Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Charlotte Law School Reopens: 33% Of Students Have Transferred, Prof Says 42% Bar Pass Rate Would Have Been In 20s But For Payments To Students Not To Take Bar

Charlotte Logo (2016)Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte Law President Talks Enrollment, Layoffs — And the Future:

Charlotte Law President Chidi Ogene said in an interview with the Charlotte Business Journal that the education department’s decision was a “precipitous and extreme step” given that numerous schools have been placed on probation but not had funding pulled by the education department. He notes Charlotte Law is taking steps to address the ABA’s concerns regarding compliance with first-time bar passage rates and admission indicators. “We don’t have an answer to suggest why Charlotte is being treated in a way that’s very, very different than any other higher-education systems,” Ogene adds.

The loss of federal funds has forced Charlotte Law to make difficult choices, Ogene says.

Final enrollment figures for the spring semester won’t be available until later this week. But initial reports show that roughly 230 students have transferred — a 33% drop — from the about 700 students taking classes last fall. ...

WFAE, Law School Official: Bar Passage Would Have Been in 20s If Not For Paying Students Not To Take Exam:

The Charlotte School of Law has drawn scrutiny in part because of the low percentage of students who have passed the state bar in the last few years. It has consistently had the lowest pass rate in North Carolina, and ranks among the worst in the country.

In February of 2015, for example, the school’s official passage rate for students who took the bar for the first time is listed at 42 percent. But in reality, the pass rate would have been in the 20s if not for a program that paid struggling students not to take the bar. At least that’s what Odessa Alm, the school’s assistant dean for student success, told a small group of faculty members. (Click here to listen to the 37-minute audio.)

"You know if we didn’t have the extended program last time — if we all didn’t work really hard to defer the 21 people we deferred, our pass rate would have been 20-something percent."

A law school professor secretly recorded those comments in the summer of 2015. The school was pushing some faculty to divert graduates to a program that paid them up to $11,200 not to take the bar and instead enter a bar preparation program.

Charlotte Observer, Classes Reopen in Stripped-Down Charlotte School of Law:

The tottering Charlotte School of Law reopened Monday — with a third of its normal teachers, a shrunken list of classes and far fewer students.

Students reported attendance at the day’s classes far below normal, especially in the first- and second-year classes which have been hit hardest by transfers. The for-profit school had about 700 students enrolled for the fall semester. ... Last week, the school laid off about two-thirds of its faculty and released a stripped down class schedule to reflect the expected loss of students.

WFAE, Charlotte School Of Law's Struggles:

How did Charlotte School of Law wind up in its shaky position? Can they figure out a way to stay afloat? Mike Collins and guests, including a School of Law student and a former professor, look at the pressures facing North Carolina's largest law school.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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> that paid them up to $11,200 not to take the bar and instead enter a bar preparation program.

Umm, isn't law school supposed to be a "bar preparation program"? If not, what exactly are these students paying tuition for?

Posted by: Bob | Jan 26, 2017 5:41:03 AM