Earlier this week, InfiLaw System created a fresh debate on the Internet by pulling its application for a license to run the Charleston School of Law. It withdrew the application a day before the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education was set to vote on the license. You can see the application for withdrawal here.
The mail to the executive director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, sent from InfiLaw, and on the stationery of Womble Carlyle Sadridge & Rice, mentions “On behalf of InfiLaw Corporation, and its subsidiary, CSOL Holding, LLC, and at the request of Senator John E. Courson, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, we hereby withdraw the above-referenced Application for Initial License, effective today, June 4, 2014”
However, the game is not over yet, as InfiLaw clearly observed in the final sentence of its application for withdrawal, “We are committed to this acquisition and intend to renew our application in due course.”
Last week, reports the New York Times Dealbook, a committee of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education had recommended 3 to 1 that the Commission reject the sale. Following the developments, InfiLaw pulled its application from immediate voting.
However, in the hearing before that committee, it came to light that in the past few years, the current owners of Charleston, who are all from the legal community, have made about $25 million in profits from the law school. What many fail to understand is what difference it makes whether past members of the legal community make profits from the law school as its owners, or whether a private equity company makes the profits.
InfiLaw, however, observed in its email, “We remain confident that we provide the brightest future for continuing the proud traditions and commitment to excellence of the Charleston School of Law, its faculty, staff and students …”
The company further commented that they would be using the time between the withdrawal of its application and submitting a fresh one “to reach out to students, faculty and alumni to discuss why we are the best and only viable option to secure the future of the law school.”