prepares special key-point tip sheets for faculty to discuss during such calls. These tips are filled with exaggerations and lies (such as making students believe that they can obtain employment at reputable firms or international organizations). Most of the students who scored at the bottom of the admitted pool lack basic reading and writing skills, and so are required to take a pre-1L program to make them able to participate in actual classes.

I have taught several students with special needs and developmental disabilities. The school admits almost anyone, but special needs of such students are never acknowledged and they are not provided appropriate help.

The school goes out of its way to discourage and prevent students from transferring out. Not only does the new curriculum impede it, but faculty is also instructed to make the transfer process for students as hard as possible. Faculty is told explicitly to discourage transfers, and to instruct students interested in transferring to meet with school administrators before proceeding. Those meetings are designed to discourage the students from transferring, and to present them with more lies about why Charlotte Law is the best choice for their tuition money.

Some students who are admitted are not only academically challenged and have personality disorders, but are also dangerous. I know of three male students who had physically threatened several faculty members or made them so uncomfortable that the faculty members would refuse to meet with them alone in their offices. Several other students had acted inappropriately and violently in class. Yet not a single one was dismissed or suspended due to such behavior. At Charlotte Law, it is all about the tuition money coming in!

Although some faculty members are talented and care about their students, many are utterly incompetent, arrogant, and disrespectful, and some are even mentally unstable. Frequent faculty conversations reveal how many of them do not respect their students; some even feel contempt for them. Numerous faculty members do not know basic rules of citation (electing to cite at the end of each paragraph instead of after every single sentence, even if citing to the same source throughout the paragraph). 

Many overwhelm their students with powerpoints, handouts, and a constant flood of assignments instead of focusing on teaching core subjects. Also, all doctrinal classes must include midterm exams in addition to finals. This interferes with the ability to have a flow of teaching during the semester, and causes the students unnecessary stress. Many professors do not know how to write or spell properly, and many are teaching courses that have nothing to do with their experience or teaching interests. Hence, they simply regurgitate casebooks. Some are known to simply read aloud large portions of casebooks in class instead of actually teaching. Many lack basic common intelligence, as well as basic social skills. Even more astounding is the high level of emotional disturbance or mental problems among them: A faculty member has thrown her shoes, during lectures, at students who had displeased her.

From what I have heard, the situation is even worse at Florida Coastal and Phoenix, as well as at other for-profit schools InfiLaw is contemplating buying in the near future...

113 comments:

  1. *yawn* It's the same story across most of higher ed. Anyone who attended a university has seen this kind of stuff. Where's the REAL dirt???

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    1. Public schools now "mainstream" the special needs kids by sticking them into regular classrooms where they learn nothing and their presence often has a negative impact on everyone else's education, But go to your local Board of Education meeting and suggest that they mainstream those same kids onto the varsity sports teams and see what reaction you get.

      The only place left where American public education will tolerate meritocracy is sports, and more and more colleges, universities and (now apparently) law schools are drifting in that direction in search of cash flow. Seems like only elite colleges and private grade/high schools are still safe.

      Delete
    2. Quite true, 8:07.

      When are the law skules going to create varsity football teams and such? Maybe "Halfback for the Indiana Tech Ninnyhammers" will get some attention on a CV in the dipshit U$A.

      Old Guy

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    3. THIS INFORMATION IS TRUE about Charlotte Law!
      Sociable Professor -
      My LP professor was not sociable at all.
      Professionalism -
      Prof. did not have office hours, he met students at Dunkin doughnuts (away from campus) to discuss their papers and offer assistance. He could ONLY meet with students before he goes to his "regular" job in the AM, during his lunch break, or after work. I complained about him to the Associate Dean and the school addressed the issue.
      Assistance -
      I did not receive the help I had been asking of the Prof. since the beginning of the semester until the end of the semester. I ultimately failed his class. Nevertheless, he NEVER mentioned how to take law school exams, etc..Legal writing????? This was a joke!
      Communication -
      Prof. sent an email to all of his students after finals that he would see ALL of them next semester, without seeing final grades. Some failed his class.

      I feel like this school is ONLY a cash cow. Sad faces. I do not want anyone else to have this experience.

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  2. "The staff prepares special key-point tip sheets for faculty to discuss during such calls. These tips are filled with exaggerations and lies (such as making students believe that they can obtain employment at reputable firms or international organizations). "
    Anonymous professor - please leak a sheet to Outside the Law School Scam.

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  3. The ABA, the federal government, or the state should strip this institution of its accreditation immediately.

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    1. I hold the ABA in utter contempt for a variety of reasons, but on this one I will come to their defense. The gubmint has abdicated to them the task of accrediting law schools, even though the several states, DC, Territories, Commonwealths, Insular Possessions, etc. still regulate bar admission. It worked O.K. until the anti-trust goons at the USDOJ accused them of anti-competitive practices when they balked at accrediting jokes like the Infilaw schools. If they crack down now they and not the gubmint will bear the cost of getting sued by Infilaw, and they can also expect a colonoscopy from USDOJ which may or may not go after them, too. The real genius of Infilaw's scam is their trumpeting their willingness to help those who are "traditionally under-represented." Mess with us and you're a racist.

      And the gubmint gets to take the coward's way out. "Hey, they flunked the test, not our fault, and OBTW, we're exempt from anti-trust laws." No skin off their back if people's lives are being ruined.

      The ABA's smartest move would be to say they will no longer do any accrediting - let the gubmint clean up its own mess.

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    2. You can't blame the USDOJ anymore.

      Things have changed so drastically over the past 5 years that the ABA can certainly take steps to safeguard entry into the profession. Consider the near 40% drop in law school applications AND the rather dramatic drop in median LSAT scores--this is a total change in the landscape, relative to when the anti-trust goons got involved years ago.

      At very least, the ABA could have NOT allowed law schools to admit up to 10% of new students without LSATs.

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    3. They should be shut down!

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  4. What percent of the incoming students do you think will pass the bar, if any?

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    1. Better late than never, yes? In answer to your question, the bar pass rate that Charlotte Law claims to have is corrupted by the fact that the school discourages students in the bottom half of its classes from taking the bar in the first place! So the pass rate hovering near 60% is 60% of the students who TOOK the bar; it would be closer to 35-40% of the actual class.

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  5. Charlotte...where the students are really special.

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  6. Now for the real meat. I'm surprised that any professor was even aware of how students are treated at Charlotte, but I welcome this former professor's insights and information. I see more concern, conscience, and courage here than in any law review article I've ever read. And I've read lots of "brilliant" articles that didn't say anything, and more importantly didn't help anyone but the author.

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  7. In the last OP, this anonymous former professor lamented the opportunities for scholarly writing atCharlotte , stating that classes or admin consumed a significant amount of the time, and that at Charlotte Law, "[s]cholarship is ignored or even actively discouraged." Notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of legal scholarship disgorged into the too-numerous law journals by ill-trained and inexperienced 3L's is quite rightfully ignored and most should have been discouraged from the get-go, in this post we further learn that:

    "Numerous faculty members do not know basic rules of citation..."

    and

    "Many professors do not know how to write or spell properly, and many are teaching courses that have nothing to do with their experience or teaching interests."

    and

    "...many [faculty members] are utterly incompetent, arrogant, and disrespectful, and some are even mentally unstable."

    So, tell me again why should these people be given an opportunity for "scholarly" writing? When you are working at Micky D's, why would you think you'll get to cook a beouf bourguignon? The real problem is that the students are paying for a beouf bourguignon but eating a big mac. And this anonymous former Charlotte Law professor doesn't even mention the actual and comparative cost of tuition.



    ReplyDelete
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    1. Mentally unstable people shouldn't be allowed to teach students, period. And no one should be overpaid for teaching on the flimsy pretext that they might publish a few articles later. But legal academia has over the past 40 years been transformed into an idle and dissolute game. The professors need outrageous ideas to talk about at their parties, banquets, and conferences,. As a consequence, the degenerate publications of pretenders like Brian Leiter are actually treated as serious scholarship by many of his colleagues. In reality, those publications are merely diversion and entertainment for a jaded pack of academic parasites.

      Few of Leiter's protégés and imitators have anywhere near his talent at playing idle semi-intellectual games, yet they too benefit from the current mania for freakish and titillating ideas. Such ideas often help idle professors to quiet their consciences and kill their boredom. As a consequence, the lower-tier deans who control the ABA have to worship the pretense of "scholarship" in order to purchase the silence of their more intellectual colleagues. That's why few law professors, even at the best schools, are willing to challenge the bloated enrollments, inflated tuitions, and economic worthlessness of the lower schools. It's a mutual exchange of pretense in which everyone has to agree that "scholarship" of any quality is extremely important. When it doesn't even get written, everyone still has to pretend that it's a noble ideal that justifies enormous salaries for very little work.

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    2. Good post, 10:12 AM. Interesting point about the top-tier + bottom-tier symbiosis.

      Delete
  8. How can this be repaired? To me, it just doesn't seem as though it can or will. This is what the profession of law tolerates as it appears that this conduct and these standards will continue or worsen. The bigger issue is that law can be a very serious business with very serious ramifications but yet the preparation for its practice starts as a circus only fueled by the seemingly endless government money being poured into it.

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    1. This deplorable situation can be repaired by informing potential students about the miserable outcomes at law schools like Charlotte. This is on top if the unconscionable tuition and enormous debt that accompany the nearly worthless Charlotte degree.

      Until that lovely, innocent dog named Charlotte has more social prestige than the Charlotte deans and professors, our work is still unfinished.

      Delete
  9. I wonder if any of those students accomplished the feat of getting into law school without answering a single logic game question correctly on the LSAT.

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    1. Even haphazard guessing should result on average in four or five correct answers in that section. Getting every question wrong would take some doing. I could pull it off—by figuring out all of the correct answers and then spending the remaining seven or eight minutes recording incorrect ones.

      Old Guy

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  10. Even the ~50% of these folks that pass the bar, how could they possibly hope to get a decent job? The legal job markets in AZ, NC, and FL are already glutted with unemployed grads from better schools.

    Ironically, the infilaw schools may be less vulnerable to the decline in applicants than the mid-range TT and TTT schools because the type of students infilaw admits are not informed or educated enough to realize that law school is a bad bet.

    An infilaw degree may actually have negative value, aside from its cost - it's like a scarlet letter. Imagine this, as a prospective law student: an infilaw school offers you a full ride scholarship + living expense stipend, no strings attached. Would you accept?

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    1. No I wouldn't accept. Law degrees will close doors for grads. That is the most surprising thing to me. I always thought more education was better but not in the case of a law degree. I guess having a felony conviction would be worse but not by much.

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  11. "A faculty member has thrown her shoes, during lectures, at students who had displeased her."

    I see Infilaw, Inc. employs mentally unstable faculty who attended the Nikita Khrushchev School of Diplomacy where they teach you how to employ shoes to get your point across.

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    1. Does that mean that I get to put the business end of my size 13E steel-toed boot up the dean's ass?

      Old Guy

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    2. Old Guy, I love your comments.

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    3. I was in the shoe throwing class. In the professor's defense, it was a croc, but she was out of line. I heard later that she was diagnosed with Lyme and has since received treatment. However, I do take exception to some of the statements in the above article- there have been multiple student expulsions for inappropriate conduct towards both other students and professors. In addition, something like 20% of the section I started in (2012) transferred to other law schools- Georgetown, Kentucky, and Dayton among others. In fact I think that most of the scholarship students who were not Charlotte residents transferred out after our 1L year. The low bar pass rate matches up nicely with the LSAT scores and the racial composition of the school. No one likes to discuss the fact that the bar pass rates for minorities, especially female minorities, is very low. My section was roughly 1/3 African American females so I anticipate that when we take the bar the bar the pass rate will be roughly 60%. I went there because I lived in Charlotte and it was nearly free due to my scholarship. I would not recommend it to anyone who was going to pay or who didn't already live there, but it has worked out for me.

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  12. The people who write these blogs are idiots. Every law school makes a profit. The situation at the Infilaw schools isn't much different than anywhere else. And no law school guarantees anyone a job. You go to school to get an education, not a job. If someone with a low LSAT score still wants to go to law school, who are you to say they can't go? I agree the government shouldn't be giving out student loans to people who will likely never be able to repay them. But the rest of this is complete b.s.

