Saturday, June 9, 2018

ABA revokes Arizona Summit's accreditation

Has the ABA finally gotten off its aristocratic ass and taken action against a law school? It has decided to withdraw accreditation from Arizona Summit for "continuing non-compliance with Standards 301(a), 309(b), and 501(b) and Interpretations 501-1 and 501-2".

Über-toilet Arizona Summit may appeal from this decision as late as July 9, 2018. Arizona Summit retains its accreditation only long enough to have any appeal considered.

Arizona Summit is one of private firm InfiLaw's chain of über-toilets. Another one, Charlotte School of Law, closed down last August, without even the courtesy of notice to its students and others. Now that Arizona Summit is going tits up, only Florida Coastal remains—and it too faces challenges from the ABA, plummeting enrollment, imminent departure from its building, and major financial problems. After ripping off thousands of students per year for so long, the scamsters of InfiLaw may have to find another racket.

The ABA requires a law school that loses accreditation to prepare a "teach-out plan" so that current students can complete their degrees. Arizona Summit intends to bring an appeal but is also preparing the required teach-out plan even though the appeal suspends its obligation to do so. Perhaps the scamsters of Arizona Summit are simply getting a head start on something that they consider inevitable. I have doubts, though, about the acceptability of any plan that they prepare. As far as I know, not a single law school has produced and implemented a teach-out plan: Indiana Tech, Whittier, and Charlotte have simply shut their doors, and Savannah seems to suggest nothing other than transferring to its sister campus hours away in Atlanta (for anyone stupid enough to double down on an institution that has screwed its students over).

If you're at a sixth-tier toilet law school, get out while the going is good. Even those in the fifth tier or the fourth tier should reconsider not only their choice of law school but also their plans to enter the scam-ridden profession of law.


  1. Congrats to this blog and all the other scamblogs for their hard work. I wish Nando was still blogging or would occasionally comment on this blog. He deserves a lot of credit. Another scam law school is about to shut down and another cohort of con artists will have to find other work. What I find troubling though is the ABA’s selective enforcement of their accreditation standards.

    According to Arizona Summit’s 2017 509 report, the LSAT breakdown was:
    75th 152
    50th 148
    25th 145
    The GPA breakdown was:
    75th 3.15
    50th 2.81
    25th 2.53
    Arizona Summit’s acceptance rate was 47.35%.

    According to Cooley’s 2017 509 report, the LSAT breakdown was:
    75th 146
    50th 142
    25th 139
    The GPA breakdown was:
    75th 3.27
    50th 2.94
    25th 2.59
    Cooley’s acceptance rate was 85.56%.

    Based on the LSAT statistics, almost all of Arizona Summit’s entering class was better prepared to succeed in law school and pass the bar than Cooley’s entering class. But the ABA removed Cooley from probation and revoked Arizona Summit’s accreditation. I don’t think the ABA is serious about enforcing accreditation standards. I think the ABA is trying to appease critics and the Federal government by sacrificing a for-profit toilet. Now the ABA and law schools can go back to business as usual. Keep in mind, Arizona Summit may be classified as a “for-profit” for tax purposes, but all of the other “non-profit” toilets are very much profit making ventures. Rather than pay shareholders, schools like Cooley write fat checks to the administration. As we recently learned, the founder of Cooley gets paid more than the highest paid Judge in the state of Michigan to do absolutely nothing.

    1. I agree with you on every point.

      The ABA challenged Cooley but recently withdrew the challenge and certified Cooley as compliant with the standards. I think that the ABA is unwilling to take on the huge Cooley empire but will act against Arizona Summit, which was likely to go out of business anyway (only 49 new students enrolled last year—about 10% of the number from five years ago). The ABA thereby seems to take action even though it hasn't really made a difference.

    2. The problem here is selective enforcement - if the decision is based on pure economics, then the ABA will only go after those schools unable to "defend" themselves. This transmits a loud message.

      If the ABA says they need money to operate, I would pay yearly dues if that money was actually earmarked for enforcement. As it stands, some forms of defending justice are more equal (read "emotionally satisfying") than other forms of defending justice.

  2. The ABA needs to do a lot more in terms of kicking out law schools with poor employment outcomes, and not only those with poor bar passage rates. It has gotten to the point where it is so hard to work in a full-time, permanent lawyer job many years after law school graduation, that law school is simply not worth the investment for many, many people, even at top law schools.

