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Charlotte School of Law Uses Example of Florida Coastal Lawsuit to File Their Own against ABA
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Charlotte School of Law

Summary: Charlotte School of Law has filed a lawsuit similar to Florida Coastal’s against the American Bar Association.

With the example of Florida Coastal’s lawsuit against the American Bar Association, Charlotte School of Law has filed their own lawsuit against the governing body. CSL’s lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, alleges that the ABA violated their rights to due process.


CSL claims that the ABA acted arbitrarily and capriciously towards the law school, failing to meet statutory and other standards of fairness and due process despite the law school’s “strong commitment to academic success,” according to a school press release.

CSL is being represented a team of highly experienced Kirkland & Ellis attorneys, including former Solicitor General of the United States Paul D. Clement, former Assistant Attorney General of the United States Viet D. Dinh, and H. Christopher Bartolomucci.

Clement said, “The complaint filed today in federal court alleges that the ABA’s actions against the CSL violated the due process required of those wielding accreditation power and caused CSL to be excluded from the Title IV federal loan program, making it impossible for CSL to continue to operate as a law school.”

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CSL was placed on probation by the ABA in November 2016 with no explanation. The ABA did this without a recommendation from the Accreditation Committee. This action and others made by the ABA led to the Department of Education terminating CSL’s participation in the Title IV program, which meant their students could no longer obtain federal financial assistance. This made it impossible for the law school to go on.

The law school claims to have made repeated requests from the ABA about they needed to do to come into compliance but never received a clear answer. They allege that the unwritten and unclear standards violate the federal regulations governing accreditors. They also allege that the ABA’s repeated failure to tell CSL what their problems were goes against accreditation standards. All of these actions went against common-sense views of fairness.

CSL points out that the ABA in inconsistent in their written and unwritten standards between law schools. Even when the ABA cited the law school in 2016, they knew the school was already taking steps to increase admission standards. Their Spring 2017 entering class was set to have higher LSAT scores than approximately 25 other law schools.

Regardless, the ABA found CSL out of compliance with admission standards and put them on probation without an opportunity to prove otherwise before the Department of Education also took action against them. In the lawsuit, CSL alleges that the ABA treated them differently because they are a proprietary law school, much like Florida Coastal. They claim that certain former Department of Education officials put the pressure on the ABA to take adverse actions against them.

Do you think the ABA is unfair and treats schools differently? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about which schools have had accreditation issues, read these articles:




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