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    1. Well buddy, without student loan proceeds from people who won't be able to repay them, Charlotte would go out of business. And I'm saying that if Charlotte School of Law doesn't exist, then people can't go there. Who am I to say that? A person who learned about economics, statistics, and logic. Not at an inferior law school, either.

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    2. Are you saying that Charlotte treats its students well? That it's a safe, pleasant, and interesting place to go to law school? If you're not, then going there just to prove that no one can tell you not to go is a mighty poor reason to incur $200,000 in debt. Try reading about bankruptcy law to find out what "non-dischargeable" means.

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    3. You go to school to get an education AND a job. Many schools provide neither.

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    4. "You go to school to get an education, not a job."

      You go to a specialized professional school to get professional training, which has historically meant that you are well-positioned for professional employment or to start a practice in said profession. A professional education without corresponding opportunity is as worthless as 2:16's brain cells.

      "If someone with a low LSAT score still wants to go to law school, who are you to say they can't go?"

      A practicing attorney who gives a shit.

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    5. I went to law school to get a job. I make no bones about that. Why else would I have gone there? For the "education" allegedly dispensed by overpaid, head-up-the-ass hackademic scribblers?

      Though I lived to twice Methuselah's age, I would never have gone anywhere near a law school for the sake of seeking "education" there. Education doesn't come from an institution; it comes from one's own efforts.

      Old Guy

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    6. Thank you Old Guy. This "magic of education" bullshit has gone on too long, and is not just leading people to dead-ends, but causing extreme financial hardship. School is a tool, not a religion, and it is time to put it back in it's place.

      Delete
  13. Isn't this the Walmart of law schools?

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    1. It's too expensive for that. When did Wal*Mart ever do a leveraged buyout?

      I think Arkansas is the Wal*Mart of law schools.

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    2. At least Wal-Fart will give you a free parking space. That's more than can be said for Charlotte's Web of Lies.

      Old Guy

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    3. LST says University of Arkansas Law School costs are as follows:

      Non-Resident Tuition & Fees: $27,147
      Resident Tuition: $13,353
      Cost of Living: Little Rock, AR $17,217

      (27,147 + 17,217) x 3 years = out of state Cost of Attendance = $133,092
      (13,353 + 17,217) x 3 years = in state Cost of Attendance = $91,710

      That doesn't look like Walmart prices to me.

      We need a University of Walmart with a Walton School of Law. We need cut rate tuition and living costs of 10,000/year each, making a JD cost $60,000. Heck, this school can even compete with all the other non-T14 law schools to attract the students with the best grades. UW could even open a campus in every state.

      This would destroy the law school scam and higher ed as we know it. A true Walmart-style university/law school would be awesome.

      Can someone do a kickstarter for this idea?

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    4. Out-of-state tuition is totally irrelevant here. Wal-Marts are for local people. Anyone who drives a thousand miles just to shop at Wal-Mart is a fool. So is a student paying non-resident tuition at Arkansas.

      Delete
  14. As a CSL graduate, I can't argue with most of what I'm seeing either in the blog post or the comments. However, I would argue that CSL is really two distinct schools-the day program, and the part-time evening program. I'd point out three things: 1) CSL offers the only part-time evening program within reasonable driving distance in the Columbia, SC/Charlotte, NC corridor (measured as being able to leave work at no later than 4:00 and be sitting in class by 6:00), and 2) the students and faculty in the evening program are typcialy working professionals, and 3) the part-time evening program graduates have out-performed the daytime graduates as first-time test takers on the NC bar exam. The majority of us who enrolled in late 2009-early 2011 had above-average GPAs and LSAT scores, as CSL was still working towards full accreditation. Many of us were in our 30's or 40's, and some were even older, including a police Captain who was planning on retiring upon graduation and beginning his second career as an attorney. Many of us already had good paying day jobs but were stuck in front-line or middle management, or as paralegals. We understood that CSL was our only shot at a JD from an accredited school and a law license. Many of us also had mortgages, kids, and no way to put it all on hold for 3 years to move to Raleigh, Durham, or Campbell for 3 years to be "traditional" students. Many Fortune 500 companies such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Ingersoll Rand, and Duke Energy were represented, as well as paralegals from firms such as Parker Poe and Winston Strawn, along with dozens of local PI, immigration, bankruptcy, Social Security, and employment law firms. There were also a LOT of active duty police officers, and even two magistrates and a Clerk of Court. There were some outstanding great faculty; I had a sitting Superior Court Justice for Advanced Evidence, an active Mecklenburg County Prosecutor for NC Sentencing, and an active Federal Public Defense Attorney for Criminal Law. I have many classmates who have gone on to in-house counsel positions with the same companies they worked for during law school, and I have been promoted twice and seen my salary increase over 20% since graduating in May 2014. I didn't sit for the bar this past July because I've been so busy leading projects at work (came with the promotions), but time to study has been baked in to my personal development plan for 2015. Once I have my license, I'll be eligible for in-house counsel positions, or can continue climbing the leadership ladder in regulatory compliance. The debt is a huge weight on my finances, but with the income based repayment programs available it's manageable. I call it my "invisible vacation home", as the entire load (including undergrad and accrued interest) would have bought me a decent cabin or beach condo in the NC mountains or the Grand Strand in SC. I'm still in my early 40's, and if my career trajectory continues I'll be able to pay off the loans and still make more in my working years than I ever would have if I had gone with an MBA (also very expensive through the area part-time evening programs or online, and I have peers who went that route who aren't as comptetitive for the risk/compliance jobs that are hot right now, and who can't compete for the in-house counsel jobs at all). CSL is still a horrible option financially, costing as much as Duke or Wake Forest but without anything close to their prestige or networks, and twice as much as better quality schools like Chapel Hill or Campbell. But please don't lump the evening students in with the day students. I took a semester of morning classes to accomodate my work schedule, and it was almost like going to an entirely different school. Every negative report you've seen about both the students and faculty are entirely true.

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    1. Thanks very much for your post. It is good to hear the inside story from a Charlotte student.

      I have always argued that state law schools should be required by their respective legislatures to have a part-time night program. The raison d'etre behind state law schools is to educate lawyers for the residents of that state and it should be incumbent on these alw schools to ensure that law school is accesssible as possible by having options for scheduling flexibility. We have to stop pretending that it is in any way desirable or practical to have people who want to be lawyers to put their careers on hold for three years.

