Thursday, February 7, 2019

The February 2019 Bar Exam: Florida Coastal Law School Seeks to Become a Nonprofit

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Florida Coastal Law School, a for profit school in Jacksonville is trying to stay alive.  It is seeking to become a nonprofit institution, a move that would enable it to affiliate with an existing nonprofit university. Florida Coastal wants to separate from InfiLaw Corp and, instead, be run by an independent board.  InfiLaw Corp has absolutely bombed in its administration of for profit law schools. Charlotte Law School has closed and Arizona Summit is closing soon.  Florida Coastal is the only law school left for InfiLaw.

Florida Coastal is in talks with an unnamed nonprofit university to affiliate with.  The potential affiliate is not in Florida but is a university located in the Southeast.

Florida Coastal has had accreditation problems and declining enrollment in recent years. The school alleges that it is working to improve its bar pass rates, graduate employment rates, and academic credentials.  Florida Coastal remains out of compliance with the ABA’s accreditation standards pertaining to admissions practices, and has been directed to make improvements in that area or risk losing accreditation. Florida Coastal brought in 60 first-year students this fall, down from 671 in 2011. Fewer than 48% of the school’s graduates passed the July 2017 Florida Bar. That figure jumped to more than 62% for July 2018 exam.

The number of ABA-accredited for-profit law schools is fortunately dwindling. They have been unmitigated disasters. Both the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Western State University College of Law previously converted to nonprofit institutions. The Charleston School of Law also plans to become a nonprofit.

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