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Charleston Law May Not Accept New Class in the Fall
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Faced with a scant budget, the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, South Carolina, may not accept a new class next year.

Summary: Faced with a scant budget, the Charleston School of Law in Charleston, South Carolina, may not accept a new class next year.

According to Charleston Business, the Charleston School of Law may not be accepting an incoming class for the 2015-2016 academic year. Two of the school’s remaining founders, retired judges Robert Carr and George Kosko, said in a joint statement, “We cannot in good faith enroll another class when, like last year, the school is spending more money than is coming in; when we cannot assure the students that they will be able to use federal student loans for their full three years; and when we cannot be sure the school will be able to maintain its license and stay open.”

  
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The pair added that “it was a dream for the two of us” to create an accredited law school. “It was a dream to see it operate for over 12 years and educate more than 1,500 lawyers. This has been a wonderful ride, and we have always done what we thought was in the best interest of the school and the students. While there are those who disagree with our decisions, no one has given us more than empty promises and false hopes.”

The Post and Courier notes that the American Bar Association, as well as state rules, prohibit the school from closing outright. If the school does close, a “teach-out” plan must be created that delineates how enrolled students will finish their degrees.

Additionally, not everyone is buying Kosko and Carr’s statements. Attorney Andy Savage, according to ABCNews4.com, said that the school’s reputation was “severely tarnished” by their actions. Savage said, “At one time CSOL had owners who reportedly were advocates for the underrepresented and for those individuals who were caught up in and who were overwhelmed by the legal system through no fault of their own. We all admired their effort to equal the playing field for all parties involved in legal proceedings.”

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Savage added, “Other than Ed Westbrook, they all sold their soul along with their reputations. All of them except Carr, whose reputation went bankrupt many years ago so that there was nothing (soul or reputation) left to sell.”

Last year, the InfiLaw System, which owns and operates three for-profit law schools—Florida Coastal School of Law, Phoenix School of Law, and the Charlotte School of Law—expressed an interest in purchasing the school. Ed Westbrook, one of the original founders of the school, seemed to be the only founder in opposition to the sale of the school to Infilaw. Westbrook argued that Charleston School of Law was not created to become part of a national consortium.



Last year, the sale hit a roadblock.

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However, in March, Westbrook resigned from Charleston Law’s board of directors. Westbrook’s attorney said, “He intends to donate his interest, or the proceeds from his interest if Charleston School of Law LLC exercises its right to buy the interest, to a legally based charity that furthers the public mission of Charleston School of Law to serve the underserved.”

Last June, the attorney general said that a license could not be denied to Infilaw.

Savage (left), Kosko (top center), Westbrook (bottom center), Carr (right)

Savage (left), Kosko (top center), Westbrook (bottom center), Carr (right)

At that time, most students and faculty were surprised to hear of Westbrook’s resignation. Annah Woodward, the president of the law school’s Student Bar Association, said that it was “mind-blowing and hard to believe because Ed Westbrook has been a champion of the whole thing,” referring to his position on the sale of the school to Infilaw. She added, “I would rather see CSOL closed than see it become an Infilaw school.”

In June, Inflow withdrew its application for a license to run the school. 

Savage commented that Charleston Law graduations should ask Carr and Kosko for $120,000, which is roughly the cost of three years’ tuition at the school.

For more information on this story, click here to read an additional article.

Source: Charleston Business

Photo credit: Post and Courier (main photo, Carr), campus.lawdragon.com (Kosko), rpwp.com (Westbrook), savlaw.com (Savage)



 

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