      The problems that most law schools would have with creating night programs are two-fold; (1) ABA mandated requirements, and (2) the law faculty simply do not want to teach at night. Business schools have really succeeded in creating all sorts of MBA flexible programs and it's hard to find a business college that doesn't offer an MBA at night, on the weekends, or with some sort of compressed schedule. Business schools can do this because there is a contingent of non-tenured faculty who get paid more to teach classes on the weekends or at night. At law schools where the entire faculty is tenured or on a tenure-track, there is no financial motivation to teach courses at these otherwise inconvenient times as there would not be any additional salary. Thus, law schools like Charlotte and other for-profit schools rus in to fill this gap. Traditional law faculty can bitch about the quality of these schools and feel all superior, but to a large extent, it is because traditional law schools are not providing the necessary scheduling flexibility that allows these Infi-law schools to enter the market.

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    2. 3:14, congratulations. I hope that things continue to work out for you, as I certainly understand about being in your 40's, stuck in front-line or middle-managment jobs, and looking for something other than an MBA. Plus family, kids, mortgage, etc. Sounds like it has conferred something in your current career.

      That said, I still recommed that non-trads stay away from the JD. I have enjoyed some "success" also, but at significant cost to the point that it really wasn't worth it. I think you are one of the few positive stories in a sea of despair, for both K-JD and non-trad alike, although I'm sure not every day is peaches and cream.

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    3. It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that you made the right decision. I think that in about a year you will go full scam blog.

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    4. I went to night school also in the eighties. I was accepted by top tier schools but chose this what would be classified than a third tier school because it allowed me to keep my day job. The people in my night school were top rate. Smart ambitious. Engineers, doctors, homicide detectives. I decided to go full time day school my last year and it was culture shock. I was in class with know nothing, mediocre children instead of savvy professionals. Big mistake to go full time. It was true culture shock.

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    5. I also went to night law school at a second-tier state school. I was in my early 30s and most people in that program were my age or older. Many did indeed continue their careers but wanted a JD too. (It was in the 90s and early 00s when that could be more helpful in some careers than is likely the case today. We had doctors, cops, engineers, business executives, architects, etc.) I just remember only one somewhat dim person who didn't really know why she was there. Everyone else was quite intelligent and easy to get along with.

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    6. Actually, @3:14's story is a version of oft-repeated advice on OTLSS: One of the very few circumstances under which anyone should attend law school nowadays is having a job lined up in advance. And while I wish 3:14 continued success I have recently seen a couple of very good lawyers in their fifties get whacked by corporations they served long and well after management changes and they have no options except solo practice.

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    7. Imagining The Open ToadSeptember 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      7:21 AM - nah, he'll be fine in compliance and also has a possible entree into the corporate legal dept.

      8:24 BamBam - sounds like I went to LS with you. One of the docs I remember was a G-U surgeon who joked that he wanted to become an MD-JD just so he could stop paying his patent attorney too much to patent his new surgical device inventions. He said this in the presence of the adjunct patent law prof (who also taught patent law at the two T1s in the area and at the local private TTT), who laughed his butt off at the remark. Took me a while to get the entire joke - the adjunct's firm had been handling the surgeon's patent work for years.

      I went full time but attended both day- and evening-section classes so I could continue working the day job. There was no detectable difference in intelligence levels between the two, but on the whole the part-timers were older and more experienced.

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  15. So is it also BS to point out that InfiLaw has recapitalized its schools at least once, meaning it has to either charge higher tuition or lower its already low quality to make payments on the increased debt? This is not money borrowed to build buildings, mind you. It's money borrowed to make extra payouts to the private equity investors.

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  16. I'd like to know if faculty are also "encouraged" to troll legal blogs and news sites to post comments about how scambloggers are nothing more than a small circle of embittered losers and how graduate X of TTTT Y went on to a successful career as a lawyer/politician/CEO/sports agent.

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    1. Frankly, I'd love to see any success stories from that school. I doubt if there are many, since Charlotte (the school, not the dog) wasn't around when that type of outcome was still possible from a fifth-tier hellhole.

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    2. Successful graduates?

      Let's look at inputs for a minute. The median LSAT score there is 146. That's below the 30th percentile. How many silk purses do you expect to emerge from that heap of sows' ears?

      Old Guy

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  17. Interesting link: http://www.slideshare.net/plimptoncrew3/dress-code-opinion-article

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    1. Oh, dear. Maybe I just went to LS too long ago, but I would categorize most of what my classmates wore as generally between smart casual and business casual.

      Might be interesting if one of the bloggers here reached out (as "OTLSS") to the author to ask him how the letter was received, and if any of his fellow students followed his advice.

      I suspect not. I also suspect he might not be too happy to correspond with you, though, as he seems to have some pride in his school.

      I'm also guessing he's one of the few who's going to land on his feet after graduation. Hopefully he didn't go too deeply into debt...

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  18. Charlotte's web still reads "SOME PIG".

    Old Guy

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  19. Curious about the students with developmental disabilities and the obligatory remedial program, I went to this toilet's Web site and found this:

    http://www.charlottelaw.edu/admissions/aample

    "The Alternative Admission Model Program for Legal Education (AAMPLE® ) offers determined individuals—whose outright admission to law school is questionable based on traditional applicant criteria—the opportunity to earn a place in the classroom." In other words, if your LSAT score is so frightfully low that even Charlotte's Web would be embarrassed to ensnare you, you get a shot at redemption through a couple of remedial classes on the Fourth Amendment and negotiable instruments. The latter is especially important: after all, you have to know how to sign a check over to Charlotte's Web.

    There's also this gem:

    http://www.charlottelaw.edu/academics/academic-success

    The special training includes such advanced subject matter as "Reading with focus" (what other sort of reading is there?) and "Multiple choice skills" (evidently meaning the "skill" of faking or cheating one's way through a multiple-choice exam).

    This training is offered as "specialized instruction tailored to mastering the skills necessary to excel in law school and in eventual practice". When does a practitioner ever have to take a multiple-choice test? Maybe at some dumb CLE seminar. That's about it.

    And this dump actually gives academic credit for bar review:

    http://www.charlottelaw.edu/academics/bar-exam-preparation

    Old Guy

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  20. At Charlotte Law "School," the pigs don't need someone looking out for them. After all, they are getting fat on students and taxpayers.

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  21. Coastal Prof Post Part 1

    I taught at Florida Coastal for several years. The post about Charlotte School of Law applies equally to Florida Coastal. Prior to January 2013 (around the time it became somewhat clear that there would be a large drop in law school enrollments) it was somewhat like teaching at a real law school (I emphasize somewhat). Things began to change in January 2013, when the law school's Infilaw controlled "administration" asked faculty to teach overload classes for no compensation. In April or May of 2013, things got worse and dramatic changes occurred. Peter Goplerud, the former dean of the school, abruptly announced that he was leaving his position for some other position at Infilaw, the entity that owns Florida Coastal, Charlotte School of Law and another law school in Phoenix, AZ. Around that time, Chidi Ogene, who had been in-house counsel at Infilaw, was appointed the Dean of Florida Coastal. As soon as he became Dean, he summoned about 14 faculty members to his office (on an individual basis) and told them that the board of the school "was prepared" to declare a RIF (reduction in force). Under the then-effective version of the Florida Coastal Faculty Handbook, a RIF was basically the only way to lay-off a faculty member (other than a firing for cause). Under the terms of the Faculty Handbook, in order to declare a RIF, there had to be a financial emergency (which there was not because Florida Coastal had around 40 million in a reserve account-at least they reported they had such reserves to the ABA). To make a long story short, almost all of those faculty members took severance packages, because they were afraid that they would be laid off or fired for some other pretext. Almost all of those faculty members were tenured or tenure-track. 2 faculty members did not take this "deal" at the time it was offered--and a RIF was never declared! Of course, the faculty members who took "deals" signed separation agreements with broadly drafted confidentiality clauses preventing them from "disparaging" the school or Infilaw or discussing the circumstances that led up to their deals.

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  22. Coastal Law Prof Post Part 2

    Shortly after that ordeal, in August 2013, the prior version of the Faculty Handbook was amended by the school's "Board", which is controlled by Infilaw, even though the faculty voted against those proposed amendments. Chidi Ogene announced at a meeting that Infilaw exercised its "51% voting power" to make those changes. Of course, the changes to the faculty handbook basically eviscerated the contractual employment rights of the faculty. Specifically, this new version of the Faculty Handbook (at section 2.8.5.1) permits the Dean to sanction a faculty member if the dean "believes" that the faculty member failed to follow the school's "Culture". Of course, the term "Culture" is vaguely and loosely defined in the faculty Handbook. This is just one example of how there is no faculty governance at the school. Following the threatened RIF, almost every remaining member of the faculty is afraid of voicing their opinion for fear that he or she will be fired (or made to have an unhappy existence at Florida Coastal).

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    1. Thanks for sharing.

      Again, this is simply how corporations work. If a lawyer were to disparage the law firm or company that they worked for, they'd be terminated too. Law professors assume that they all should be treated like they work at Harvard, with tenure, respect for the publications and lauded for their position. There's a new sheriff in town, law profs. And I'm sure this uncomfortably fills law profs who work at these TTT's or worse with all sorts of cognitive dissonance. For decades, law professors were in the forefront of all civil rights movements. In our new reality, income gap (with the associated debt and errosion of the middle class) is the critical civil rights issue. Most law professors are causing or at least exaccerbating the errosion of civil rights for a significant number of their students. And they are doing it to keep their paychecks.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for sharing. I'm convinced that the ABA, state bars, and the federal government will do nothing to remedy the legal-education mess (aside from occasionally rearranging the deck chairs). The only way to hope to change things is to continue to get the word out about how terrible the job market is for lawyers and how nothing that law schools say can be trusted.

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    3. "Again, this is simply how corporations work."

      I think the takeout on this is that a law school shouldn't be a corporation. Charlotte and Florida Coastal are freakish mutant organizations even among law schools. They had strong economic incentives to accelerate the preexisting abuse of students and professors by bottom-tier law schools. All the evidence indicates that they acted on those incentives.

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    4. Your posts are just whining about your job/job security etc. Did it ever cross your mind when you were lecturing that you were scamming your students? Did that jab your conscience?

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    5. Professors are not scamming their students, you vindictive simpleton.

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    6. O Hai, LawProf 10:28 AM. It's called "sow the wind, reap the whirlwind," yet the scambloggers are the "vindictive" ones now that everything is burning to the ground. Gotcha.

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    7. @10:28, except all the profs writing blog posts over at TFL and prawfs and on their own blogs, and op-eds in the NYT, etc. about why "Now Is A GREAT Time To Go To Law School" and lamenting the impending critical shortages of lawyers by 2017...

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  23. Coastal Law Prof Post Part 3

    The post about the "Cult"- like nature of Charlotte equally applies to Florida Coastal. Faculty members are required to attend EQ (or Emotional Intelligence) training where they are encouraged to divulge events from their personal lives. Chidi Ogene and Dennis Stone (the president of Florida Coastal) have attended these sessions at the same time faculty members attended. So basically, a faculty member is required to attend a training in which he or she is encouraged to expose details from their personal lives in front of their bosses. This mandatory "training" takes place over a 4-day period, when such time could be better used for class prep or scholarship. Furthermore, last year, a corporate-like computer policy was enacted by Florida Coastal whereby the school could basically see anything a Faculty member accessed on their work computer (including passwords to personal email accounts). About 4 months after this policy was enacted, the head of the IT department left the school.

    And yes, faculty members are discouraged from advising students to transfer to higher ranked schools. One faculty member at Florida Coastal had several students who transferred to highly ranked schools like Georgetown, and he was "spoken to" by a member of the Infilaw-controlled "administration" and told that he was not supposed to tell students to transfer. Imagine that you are a professor who has a student at Florida Coastal that gets accepted to Georgetown on a transfer. Imagine further that you are supposed to discourage that student from going to that top tier school! That could be a future law professor!

    Most recently, two faculty members who were "well-liked' by administration, went up for tenure. Allegedly, the current Dean told those 2 faculty members that "one Board Member" was not going to give anyone tenure and that the dean did not submit their tenure applications (even though the procedure contained in the faculty handbook directs the dean to do so) to the board (Query, is a unanimous vote required?). Do these people actually believe what the dean is saying? One of those faculty members was offered some sort of assistant dean position with the school's administration (but still no tenure).

    There is an inherent conflict of interest present at the Infilaw schools. The executives (and boards of directors) owe fiduciary duties to the shareholders to maximize profits (corporate law 101), which in Infilaw's case seems to be the private equity fund Sterling Capital (Ares Capital Management is also a major lender to/investor in Infilaw (see 10K at http://www.investors.com/et/dfs/2014/1287750/0001047469-14-001349/a2218339z10-k.HTM). Indeed, Rick Inatome, who runs Infilaw, used to hold a position at Sterling.

    Under corporate law, no fiduciary duties are owed to customers of a corporation (in this case the students at Infilaw-controlled schools) or a corporation's employees (in this case the Faculty at Infilaw-controlled schools). That's the inherent conflict in the for-profit law school world. Unfortunately, that inherent conflict of interest will place profits over the best interest of students in some very important situations.

    Kudos to Paul Campos on his very well written article in the Atlantic, and on his posts on his blog.

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  24. I love Charlotte the beagle!

    What's a nice dog like you doing in a place like this?

    I saved a couple of pork bones for you...

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  25. As a practicing lawyer, let me stand up for the Professors. First of all, they really don't make that much money in the scheme of things. An experienced practicing lawyer, especially in the personal injury field, is capable of earning far more in compensation. Second of all, there is nobody here who would turn down a Professor's job if offered to them, unless they had even better offers elsewhere. Its a professors job to teach, not worry about the value of a legal education to his students. Presumably each student decides that for themselves. Third, law is a profession where people defend all types of horrible positions . . . because that is what the job of a lawyer is . . . to zealously represent their clients. I can't believe people here actually think a Professor has some sort of duty NOT TO BE A PROFESSOR because the students are being taken advantage of . In law of all things, how can anybody have this type of position. Lawyers represent far more evil in the corporate and insurance worlds. The real problem is that the schools have purportedly lied to students in the past. Well, hold the executives of those schools responsible, not the damn rank and file employees. . ie the Professors who are simply trying to make a living like everybody else.

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    1. Fair point, but some LawProfs are renowned and documented shills. To say all LawProfs are evil is of course a simplification, but to say all LawProfs are blameless angels is also a simplification.

      Let good karma fall where it will with respect to "honest" LawProfs. But let's not kid outselves, either. And saying "you'd do it too, if you had the chance" is not a defense - we don't let criminals get away with that line of thinking, so why would we let debatable business practices get a bye, per your examples above?

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    2. A professor surely has some duty of care towards his or her students, no? And if so, it's just a case of where we draw the line. I believe a professor should not be part of a scheme set up to take advantage of students and burden them with debt few will ever repay. But that's just me.

      Everyone's standard of care towards his of her fellow human beings differs. Some people go out of their way to treat others with respect and fairness. Others believe it's okay to "get theirs" at whatever cost to those who are foolish enough to fall into their traps. Some refuse to work for companies and organizations which cause more harm than good (e.g. cigarette manufacturers, the arms industry, drug cartels, for-profit law schools - not to imply that all are equally bad.)

      Law professors are not idiots (which makes their deception all the worse, because they do know better.) They understand that their livelihood depends on perpetuating the absolute lie that low-ranked law schools are of some net benefit to the student body as a whole, when in reality, such schools syphon money away from the majority of students for the benefit of a handful of lucky students and the teaching staff.

      I guess the duty to not be a professor depends on your perspective. For me, there absolutely is such a duty. If others' moral standards differ, so be it. But our collective response doesn't depend on whether a law professor believes what he is doing is right or wrong. The facts are on our side, and law profs at low-ranked schools are part of the scam. I lose very little sleep over the thought that many will lose their jobs, houses, etc.

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    3. Good post, 8:56, but remember that law professors will suffer consequences regardless of any personal guilt. When 20, 30, or 50 garbage law schools get spilled out on the street, the professors will lose their jobs no matter what. They may not be morally guilty, but they unwisely chose to work at extremely marginal institutions that deserve to fail. Nothing can be done about that. If they shill hard to keep their jobs, they may stay an extra few months at best. Larger forces will determine 98% of what happens to them.

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    4. Loving the fact that scammed law students have to accept "personal responsibility" and live with their choices and the ups-and-downs of the market, but LawProfs shouldn't have to.

      Boomers gonna Boom.

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  26. I teach at Florida Coastal and the situation is not "even worse" here. If you want to jump on the Infilaw bashing bandwagon, that's your prerogative, but you should restrict your comments to things you actually know about. Florida Coastal has a lot of talented and dedicated teachers. I admit working at an Infilaw school is much different than working at a more traditional school, but the professors here are just as good or better than the professors at any other law school.

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    1. The Titanic had a lot of talented and dedicated crew members, too. At least they didn't know what was going to happen to most of their passengers when they bought their tickets and got on the ship.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, that makes sense. So I guess everyone who works for McDonalds should quit because the food they are serving is notorious for making people fat. And people who sell alcohol and cigarettes are no good bastards too, I guess, because they are killing thousands of people every year. Oh horror of horrors; how can they live with themselves???

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    3. "...the professors here are just as good or better than the professors at any other law school."

      Er are you a fucking idiot???

      You'd go head to head with Harvard's faculty? Or any tier 1 faculty? lololololllo010100ll0ollolll!!!!!!!!!!!!eleven!!!!!

      Moron. You should restrict your comments to animals and retards because that's about the level of dummy who would think you're telling the truth.

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    4. It's "different from" not "different than."

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    5. If the situation isn't "even worse" than Charlotte Law, would you agree that it's bad in general? In Fall 2010, there were 808 students at Florida Coastal; in Fall 2013 it was 441. Over that time the median LSAT fell from 149 to 141. As an outsider, it looks like both schools have terrible reputations and are effectively open enrollment. I don't know what this fall will be like, but these aren't good numbers.

