Saturday, July 15, 2023

Golden Gate not closing quite yet, unfortunately

The board of Golden Gate Univershitty recently voted to keep the über-toilet law school open for another year, at least.

The über-toilet pledges "to ensure at a minimum that all currently enrolled and entering students will continue to receive their scholarships and be able to receive an ABA-accredited degree". That sounds like an intention to shut up shop. Why else refer to "currently enrolled and entering students"? The faculty have already been warned that layoffs may be in store. Those with brains would have figured that out long ago: a school with major financial problems, trifling revenue, and a rapidly shrinking student body cannot sustain a bloated staff of scam-professors.

ABA accreditation is not within Golden Gate's control. In 2021, the über-toilet was found to be out of compliance with the ABA's low standard for passing the bar exam: at least 75% of those graduates who take a bar exam must pass one within two years, yet at Golden Gate the rate in 2019 was 67%. The ABA notoriously hands out exceptions like breath mints, to the point that its "standards" lose their meaning. Old Guy expects that the ABA will give Golden Gate the usual dispensation if necessary—unless the ABA needs to appear principled and decisive for a change, in which case it may well crack down on this über-toilet, which is headed for closure anyway.

Golden Gate had to bribe its new full-time students, one and all, with free tuition, even while being desperately short of money. Plans to raise operating funds by selling some land in downtown San Francisco failed when prices declined sharply.

The university refused to state the number of students, but the head of the Student Bar Association reported "about 200". That's about 70 per class, which isn't very many: Old Guy has previously estimated a minimum of 75 per year for the long-term survival of a law school.

Since the parent institution "has been fighting to stay afloat in recent years", the last thing that it needs is a money-losing über-toilet law school. Perhaps it would gladly shut the law school down today if not for potential liability. The ABA requires a "teach-out plan" of any law school that intends to close down: this serves to keep the students from being left high and dry in a sudden closure. Über-toilets such as Charlotte and Arizona Summit have suddenly bolted the doors, but they had no parent institution that needed to worry about survival and possible litigation. 

Take this bit of news as a shameful admission by Golden Gate that its über-toilet law school will soon join the ranks of Indiana Tech, Valpo, and the InfiLaw trio. Any bets on the next school to close?