    Law is an up or out profession, and the oversupply of lawyers has just put too many experienced lawyers into long-term unemployment and underemployment. Too many lawyer jobs refuse to hire lawyers over the age of 40 based on experience limits, such as 4-6 years or 8-12 years, and they mean it, screening out resumes of those who have more experience than that.

    The ABA is intentionally disregarding the damage it is causing by not limiting lawyer production based on the demand for lawyers. A law degree is not versatile for anyone who loses a lawyer job after age 40. - 12 or more years of experience as a lawyer. The law degree is useless for many such people, and there are no other jobs available for these experienced lawyers because of up or out, experience limits on most lawyer jobs and extreme lawyer oversupply. Too many lawyers are in this awful position after several years of working as a lawyer.

    There is no such thing as JD preferred at that point - every job that is non-legal wants non-legal experience specific to the job. The 12 year lawyer cannot get entry level jobs doing something else because the something else jobs are limited to recent graduates.

    I see too many lawyers in this awful position of long-term unsuccessful job searches and settling for eat-what-you-kill, part-time work, or temporary work if they can get it -after years in big law.

    The ABA is tone deaf to the problems of the profession from extreme lawyer oversupply.

  3. It's only a matter of time before these arrogant law professors sue for emotional distress and interference with a business expectation.

  4. You all still don't get it... the purpose of Law School is not to become a partner in a large firm, the purpose is to be in business for yourself, maybe even a few partners. Anybody who moves into a town and is willing to to things like divorces and does so competently will always find work, will always make a living.

    1. This is false. We've refuted it over and over again.

    2. You cannot just set up an office today in "town" and make a living doing divorces. Many lawyers who are experienced and seeking work are specialists who trained in big firms. Some are general corporate lawyers or litigators. Divorce at a level where it is possible to make any money requires expertise. You need to have a decent repeat practice doing divorce. The general corporate lawyer who trained at a V50 and then went in house is not going to jump at $200 divorces. The internet is full of solos and small firms offering very inexpensive divorces.

    3. It's worse than false.

      "Business" ... "a town" ... "things like divorces" ... "make a living." No, no, no. The horrific oversupply of lawyers and the poverty of your clients will ensure you can't make anything approaching a living.

      If you want to assist people who are in maritial discord, financial distress and/or criminal trouble --and spend your own money and resources while doing it, fine. You're noble. But please don't say it's a living.

    4. No you haven't refuted anything... you have simply given your opinions...but you are wrong. Plenty of business to go around. I see young lawyers in my town very busy....I live in typical town USA.

    5. You say you "live in typical town USA" but your English sounds like you're a foreigner. How many "towns USA" have you lived in and how do you know that yours is typical? And what are the loan balances and default rates for the "young lawyers very busy" that you see? Do you know any unemployed or underemployed lawyers?

    6. The average solo Attorney earns between $27-45k a year.

      You can do pretty much anything else to get that income.

      There might be some outliers that make a lot, but chances are if you're an unconnected schmoe that wasn't an overperformer before you graduated, you're not suddenly going to become one. The people that overperformed will have gone to top law schools and worked at top law firms first before then going out on their own. Not graduated unemployed at the middle or even top quarter of a non top 5 law school.

      If you are really that intelligent and can over-perform, just become a doctor or anything else. Hell just join the military as an officer after college. Way more money and job security.

      Why would anyone spend $200k because they read some stranger on the internet claim "everyone's doing well! lots of business!" in direct opposition to Campos' numbers and this blog and everything else?

      Team AAMPLE won't even make his own blog and use his real name, instead he has to make anonymous postings on someone else's blog. There is no need for anonymity if you're just cheering on the law school cartel, the only reason you'd want that is if you're hiding that you're a part of it.

    7. "I live in typical town USA."

      Well, I'm sold.

    8. """"You say you "live in typical town USA" but your English sounds like you're a foreigner""". And you sound like the typical lawyer with that statement. """How many "towns USA" have you lived in and how do you know that yours is typical? And what are the loan balances and default rates for the "young lawyers very busy" that you see? Do you know any unemployed or underemployed lawyers?""" well you guys are the experts on all of this, you are the ones constantly, with zero evidence, claiming people can not make a living practicing prove more than anecdotal evidence.

    9. ""The average solo Attorney earns between $27-45k a year.""

      Easy to say, but I don't believe those statistics...I'm guessing many solos simply don't want to accurately report their income for fear the IRS is watching. I don't know what the average Solo makes, but I am willing to bet for those with a few years of experience and up, the average is much closer to 100 K and for those of us who do contingent fee work, can be far, far higher than that.

    10. I'll go further and guess that those who go out on their own are more likely to make more money than those who go to the top firms..because in the end they will always be employees whereas if you have your own business and that huge case walks in the door, the profits are yours.

    11. Not sure why Team AAMPLE shows up again and again, but he must just love trollin'. He clearly isn't a lawyer, and is clearly a don't confuse me with the facts kinda guy.
      He really ought to read the article OG lists below, which partially addresses the lives ruined by Charlotte-with assistance from its hideous AAMPLE program.

    12. "I don't believe those statistics … I'm willing to bet … I'll go further and guess …"

      Groundless garbage of no use to anyone. I'm not going to waste my time on you.

    13. "AAMPLE" is just a cheap excuse for admitting anyone that the toilet school wants. Originally it served to justify the decision: despite abysmal test scores and other objective criteria, the candidate had demonstrated ability to pass a Mickey Mouse course supposedly similar to law school. As the article below mentions, however, Charlotte admitted many people who had failed AAMPLE.

    14. I am as skeptical about those solo income statistics as I am about lawyer salary statistics in general. Selection bias, exact definition of terms ("employed" "salary" "income" etc). A lot of solos are indeed struggling, but I can also buy that a lot under report income for the resons stated above. Also they may pay things like business lunches/dinners, transportation, CLEs/conferences (e.g. vacations) as a business expense before taking income for themselves. Hard to know exactly what is going on, here.

    15. The last published IRS data on self-employed unincorporated persons in the legal profession gave an average or median income of $53,000 a year. Some of that group could have been court reporters, but there are many fewer court reporters than lawyers. There are many lawyers who earned below the income for filing a return and would not be included in the data. Those income figures are low. They are in the same range as for recent college graduates. Maybe some lawyers who go out on their own will make a killing. Most will not do well though.

  5. Replies
    1. Withdrawal notice is now posted at the above link.

    2. @ June 13th, 6:32AM -

      Are you sure it's been posted? I just visited the link and, at the very top, it states:

      "Arizona Summit Law School offers an ABA-approved Juris Doctor (J.D.) program, which is normally completed in three years."

    3. Yes. It's the "ABA Withdraw Notice" link on that page. The wording likely leads the credulous to believe it is the probation that has been withdrawn.

    4. @ PresTTige:
      Yes - I now see it. And it's certainly misleading as they still have the tagline directly above the notice that the school produces "ABA-approved" degrees.

      It doesn't surprise me that the ABA hasn't mandated its removal. After all, it's the ABA that has helped get us into this mess with its nearly non-existent accreditation enforcement.

  6. 9:33 AM--the first sentence in your comment is true, if you mean that to make good money as a lawyer, you have to know how to run a business and it is a matter of getting paying clients in the door. The second sentence in your comment is untrue. Many if not most places have a limited supply of people who can actually afford to hire an attorney for these matters. I do criminal defense in a large city and for every call I get from someone who can afford to hire a lawyer, I get dozens from people who cannot. I can only imagine what it is like in a small town.

  7. A hunnerd and ninety-nine bottles of LS on the wall, hunnerd and ninety-nine bottles of LS...

    ...take one down, smash to the ground...

    A hunnerd and ninety-nine bottles of LS on the wall.

    anon md/jd's point is well taken that the ABA is just going after an easy pick, representing only a few students, so it can smile real big and say, "Look, SHINY! Look what we did!".

    Consider that the ABA has probably been more frightened of the downturn in apps than LSAC or even many of the schools. The ABA does not want to do anything that would actually reduce applicant numbers further.

    DNT had a piece here a couple of weeks ago mentioning the ABA's market share (attorney memberships) had slipped from 50% of all attorneys a few decades to something like 20% now.

    What do you do in an environment of slipping market share? Increase the consumer base. Maybe this is one reason (among many) why the ABA backed down against a school like Cooley - too many potential new ABA members at stake there, compared to AZ Scummit.

  8. An article about the lawsuits against Charlotte:

  9. Something's afoul. Dying chicken mob A chicken farm pit.