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    6. Leaving aside the fact that McDonald's is hardly "notorious" for making people fat and that there are some health benefits to alcohol, you miss the bigger point. McDonald's posts nutritional information on all of its menu items in its restaurants and alcohol and tobacco companies place health warnings on their products. If TTTs engaged in the same level of truthful disclosure there would be no issue.

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    7. Great Pushkin's Ghost!September 16, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      "It's "different from" not "different than.""

      Give it a break, FCOL.

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    8. On the LSAT, the score of 141 is at the 15th percentile. And that's the median at Horrida Coastal.

      Old Guy

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    9. Go somewhere else and throw your shoes you psycho

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  27. Coastal Law Prof Post Part 3

    As someone above correctly pointed out, the Infilaw schools are basically schools run by corporations, which involve an inherent conflict of interest. Infilaw executives owe any applicable fiduciary duties (generally to maximize profits) to their investors (corporate law 101). They don't owe any fiduciary duties to their customers (in this case students) or employees (in this case faculty). I was "spoken to" by members of the Infilaw controlled administration regarding my advice to students regarding transferring to higher ranked schools. Specifically I had students who were accepted (as transfers) to schools like Georgetown and Emory. Of course, I would never advise against a student's best interest (and did not advocate that they stay at Florida Coastal).

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  28. Coastal Law Prof Post Part 4

    I forgot to mention one more thing about Florida Coastal. The school sent targeted emails last year to students that were ranked lower in the class and basically offered to pay those students not to take the bar exam (to manipulate bar pass results). This was the email that was sent to those students:

    Dear Graduating Students:

    The faculty, staff, and administration of Florida Coastal School of Law are deeply committed to your success. We want to provide you with all of the tools necessary for passing the bar and obtaining law-related employment once you are licensed. Therefore, we are excited to share with you the opportunity to participate in the Fall 2014 Unlock Potential (UP) Program. This is the second time we have offered this unique program that is designed to give you the knowledge, skills, and tools to pass the bar exam on the first attempt, introduce you to some skills that will assist you in your professional success, and help you prepare for and find your first full-time legal position – all while receiving a $1,200 per month stipend for participating in the program and gaining valuable part-time legal work experience (for an additional $15 per hour), if you so desire.

    If you are selected to participate in the UP Program, you will defer taking the July 2014 bar exam and use the additional time to prepare to take the February 2015 bar exam. The UP Program consists of a four-month preparation period prior to participation in the Coastal Enhanced Bar Prep Program (CEBPP) for the February 2015 bar exam. You will pay for CEBPP and receive the additional four months of programming for free. The UP Program components include in-depth bar preparation, a Science of Success course (that includes goal-setting and discussion of other traits and skills needed for academic and professional success), Career Placement Workshops (and individual job-search assistance), and paid part-time legal employment. At the conclusion of the four-month UP Program, you will complete the CEBPP program, being much more fully prepared to sit for the February 2015 bar exam.

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    1. Nothing like finding out whether you passed the bar just when the next year's graduating class starts looking for jobs. Truly horrible.

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    2. So now the ABA and USNWR know they are gaming the system. Five will get you fifteen neither does a damned thing about it.

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    3. There must not have been enough participants in the program, because Florida Coastal had the second-worst bar passage on the July 2014 exam (58%).

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  29. Coastal Law Prof Post Part 5

    Infilaw basically wants to end tenure. Recently 2 professors at Florida Coastal that went up for tenure were told by the dean that one board member would not vote to give anyone tenure, and that the dean did not send their tenure portfolios to the board for this reason (query as to whether a unanimous board vote is needed) even though the procedure in the faculty handbook directs the dean to do so. Those 2 professors did everything required by the faculty handbook to get tenure (and were voted up for tenure by the Faculty Retention, Promotion and Tenure Committee). One of those faculty members was offered an administrative position as an assistant dean (but no tenure). Just another example of the lack of faculty governance.

    On a different note, around March of 2014, Florida Coastal enacted a corporate-like internet policy that allows the school to look at, retrieve, and key-log track anything a faculty member does on his or her school computer (including accessing passwords to personal email accounts).

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    1. This is good stuff, Coastal Law Prof. Thank you for sharing.

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    2. Thank you for posting these. Your situation won't get much sympathy here, but you are exposing an absolutely terrible situation.

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    3. Your posts here constitute a great public service which is much appreciated. We can hope this information contributes to social and political changes such as:

      Avoidance of InfiLaw schools and other scam schools by college graduates;

      Yearly limits on student borrowing that accommodate only reasonable tuition costs;

      And revocation of accreditation for schools whose graduates don't become paid attorneys.

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    4. I too want to end tenure, a fucking scam by which lousy-ass boomers hog jobs forever and a day without doing a damn thing.

      Old Guy

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    5. Old Guy, you can't just blame the boomers any more. A fairly young professor recently got tenure at Denver after publishing some shoddy articles that would make the average boomer burn with shame.

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    6. And, like a Boomer, when there was no real defense or honest rebuttal to the charge, she instead lashed out in shear rage and malice when someone dared called her to task on it. Do as I say, not as I do.

      But then again, who were her role models, really...? It doesn't defend the action, but it does help explain it.

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  30. Coastal Law Prof Post Part 6

    Kudos to Paul Campos on exposing many of these issues in his excellent article in the Atlantic and on his blog.

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    1. Yes, it was a great article. Amazing how the shills popped out of the woodwork to make their dishonest comments.

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  31. Please forward me a copy of the email reproduced in the 9:56 AM post. I'm writing a response to Infilaw's letter to the Atlantic.

    paul.campos@colorado.edu

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    1. You, sir, are a gentlemen and scholar. (I know Brian Leiter disagrees on both points, but no one of any importance knows who that disgusting slob is).

      Team, please make sure that Prof. Campos gets what he needs. TYIA!

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    2. I think that Leiter is much better known in philosophy than in law. That could be why he has to try so hard to impress the deans and professors at predatory, overpriced, and ineffective law schools. In legal academia, no one else will listen to him.

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    3. 9:52 PM, that makes a lot of sense. Frankly, given the overall high-caliber of profs at U of C, it would not surprise me that Leiter would be "infamous" within the Philosophy department as well. It's not like the study of philosophy ground to a screeching halt with Netzsche and nothing has happend since then...the world did move on from the late 1800s in many respects.

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  32. it's pretty amazing to see the LS gravy train derail.

    i still remember "Florida Coastal ROCKS!!" from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L68NW_ln4vw

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    1. What a joke - one of their profs is a former olympic swimmer with barely any legal background teaching (wait for it) sports law and gender studies (is that even law?)

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  33. This is very disturbing, yet not entirely unexpected.

    Several years ago, I sat through a day's worth of classes at Touro law school (a very low ranked school). The students were carrying on with private conversations during the lecture. They were talking rather rudely over the professor, and there was a consistent buzz from the back of the classroom. The whole thing was very "high school."

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  34. How can someone like Jack Marshall of Ethics Alarm defend this disgusting nonsense? These people should all be ashamed of themselves.

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    1. I haven't read any particular defense of his re Charlotte or FCSOL, but in general Marshall tends to be kind of "one note" when it comes to defending capitalism.

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    2. For one thing, he doesn't really understand ethics. Much like the Blighter, he thinks that ethics consists of accusing other people. Period.

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    3. Marshall has a tendency to flip-flop over time, too, although I'm sure he would never see it that way.

      http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2014/03/what-difference-two-years-makes.html

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    4. The law school scam/cartel is not "capitalism" (not that a bumbling moron like Marshall could understand what true capitalism is). These cronies would be out of business tomorrow if they actually operated within a free market.

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  35. From the post: "The school goes out of its way to discourage and prevent students from transferring out. Not only does the new curriculum impede it, but faculty is also instructed to make the transfer process for students as hard as possible. Faculty is told explicitly to discourage transfers, and to instruct students interested in transferring to meet with school administrators before proceeding. Those meetings are designed to discourage the students from transferring, and to present them with more lies about why Charlotte Law is the best choice for their tuition money."

    I'm reminded that a similar allegation was made against InfiLaw's Phoenix School of Law in a suit filed last year by two fired professors. From the press release about the lawsuit:

    ******************
    Phoenix School of Law fired two tenured professors who objected to its attempt to reduce students' ability to transfer, which a dean called "building a better mousetrap," the professors claim in court.

    Michael O'Connor and Celia Rumann sued Phoenix School of Law and its corporate parent InfiLaw Corp., in Federal Court.

    The plaintiffs, who are married, claim they "objected to defendants' proposed curriculum changes that would reduce students' abilities to transfer to schools that the students perceive to provide better opportunities for job placement (described by Dean Shirley Mays as 'building a better mousetrap')." (Parentheses in complaint.)

    O'Connor and Rumann say they "objected to Dean Mays approach, and argued that building a law school that emphasized strong teaching, individualized attention for students, increased opportunities for elective courses, greater and more nuanced financial grants, and aggressive job placement would create a greater value for students and thus better address transfer attrition."

    And, the complaint states, Associate Dean Penny Willrich announced during a special meeting on attrition "that she had already adopted a policy of not writing recommendation letters for students seeking to transfer out of the school."

    An InfiLaw representative at the meeting "responded that writing recommendation letters would be contrary to the interests of the school and questioned why a faculty member would write recommendation letters," the complaint states.
    *******

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/06/04/58183.htm

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    1. Thanks for the link. Now go back to Prawfs, you piece of shit.

      Delete
    2. I think that Orin Kerr's intentions were good in posting that information. He also teaches at a school that doesn't keep students from transferring. It's an important issue of morality and efficiency, and he appears to have placed himself on the right side of the divide.

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    3. Yes, that was laying it on too thick, 9:53 PM. While some may accuse Kerr of being more-pro-than-anti-scam, he has previously provided links and information like those above which call out bad lol school behavior.

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  36. I understand, as an experienced law professor, that two individuals can witness the same incident, yet garner widely differing but honest perceptions of the event. However, the second post from the anonymous former professor at Charlotte School of Law is so completely contrary to my own several years of experience there, that I have great difficulty believing that this person was ever on that faculty.

    In contrast to the unnamed poster's assertions, I never heard any of my many colleagues on the Charlotte School of Law faculty deride, criticize, or in any way make fun of their students. Never. In fact, our conversations often focused on optimal teaching techniques, new pedagogical methods, ways of reaching students with learning differences, and innovative/multi-faceted approaches to legal education. This was the case both in our informal chats and in more formal off-sites and faculty meetings.

    It is ludicrous to suggest that Charlotte School of Law failed to provide meaningful accommodations to students with ADA challenges or any type of learning difference. We took great pride in developing and expanding the most robust and far-reaching Academic Success Program of any law school known to me. Multiple, dedicated, well-qualified full-time employees were focused entirely on this initiative. This was not a pro forma "window dressing" exaltation of appearances over actuality. The Academic Success Program was, and remains, a very sophisticated and multi-pronged effort to help every student survive and thrive in the law school setting and beyond.

    And I never witnessed anyone actively discouraging even one student from attempting to transfer out. Transfers are very common in law schools these days, and while no professor likes to see good students leave, it is a fact of life. I personally wrote several letters of recommendations for my students who were seeking to transfer, and I know some of my colleagues did the same. I never saw or heard any rule, guideline, or suggestion from an administrator or an InfiLaw officer that discouraged or banned this practice.

    I want to respond to other allegations in this post, but this will suffice for now.


    Professor John C. Kunich
    University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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  37. As a former employee at CharlotteLaw, I echo many of the opinions of the author, although he does seem to have a chip on his shoulder and harbor some resentment against his former colleagues. Working at CSL put me in an ethical dilemma because of the utter lack of concern over the ultimate success of the students and graduates. As individual employees, most of us did care about student success. But as part of the CSL diploma-mill, there was little we could do for most of the students and graduates, many of whom truly could not complete a sentence properly, communicate professionally, or grasp the very complex legal concepts required to master legal practice and compete in such a highly adversarial profession. I felt that CSL/Infilaw was using diversity,or as they liked to cal it "browning the bar", as a way to convince students and investors that they were well-meaning, when it was really a justification to admit as many students as possible, regardless of qualifications. CSL left many students and graduates in a much worse position than they were before they attended CSL, and I personally could not stand to be a part of it any longer. I truly hope that Infilaw changes its admission policies and begins to truly focus on admitting students who are suitable for the highly-competitive legal world.

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