Sunday, September 8, 2013

Charleston's Sale to Infilaw, Your ABA, and Angry Palmettos

I believe I forgot to report the wonderful news that 10-year-old Charleston School of Law is, indeed, going all the way with its new rich polyamorous boyfriend, Infilaw. Yes, it's old enough, and I hope many, many indebted little babies pop out of this new figure in the Infilaw orgy.

If you'll recall, about a month prior to this, the school announced it has entered into a "management agreement" with Infilaw...only to now confirm that they actually entered into a purchase agreement back in July.

Why did they not announce it immediately?

In an Aug. 28 letter to the commission, Robert Carr, one of the school’s founders, said his group held back in announcing the purchase agreement on advice of its lawyersand American Bar Association consultants.

Yes, kids, this is YOUR American Bar Association: we regulate the law schools, but us and/or individuals affiliated with us take on consulting arrangements with them. Conflict of interest? Bitch, we the law.

(There is a possibility that the consultants are not officially ABA-affiliated and advertise themselves as assisting schools with the regulatory process, as is common in regulated industries. However, the article is not entirely clear and I can't find a copy of the letter to get the actual wording, and frankly, it seems unlikely that an accredited law school would need such a consultant since everything is going to get approved, anyway. Besides, why use the proper noun as an adjective unless it actually means something?)

(And ask yourself why attorneys and "ABA consultants" are telling a school not to publicly announce its sale to Infilaw... should that not be a red flag to regulators?)

AND NOW, a letter from a pissed off state rep who plans to oppose the licensing of the New and Improved Charleston:

Infilaw's history and their (sic) own acknowledgment as testified to our committee make clear (sic) that quality, affordability, excellence and cooperation are not even remote goals in their (sic) operating model. Infilaw is concerned with profit and little else (damnable truth). As a result, they (sic) do not fit into the existing landscape of higher education in South Carolina, nor do they (sic) meet any present or future needs for our state. Infilaw’s presence in South Carolina would undermine those goals thereby injecting a negative influence on higher education in our state (is Clemson going to start smoking pot?). Additionally, their (sic) class sizes, lack of quality and excessive debt burden on future lawyers would degrade and undermine the effective administration of justice in South Carolina.

But the ABA accredited them! I mean, yes, your state government ultimately has the power to determine whether an educational institution can operate in your state, but no one in this industry ever acknowledges that, so I'm going to remind you again that the ABA has not put any roadblock on Infilaw accreditation and you, Mr. "Legislator", should not, either. Now why don't you go appropriate funds for some roads or something and leave the loan harvesting to to the professionals.

This story has legs for a scam article. Wealthy white dudes trying to bail to get rich, for-profit Infilaw just trying to make an honest buck, state representatives with their panties in a bunch, and third-tier law students upset that their school may decline in quality.

Stay posted, friends, although I'll tell you the ending now: Infilaw wins.

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