Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Transparency, the Bane of All Existence

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  Nowhere to be found are outdated notions of "pursuing liberty" and "defending justice," no sir.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.   


  1. Florida Coastal, stop playing games. You know that your toilet is being flushed. Your entering class has declined by about 100 students per year for the past 7 years, from 808 in 2010 to 106 in 2017. You're out of money: you have had to pull out of your building last year. The other remaining InfiLaw toilet school is in bad shape as well.

    Now you're pretending to be "selective" on the basis that last year you finally imposed a floor of 145 on the LSAT—and still at least a quarter of your entering class had exactly that horrible score. You're also demanding consideration for your graduates' supposedly good performance on the Florida bar exam in February 2018—but only 29 of your graduates took that test, and they're hardly representative of your whole lousy class.

    You've ripped off millions for the "investors" and the employees. Time for the InfiLaw scamsters to put their ill-gotten gains into another racket.

  2. The argument about Cooley is the most interesting part of Florida Coastal's whiny-ass screed. Why indeed should Cooley get away with the same shit while Florida Coastal is held to a "standard"? Just because Cooley is huge, with more than a thousand lemmings at its various campuses, whereas Florida Coastal is small and shrinking?

  3. The law school Deans, professors, and ABA administrators may all be con artists looking to rip off students. But they are not stupid like the students they admit at these toilet law schools. These are the conniving people that came up with conditional scholarships coupled with strict grade curves and section stacking. When public pressure led to the ABA requiring schools to stop publishing fraudulent employment data, the schools hired their own students! The schools hired their students for precisely 12 months – just long enough to classify the job as a long term job! Arizona Summit and Charlotte even paid students to defer taking the bar exam to prop up the horrible bar passage rates. Everything that these con artists do is done for the purpose of keeping the scam going.

    The Federal government threatened to pull the ABA’s accreditation power because toilet law schools sole admission criteria is eligibility for Federal loans. The schools just want the Federal loan dollars and don’t care if the student passes the bar exam or gets a job. The ABA could have responded to the Federal government’s threats and enforced basic admission standards. But that approach would result in many of these toilets closing.

    So the ABA chose the course that would get the Feds off their back and keep the scam going. The ABA arbitrarily allowed Cooley to admit another weak class of students after the school sued the ABA. At the same time, the ABA dropped the hammer on Arizona Summit and Florida Coastal despite those schools admitting objectively stronger students. The ABA’s inconsistent enforcement of standards allows Arizona Summit and Florida Coastal to attack the ABA in court! When a Judge says that the ABA must leave Arizona Summit and Florida Coastal alone and let them go on with business as usual, the ABA can throw up their hands. “Sorry Feds, we tried to enforce admission standards, but we were sued and these judges blocked us from doing so.” That is why you are seeing the ABA enforce these standards in such a haphazard way that opens them up to easy criticism and rebuttal. They want to lose these enforcement actions.

    1. And while publicly praising the supposed Global Leadership or other god-like skills of the dolts that they lure in for $50k per year, they privately abuse them: the dean of admissions at the U of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign called them "little bastards", and the "Assistant Dean of Student Success" at defunct the Charlotte School of Law called them "these fucking mother-fuckers" (

  4. A judge denied Horrida Coastal's request for a temporary restraining order against the ABA but did put the motion down for a hearing on June 29: