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Thursday, November 17, 2016

ABA Places Charlotte Law School On Probation, Censures Valparaiso

CVFollowing up on my previous post, Ave Maria's Admissions Policies Violate ABA Standards, Law School Required To Take Immediate Remedial Action:  ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Statement on Accreditation Actions Regarding Charlotte School of Law and Valparaiso University School of Law:

At its October 20-22, 2016, meeting, the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar conducted separate hearings on appeals by Charlotte School of Law (Charlotte) and Valparaiso University School of Law (Valparaiso) of decisions from the Accreditation Committee that each school was out of compliance with certain ABA Accreditation Standards. The Council’s decisions were communicated to the schools on Monday, November 14, 2016 and have been made public on November 15.

With respect to Charlotte, the Council affirmed the June 2016 Decision Letter of its Accreditation Committee that the law school was not in compliance with ABA Accreditation Standard 301(a), which deals with the objectives of the academic program, and Standards 501(a) and 501(b), which deal with law school admissions policies and practices. The Council placed the law school on probation, and directed Charlotte to take specific remedial actions, including but not limited to, this Notice of Probation and Specific Remedial Action.

The Council also affirmed the June 2016 Decision Letter of the Accreditation Committee that Valparaiso was not in compliance with ABA Accreditation Standards 501(a) and 501(b), which deal with law school admissions policies and practices. The Council imposed the sanction of public censure, and directed the law school to take specific remedial actions as set forth in this Notice of Censure and Specific Remedial Action.

Here are the admission profiles of Charlotte and Valparaiso for the past six years from Law School Transparency:

Charlotte:

Charlotte Stats

Valparaiso:

Valparaiso Stats

Correction:  I have changed the title of this post to make clear that Valparaiso was censured, not placed on probation. I apologize for the error in the original title.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/11/aba-places-two-more-law-schools-on-probationcharlotte-and-valparaiso.html

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Comments

It sounds like the ABA's purge of the bottom tier law schools has now started in earnest. Good riddance. And good for the DOE finally embarrassing the ABA into doing its job.

I suspect the proposed 75% bar passage rate standard is related - in that the ABA would prefer to have an objective, bright-line standard to say these law schools are in violation of instead of having to deal with the somewhat more subjective standard of admitting students not reasonably likely to succeed in law school and the appeals that inevitably are associated.

Expect 20 to 30 law schools to shutter their doors if that 75% bar passage rate standard is passed. Again, good riddance.

Posted by: Gordon Sewell | Nov 17, 2016 8:48:10 AM

That 2.53 / 138 25th percentile split at Charlotte in 2014 is eye-opening, to say the least.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 17, 2016 9:25:39 AM

Time to cull the herd. Big time.

Posted by: EvergreenGuy | Nov 17, 2016 10:50:31 AM

I'm not so sure about this culling. There are areas in law that don't require a genuis, only experience with legal procedures. Those lawyers provide good service at rates that I am sure do not make the ABA happy.

Then again, maybe that's the point of all this. This isn't about matching supply with demand. It's about matching a supply that charges at least $200/hour with a demand that can afford to pay that much.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Nov 17, 2016 11:42:22 AM

I wonder what they will do with schools like John Marshall in Chicago. JMLS is consistently below the 75% bar passage rate. But the school has a long history of admitting minorities and other undeserved populations. They were the first school around to admit substantial numbers of women, African Americans, Jews, Catholics, etc. when the other schools wouldn't let them in. JMLS may, by objective standards, be a crappy law school but they have a long tradition of it and came about it honestly. lol

Posted by: Johnny Lawyer | Nov 17, 2016 11:56:19 AM

Tax Prof,

Is there any politics in this process? For example, do more conservative law schools get hosed while lefty law schools are given a pass by the ABA?

Posted by: TJM | Nov 17, 2016 1:41:37 PM

"There are areas in law that don't require a genuis, only experience with legal procedures. Those lawyers provide good service at rates that I am sure do not make the ABA happy."

This statement applies to most lawyers who graduate from non t-14 schools. And Charlotte, for example, only placed 1/4 of its grads in long term, bar passage required jobs (while an equal portion were completely unemployed) ten months after graduation. Either the market is glutted, Charlotte is producing an inferior product, or both.

Posted by: Lonnie | Nov 17, 2016 7:10:30 PM

Sounds like someone is worried that their W-2 might not equal last years! If these " so called lesser talented " law school are allowed to keep teaching. Maybe we should check into other college programs. Where their students graduate with degrees but never put them to use. So we should shut them down? Let pass the classes. If I fail the bar. How have I hurt you????

Posted by: Vernon Christian | Nov 18, 2016 7:31:03 AM

@ Vernon Christian. You hurt everyone else by taking out $150k in loans which you can't pay back, and now that you can't work as a lawyer, you're not going to want to pay back. Arguably, since such a student has been exploited by the school, he should even have an ethical obligation to pay it back.

If law school was cheap, no one would care if they were pumping out students who couldn't pass the bar or too many grads for the job market. If students could get jobs when they graduate that enable them to pay back the loans, no one would care. The law schools have put themselves into the worst of both worlds, because they're both extremely expensive and most of their graduate don't get jobs that justify the cost of attending law school.

Posted by: wtfreqkenneth | Nov 18, 2016 1:04:37 PM