Following up on my prior posts (links below): Charleston Post and Courier, Charleston School of Law Founders Withdrew $25 Million in Profits Leaving School on Shaky Financial Ground:
Five respected judges and lawyers started the Charleston School of Law a decade ago with the lofty goal of training attorneys committed to public service.
But beginning in 2010, the well-connected founders and owners with deep South Carolina roots began draining money from the school, withdrawing $25 million in profits by 2013 that they split among themselves.
The owners had a great deal of support from the Charleston community to launch the school, including a below-market-rate land deal from the city aimed at helping it remain on the peninsula and earn accreditation from the ABA.
Their taking out the profits instead of re-investing in the school has left it in such financial shambles its future remains uncertain.
Kevin Hall, a Columbia lawyer who represents InfiLaw System, a company trying to purchase the school, revealed the surprising financial information about founders Robert Carr, George Kosko, Ralph McCullough, Alex Sanders and Ed Westbrook at a public hearing last week. "The Charleston School of Law, ladies and gentlemen, is in a financial tailspin," Hall said.
Carr, Kosko and Westbrook, the three remaining owners, confirmed Hall's description of the school's financial situation, and they all agreed that it got that way because owners for years had been pulling profits from the institution.
Charleston's tuition is $37,874 per year. 89% of Charleston's Class of 2013 took out student loans, in an average amount of $146,766 (the 14th highest amount among all law schools). 53.3% of Charleston's Class of 2013 secured full-time, long-term, bar passage required jobs (compared to the 57.0% national average).
Prior TaxProf Blog posts: