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January 20, 2017

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Anon

I am shocked at the behavior of those running this school. Surely, some of this is criminal.

NewYork1

I am not certain if this behavior is criminal, but hopefully the private equity owner of Charleston will lose in civil suits. I do not see why they could not reach a compromise with the DOE/ABA that allowed loans for one more semester, and then allowed Charleston to issue degrees not only to students who finished, but for the next few years for students who did a visiting term or year elsewhere and met graduation requirements. By allowing one more semester, students would have time to transfer or arrange for a visiting year. I guess Infilaw was just too greedy.

dupednontraditional

"Their current plan is to substantially cut costs and try to ride things out this semester, while appealing to the incoming Trump administration, which Infilaw expects to be more friendly to the for-profit education industry..."

Infilaw's and Charlotte's approach seems to not paint a flattering picture of Trump or his administration. "Hey, that guy knows a good scam when he sees one, amirite? He'll certainly be on our side - I mean, look at Trump University, for crissakes..."

Seems like an odd position to take, but hey, when you're desperate, you're desperate, I guess.

CBR

There's a serious ethics issue with abandoning clinic clients. I sincerely hope the school has a plan to handle continued client representation.

anymouse

dupednontraditional - I know some other non-profit law schools that are pretty much a scam.

confused by your post

I wonder if CSOL will be able to weather the storm and get access to federal student loans restored by the post-Obama Dept. of Ed.

Leo

Correct, anymouse. The nonprofits are very lucky that an Infilaw school is the first fall. Gives them cover.

In terms of faculty being in the dark, the ABA needs some rule requiring administrations to share this type of information with faculty.

AnonProf

I feel sorry for the faculty -- I doubt many (if any) of them will find other schools that are willing to hire them.

anon

As debated on another thread on the same subject, absolving the faculty of responsibility will only exacerbate this problem at other failing law schools.

Some law schools are so poorly attended that the faculty are nearly outnumbering the students (perhaps not literally, but close).

Instead of teaching one or two courses per semester, and taking the ample breaks (both during and between semesters, including the summer) to loaf (most of these profs produce either no scholarship or scholarship that reflects scant effort), these professors could have been working with students on nearly a one to one basis.

Instead, they rode and ride the federal loan gravy train (I'm speaking generally here), mostly working part time while their student suffer the consequences of their sloth.

WHy are so many so quick to entirely excuse them? Are you prepared to believe the faculty at the bottom feeders are so dense as to "not know" what was going on at their schools? How many times will the community accept this nonsense? Now? Anyone with even a passing familiarity with reality here knows exactly what is going on here: and to say otherwise is pure bull feathers.

They knew, and they know.

Lawyer

anon @5:23 ... A few questions: (1) how on earth do you know ANYTHING about what the faculty at Charlotte knew? Be specific. (2) How on earth do you know the work habits of the faculty at Charlotte? Be specific. (3) What is the factual basis for your statement that the faculty at Charlotte only worked "part time"? Be specific. (4) How do you know that the faculty at Charlotte did not work with students one-on-one to help them? Be specific. (5) Specifically, what scholarship produced by Charlotte faculty "reflects scant effort"? Be specific. (6) To the extent that you are also referring to other law school faculties in your comments, please answer with specific details as to each school about which you are speaking.

If you cannot answer these questions with specific facts and first hand knowledge, please ... SHUT. THE. F***. UP.

anon

Hey Lawyer. Sounds like a nerve got pinched.

1. Read Frakt's posts. It's all public information, sir.

2. Law schools in general follow recognizable patterns, and a six unit per semester teaching package is well within the norm. My comment specifically was directed to all bottom feeders, not just the one mentioned. You are too angry to read the comment, I understand. No problem here. Rant away.

3. Read the comment. If you wish to tell me that this law faculty worked at least 50 weeks per year, and about 50 hours per week (the norm for professionals of this level) then YOU be specific.

4. This law school is a success? Could the faculty have improved their students' performance? You must not be a regular reader of the FL. Some profs have been posting lengthy blog posts about the effectiveness of intervention and working with students.

5. I really don't have much of a handle on the scholarship produced by this faculty; again, my comment was "generally speaking." Because you seem to be tearing your hair out about all this, tell us about some the great scholarship produced by this faculty, and, when you do, be sure to address the typical metrics: how many of the faculty have published, the citations rates, the impact scores, etc. You don't have a case here, Lawyer, but, I'd love to hear you try to make it.

6. You seem to be in "propounding interrogatories" mode. In that regard, you can be assured that you have no standing. Moreover, your interrogatory is overly broad and oppressive. Make a motion to compel to your imaginary court. Even in your dream world (where you scream obscenities at anonymous commenters on the internet), it will be denied.

Profanities in response? Please, lay it on! Your arguments are just that more persuasive by reason this "argument."

Lawyer

anon, your response proved my point precisely. Thanks.

Anon

As much as it might be hard to believe, anon, the world isnt black and white. Just because the school is a for-profit, who takes advantage of students with poor predictors, does not automatically make everyone there Satan. Some faculty might have known some things, but if it isnt already crystal clear, Infilaw tries as hard as possible to hide-the-ball from everyone as much as possible. I'd also like to know what precisely is wrong with going there in good faith, to do the best job possible, even if you hate the jerks who run the place? Oh. I'm sorry. That doesnt fit your "Charlotte bad, everyone bad" simplicity. Grow up.

anon

Anon

I couldn't agree more that generalizations are often by definition unfair.

So too is the generalization that faculties at failing, bottom feeders were "kept in the dark" by evil operators like Inflaw, e.g., "In terms of faculty being in the dark, the ABA needs some rule requiring administrations to share this type of information with faculty."

The failing nature of a law school isn't a secret.

You ask: "I'd also like to know what precisely is wrong with going there in good faith, to do the best job possible, even if you hate the jerks who run the place?"

Well, aside from Lawyer above, who has spent his venom, what is the argument that faculties at failing law schools work full time, and intervene to work with students to improve performance?

A law school semester is typically 14 weeks. A typical package is two three unit courses per semester, for two semesters. That's six hours of class time, 28 weeks per year. Of course, office hours, committee meetings, grading and other activities are common.

However, for the vast majority of law faculties, the main justification for this part time job is scholarship. (A full time job, for example, for a law firm, typically will require about 2000 billables per year, or 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, and, a "billable" hours does not account for every hour in the office; 2000 billables also requires firm meetings, etc., i.e., hours in the office that are not billed; and let's see the average salary comparisons!).

The fact is that bottom feeders are not known for faculties that produce copious amounts of high quality legal scholarship. If someone wants to argue that they do, have at it. (A list of law review articles the most recent of which is ten years old, or, an article every three years or so just proves the point. What was this person doing for the 25 weeks off every year no scholarship was produced? Tutoring failing students? In the office, working hard? Please.)

Folks are working part time at law schools that are exploiting the young and vulnerable have no grounds to get on their high horses and cuss at anyone who points out the truth. The fact that these folks often go around bragging and boasting about their concern for "social justice" and "public interest" and that just makes it all the worse.

There is more that they could and should have done. Period. They knew EXACTLY what was happening. (Faculty at failing bottom feeders know exactly what is happening: all they have had to do was read David's posts here in the FL over the past few years.) Powerless to help? Please. Roll up your sleeves and work full time. Nah. In the main, these paragons of virtue aren't willing and again, if there are exceptions, so be it.

You may think it is unfair to paint all faculty at all bottom feeders with the same brush. Fair enough. So don't just absolve them, ok?

Doug Richmond

An interesting question is whether Jay Conison will get a chance to be a law school dean again after his decanal performances at Valparaiso and Charlotte. His Infilaw bio paints him as a hero at Valparaiso. Regardless of how much blame or fault commenters here assign to him for those two schools' dismal educational records (in the case of Valpo, at least of late), will law school dean search committees view him as damaged goods or as a victim of circumstance?

Anon

So once again, you prove someone else's point. You say "You may think it is unfair to paint all faculty at all bottom feeders with the same brush. Fair enough. So don't just absolve them, ok?" Binary thinking at its very best. Good or bad, evil or absolved.

To point out that they are all not evil is not to absolve all of them either. Of course, if I did say that, it would be worthy of criticism. But of course I didnt. The world has more shades of grey.

NewYork1

Doug, IMHO, there will be fewer law schools down the road than now. There will be no desire to take a chance on someone if they are not regarded positively. OTOH, teetering law schools may want someone experienced with DOE/ABA issues, but I suspect they will hire someone like Conison as a consultant, not a dean. JMO.

anymouse

Leo - actually Indiana Tech Law School was the first to go.

http://law.indianatech.edu/general/indiana-tech-law-school-close-june-2017/

David Frakt

Dear Readers -

Please let's not turn this into a forum to anonymously mock and belittle other law professors, just because they are employed by less prestigious schools. And let's not disparage the work ethic of people you do not know or the work product of professors that you have not read. Many professors chose to pursue law teaching because it offered the potential of a more reasonable work-life balance, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It does not make them lazy. Hard work is not measured only in hours. If a law professor diligently prepares for class, conscientiously grades papers, provides the required service to the school and the profession, puts in the effort to keep up on developments in his or her field, and produces scholarship which is accepted for publication, then that law professor is definitely performing a full-time job, albeit one with greater flexibility and independence than many other professional jobs. Not every professor can be a superstar but there are plenty of respected serious scholars at low prestige law schools.

As for the professors at Charlotte Law School, let us show them some compassion. They are fellow members of the legal profession and the academy, people just like you, who have just lost their livelihoods in an unprecedented manner, with little or no time to plan or save. These are fellow human beings with families, and mortgages, about to be thrust into a legal job market where recent experience as a law professor is not particularly valued by employers. It is doubtful that Infilaw will offer them more than a pittance in severance, so they could be facing a real financial crisis in the immediate future.

And we should keep in mind that Charlotte will assuredly not be the last law school to fail. Even many well-respected schools are under great financial strain, and more consolidations and closures are likely.

anon

David

Your defense, while laudably empathizing with the human consequences for the faculty, does not even to begin to address their complicity. You are defending the faculty (without any evidence) by asking us to recognize that they are in financial distress (without any mention of the years of compensation they received while their students suffered). Ok, fine. No one should be glad about their pain on termination. And, for one, my comments have not expressed any such glee.

Instead, I have argued that those who say the faculty had no idea that their law school was failing because big bad Inflaw kept all the terrible truths from them are making a ridiculous claim (and you, especially, should agree, as you have been sounding the alarm for years).

Further, I have argued that the faculty of any law school should be held at least in part responsible for the failure of the school. It is not always and solely the fault of "management." Some bottom feeders do better than others. Faculty likely could have and should tried harder to help in cases of abject failure. You may think the burden of proof of this is on anyone raising the question: I don't.

You say: "If a law professor diligently prepares for class, conscientiously grades papers, provides the required service to the school and the profession, puts in the effort to keep up on developments in his or her field, and produces scholarship which is accepted for publication, then that law professor is definitely performing a full-time job, albeit one with greater flexibility and independence than many other professional jobs."

What a low bar! And, if you actually researched the matter, in any given year, how many law professors would even meet this low standard? Perhaps this is ok at schools where students are not fleeced. And, in the comments on another thread, I acknowledged that the cushy life style (I have yet to hear anyone refute the actual numbers, which are telling) of the law professor cannot be the subject of outrage if the students are gaining the value promised. No one is picking on bottom tier law schools because they are bottom tier law schools.

But, the faculties at bottom feeding, federal loan sucking, ruthless and greedy law schools where students are failing the bar and unable to obtain employment as attorneys in grossly unacceptable numbers should not be allowed to forego any accountability. You appear to think otherwise, but you have offered nothing to show that the faculty at any law school could actually be unaware of such facts. And, you have offered absolutely no evidence of any kind to show that any law school faculty worked anything close to what most people in this country understand to be a "full time" job. There is something called "common sense" here, David.

And, what about the students? While you express all this support for law faculties (whom you hope to lead?) do you also feel for the students? Can you seriously contend that a law school faculty at a law school - any law school - failing so abjectly could have been "in the dark" about the circumstances and actually likely did everything in their power to help their students? If so, please, tell us, on what basis? Don't you think that the bare minimum you have described is woefully inadequate when lives are being literally devastated by greedy law school operators, and by those who live off the profits of those operations? Why are you so determined to excuse every such faculty?

THe fact that there are so many law schools now teetering on the brink should be all the more reason to STOP PRETENDING LAW FACULTIES ARE IGNORANT AND POWERLESS.

You paint with exactly the broad brush that Anon rejects so passionately above. ANon is perfectly happy to generalize in favor of law school faculties ("I'd also like to know what precisely is wrong with going there in good faith, to do the best job possible, even if you hate the jerks who run the place?" as if this describes any law school faculty accurately). Anon won't object to your generalizations, because you, like Anon, are willing to defend law professors, instead of holding them just as accountable as they should be. Maybe that's a little, maybe that's a lot.

But your blanket absolution is not very persuasive, David.

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