Law Students

Golden Gate University Faces Legal Battle to Stay Open
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A coalition of students and alumni from Golden Gate University filed for a court injunction on Wednesday, aiming to keep the financially troubled San Francisco school open for the upcoming academic year. This legal move is part of a broader lawsuit intending to prevent the planned closure of the university this summer.

Legal Motion to Prevent School Closure

The plaintiffs, consisting of current law students and alumni, submitted their motion to the San Francisco Superior Court. They argue that an injunction is necessary to prevent them from having to transfer to other institutions to complete their legal studies. Attorney Ryan Griffith, a Golden Gate Law alumnus representing the group, stated that the injunction would allow time for discovery and investigation into the university’s management. Griffith suggested that severe mismanagement might warrant the appointment of a court receiver to find a solution to keep the law school operational.

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University’s Response and Financial Challenges

Golden Gate University has declined to comment on the injunction motion. In previous court filings, the university argued that the alumni association lacks the legal standing to sue and claimed that the lawsuit does not adequately specify any breached contracts. The university announced in late November that it would discontinue its Juris Doctor program this summer due to financial difficulties caused by declining enrollment, a weak job market, and low bar exam pass rates. The law school has consistently ranked in the lower tier of U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.

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Plaintiffs’ Allegations and Legal Actions

The plaintiffs initially sued the university and its president, David Fike, in February for breach of contract and other claims. Fike was later removed as a defendant. The lawsuit alleges that the university misled students about its financial health and failed to provide sufficient transfer options for those affected by the impending closure. The case is filed under Golden Gate University Alumni Association v. Golden Gate University, California Superior Court for the County of San Francisco, No. CGC-24-612353.

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