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Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Amidst 71% Enrollment Decline, Florida Coastal Seeks To Avoid Fate Of Its Sister Law Schools Arizona Summit And Charlotte

Florida Coastal (2017)Jacksonville Daily Record, Florida Coastal School of Law Making Changes:

InfiLaw owns three for-profit law schools in the U.S.

Arizona Summit Law in Phoenix and Charlotte Law School in North Carolina were placed on probation in November by the American Bar Association, and Charlotte in December became the first law school in history to lose access to student loan programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

At issue are admission standards, quality of education and how relatively few of the schools’ graduates pass the Bar exam on their first attempt.

That leaves Florida Coastal School of Law, and the local legal education provider is taking steps to avoid sanction by the ABA.

Responding by email, Florida Coastal Dean Scott DeVito said the school has been concerned that Bar exam passage rates are “well below where our models predicted they would be.” DeVito said Florida Coastal is changing the curriculum, teaching methods and raising admission standards beginning with students entering school this fall. ...

On average, 8.4 percent of first-year students at all law schools and 1.6 percent of second-year students leave school. At Florida Coastal, 38.6 percent of first-year and 12.8 percent of second-year students leave, according to the website.

DeVito said that over the past two years, Florida Coastal’s “primary successes” have been in graduates getting jobs. Based on the school’s most recent annual survey of students nine to 10 months after graduation, 87 percent of students who passed the Bar exam have full-time attorney jobs, a 10 percent increase year-over-year, he said. ...

Looking ahead, DeVito said, without giving any details, there are two main goals for Florida Coastal: to “convert to a nonprofit entity” and to “join with a nonprofit university that makes sense for our students.”

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Comments

"DeVito said that over the past two years, Florida Coastal’s “primary successes” have been in graduates getting jobs. Based on the school’s most recent annual survey of students nine to 10 months after graduation, 87 percent of students who passed the Bar exam have full-time attorney jobs, a 10 percent increase year-over-year, he said. ..."

Hmmm... According to the school's ABA disclosures, this amounts to 156 out of the 402 graduates of the Class of 2015 and 168 out of 484 graduates in the Class of 2014. Awesome stats...

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 12, 2017 9:09:52 AM

I find it hard to believe that Florida Coastal’s “primary successes” have been in graduates getting jobs. According to the school’s latest statistics, 32.8% of the class of 2016 was unemployed 10 months after graduation. Students even struggled to obtain “JD advantage” jobs, which do not require bar passage. Only 7.7% of the class of 2016 obtained “JD advantage” jobs, and almost half of those jobs were short term or part time. Not a single graduate obtained a job with a law firm of 101+ attorneys. Those statistics say a lot about what employers think about the education provided by Florida Coastal.

Posted by: anon JD/MD | Apr 12, 2017 12:42:18 PM

" 'Bar exam passage rates are “well below where our models predicted they would be.' ”

I'm not sure what their "model" was based on, but I am certain it was not based on students' entering qualifications. Those would have predicted (and did predict) massive bar failures.
Perhaps Coastal should reveal what its "model" was based on, so other schools can learn from its failure.

Posted by: Old Ruster | Apr 12, 2017 2:15:43 PM

My firm takes one externs now and then and we can tell there is a big difference between the Florida Coastal externs and the UF or FSU externs. The Florida Coastal externs are not nearly as good as the other law schools.

Posted by: Chris P. | Apr 12, 2017 6:10:12 PM