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April 28, 2018


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Rick Bales

I had the same reaction as David to the ABA's announcement. Until now, the ABA's actions on accreditation have been relatively consistent and predictable. I think the ABA owes all law schools a better explanation of how Cooley's situation is different from that of the other schools David mentions. If the only difference is Cooley's litigation tactic, I would expect a lot of future litigation by other schools. I sincerely hope there is a better explanation.


Don't look for logic. The ABA and these schools are in a revolving door, some of the Deans and Admins are former ABA people and vice versa. It is a racket. I used to teach at one of the schools you mentioned, they openly violated the ABA rules against the revolving door -- but they did it anyway. The whole thing is rotten to the core. It is rife with favors, inconsistencies, and some of the most limited thinkers that you can imagine. It's a morass of imbecility, a knot of conflicts, and a ball of confusion that you will never untangle. Don't try.


Disgraceful. The ABA has obligations under the law re accreditation, and those duties can’t be abrogated via settlement agreement. I hope a functioning DoEin the future launches a full investigation, names and shames the ABA people who did this, and strips ABA of accreditation authority.


twbb hit the nail on the head - the ABA didn't take any action at all until the Department of Education threatened to revoke the ABA's law school accreditation authority. Now, with a new administration in place, it is reasonable to believe that much of that pressure has been removed, and the ABA is reverting to business as usual.


"a functioning DoE in the future" because it certainly isn't today:

"Lawmakers sent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos a letter this week raising concerns about Diane Auer Jones. She is a former education official under George W. Bush and a former senior vice president at Career Education, a for-profit college operator. Jones, who was appointed senior policy adviser to the assistant secretary for postsecondary education in February, has also worked with for-profit colleges as a lobbyist and consultant.

Senate Democrats say those relationships color Jones’s objectivity in advising on policy and regulatory matters that affect her former employers and the for-profit industry. They are requesting detailed information about how the Education Department plans to address potential “conflicts of interest and appearances of impropriety that exist” in Jones’s role advising the agency.


This is not the first time Senate Democrats have challenged DeVos on hiring former for-profit college officials. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) inquired a year ago about the advising roles of Robert S. Eitel and Taylor Hansen. Eitel is another Career Education alumnus who also served as an attorney at Bridgepoint Education, a for-profit college operator. Hansen, a former lobbyist at the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (now called Career Education Colleges and Universities), held a temporary position at the Education Department.

DeVos also selected Julian Schmoke Jr., a former DeVry University dean with no legal or investigative expertise, to lead the student-aid enforcement unit at the Education Department. She also tapped Carlos Muniz, a corporate lawyer who has advised Career Education, as general counsel."


Or to put it another way - anyone think that the Trump administration, with education under Betsy DeVos, with Mulvaney in charge at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hasn't said - hey, fleece these student loan bearing suckers....

David Frakt

I agree that the DOE is unlikely to put pressure on the ABA, but I'm not sure I agree with the idea that the ABA is reverting to business as usual. The ABA has found quite a few law schools non-compliant since Trump and DeVos took over. In addition to the schools mentioned in this post (Florida Coastal, Lincoln Memorial, and Golden Gate), the ABA has placed Arizona Summit and Thomas Jefferson on probation, required remedial action of Appalachian and Texas Southern, and notified North Carolina Central and John Marshall Atlanta of non-compliance. So it is a bit early to say there is a trend, or that the ABA is backsliding. The one thing that is different about Cooley than all of the other schools that have been found non-compliant since 2016 is that Cooley sued the ABA. I think that is the key to understanding the ABA's decision. Hopefully, the ABA will be forthcoming with some kind of explanation of this otherwise inexplicable decision.

If the ABA is being consistent, I would I expect to see action against Charleston and Southern in the not too distant future. If they don't take any action against these schools, then I might start to believe that they are reverting to their old ways.


Two words: Regulatory Capture.


So the three theories identified so far are that (i) the ABA is backsliding, and after reading David's last comment, I agree it's too early to reach that conclusion, (ii) it's all a huge corrupt mess (Litowitz), or (iii) Cooley is getting special and confidential treatment because they were the only school to sue the ABA.

None of these sound good.


Have you taken into account, in your post above, the relationship between 501(b) and "the academic attrition rate of the law school’s students, the bar passage rate of its graduates, and the effectiveness of the law school’s academic support program."

WHen comparing the subject school to others (like Golden Gate) I don't see a full and complete analysis.


Why was David Frakt made a regular contributor of this blog? It’s just become a mouthpiece for his incessant rants.


AnonProf at 802, you clearly must work at one of the schools David has criticized. Someone has to hold the ANAs feet to the fire. It’s accreditation Committee has damaged thousands of people who should never have attended law school and believed the deceptive information these schools have published for years. The ABA has not moved quickly enough to tighten standards or rescind the accreditation of many of the schools David has written about.

Regulatory Capture, indeed.

David Frakt


I welcome opposing or alternative viewpoints, especially if supported by data. If you disagree with something I have written please feel free to share your thoughts.


I agree with Leo. AnonProf, if you are a professor, what is your rationale for ignoring failing law schools?

Or, do you believe that all law schools are in compliance with the weak, ineffectual and poorly enforced "rules" the ABA has grudgingly imposed?

Instead of posting some snarky comment, explain your position.

Again, if you are a professor ...

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

I give credit to President Bush II. He "de-certified" the ABA's power to recommend or veto Supreme Court and Federal Judicial nominees. The ABA is nothing more than a run of the mill trade association on the level of the American Truckers Association, AAA or Retail Federation. What does the ABA do? Put on a trade show so Lexis can give out stress balls? A magazine?

Joe S

My guess is that the ABA wants to obtain compliance from Cooley (through a settlement process) as opposed to punishing or eliminating Cooley. Regulatory bodies do not generally have the same attitudes as prosecutors. The ABA is probably attempting to get Cooley to set itself right. My guess is that we'll see a dramatic reduction in Cooley's student body in the next year or two in order to come into compliance with whatever the ABA requires. If Cooley becomes and succeeds at being a small regional law school successfully serving Western Michigan, more power to it. However, unfortunately for Cooley, I think the small regional law school is on its way out as a matter of economics. If Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, and Valparaiso couldn't make it, I don't see how Cooley can either. All of these types of schools attached to small cities and rural areas are on the bubble as there is no need for that many lawyers in small cities and regions anymore.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

^^^^Joe S,

You are so wrong with your fake post. Illinois has a law school gap. I said a law school GAP. There is no law school in Peoria, Rockford, Moline, Naperville, Aurora, Sp0ringfield, Danville, Galesburg, Effingham, Watseka, Lansing, Charleston and Alton. There are only 9 law schools and a mere 98,000 lawyers in Illinois. Read my lips, LAW SCHOOL GAP.


"fake post"

Geez, Freudian slip and projection anyone?

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

You are $4200 dollars upside down on your 2010 Sonata. You credit score is 540. Dodge will put you into a new Journey with black plastic mirrors and poverty caps financed by Santander for 84 months at 15.2% interest with $200 down. This my friends is Cooley law school. Nobody dreams about a Mitsubishi or cheapo Dodge. It's a new car and that's life in the big city. Cooley is a law school and that's life in the big city. It is what you can get into.

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