Paul L. Caron
Dean





Saturday, April 10, 2021

U.S. Department Of Education Terminates Florida Coastal Law School's Eligibility For Federal Student Loans; ABA Demands Teach-Out Plan

Statement of William E. Adams, Jr., Managing Director, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar Regarding Florida Coastal School of Law:

Florida Coastal (2017)On April 2, 2021, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar was informed of the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to end access to federal student financial aid for Florida Coastal School of Law effective April 1, 2021. While the Department of Education's action could have a bearing on the law school's ability to operate in compliance with the ABA Standards, Florida Coastal School of Law remains an ABA-approved law school. Under the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, formal Council action is required to withdraw a law school’s approval. The process for the law school to qualify for and maintain its access to federal student financial aid is a U.S. Department of Education process.

In the wake of the Department of Education’s decision, the ABA has directed Florida Coastal School of Law to file a teach-out plan.

Both federal regulations and rules of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar require a law school’s teach-out plan to provide equitable treatment of students affected by the plan. At this time, we expect the plan to be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Council in late April 2021. That review and the law school's plan are not public matters under the ABA Rules, although those rules do not prevent the law school from making its proposed plan public. Given the timeline for the law school and its students, we would expect the law school to file and execute its plan in a timely fashion. Nothing in the teach-out rules prevents a law school from addressing the needs of the students in advance of the plan being approved. The Council's review will cover both what the law school has done and proposes to do to fulfill its responsibilities under the teach-out plan rules. The Managing Director’s Office cannot comment further until the law school’s plans become clear and the teach-out plan has been approved. 

The action taken by the U.S. Department of Education is a separate action from the accreditation process. The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has no authority or jurisdiction over the action taken by the Department of Education and the Managing Director’s office cannot answer any questions regarding the actions taken by the Department. Questions should be directed to the Department of Education. 

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2021/04/us-department-of-education-terminates-florida-coastal-law-schools-eligibility-for-federal-student-lo.html

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink