Turning back to Florida Coastal and its ongoing legal troubles:
Florida Coastal School of Law has asked a federal judge to halt new disclosures the American Bar Association has required the troubled school to make to its students, arguing the requirements will undermine its efforts to improve.
What odious requirements, pray tell, would FCSL plead to be delivered from? Why is "improvement" hinged on the actions of others?
Florida Coastal has requested that the following actions be postponed for 30 days following a ruling on its motion for a preliminary injunction.
- Disclose to all admitted students that the school has been found out of compliance with the accreditation standards and it required to take remedial action. The two-page public notice must also be posted to Florida Coastal’s website.
- Inform each student of the school’s first-time bar pass rates in Florida and Georgia—broken down by class quartiles—as well as which quartile the student falls into based on their most recent grades.
- Appoint a fact finder to visit and examine, among other things, admissions policies, attrition rates, bar exam results, student loan default rates and the school’s finances.
Sometimes, the truth hurts. What is the rationale to let form supersede substance for another blessed thirty days?
Specifically, the school asserts that the public notice of noncompliance will scare off potential students.
Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Nothing like getting down to brass tacks. Nowhere to be found are outdated notions of "pursuing liberty" and "defending justice," no sir. For God's sake, don't cut off that taxpayer money stream from students for whom we have successfully pulled wool over their collective eyes. We worked hard for that, you know. Always Be Closing.
However, I do have to give some credence to this particular argument from FCSL:
By contrast, the ABA days earlier found Western Michigan University Cooley Law School to be back in compliance after boosting its admissions requirements just three months prior, which Florida Coastal called “blatantly inconsistent.” (Cooley has also sued the ABA for what it alleges are unfair accreditation policies.)
“The ABA has not given a reasonable explanation, or any explanation, for the disparity in the treatment of the two law schools,” according to Florida Coastal’s motion.
Right you are. Unfortunately, the ABA has been asleep at the wheel for some time now given decades of regulatory capture. Now that they have been shamed into doing something, enforcement is proceeding in a haphazard, herky-jerky manner, allowing easy criticism and rebuttal by these oh-so-noble institutions of higher learning. Consistent, steady application of rules would have been preferable and might have lead to less damage overall, as the data would have spoken for itself, but hey, better late than never, or something. Sadly, the current take-home message vis-à-vis Cooley is "just put up a throwaway legal defense, make the ABA spend some of their declining budget, and you will get a concession." Lovely.
Oh well. In any event, grab some popcorn and some schadenfreude and enjoy the show, as all of this was long overdue.