As Derfner points out, applications and enrollment were doing better pre-2013 than other law schools around the country. Meanwhile, median LSATs and bar passage rates remained steady.
In his words, students were "enthusiastic" to attend CSOL:
Indeed, let's look at the numbers!So don’t let anyone say that Charleston School of Law was already in trouble.That is a disservice to talented faculty and students who were building a fine law school with a growing reputation — a reputation that was getting an enthusiastic response from an otherwise-dwindling national student marketplace.
Fall 2010: 156/154/151
Fall 2011: 154/152/148
Fall 2012: 154/151/149
Do you see that rise in the 25th percentile from 148 to 149? That's numerical enthusiasm.
Fall 2010: 3.46/3.18/2.9
Fall 2011: 3.38/3.13/2.8
Fall 2012: 3.43/3.17/2.94
See those spikes from 2011 to 2012? Enthusiasm!
Fall 2010: 237
Fall 2011: 224
Fall 2012: 174
See? They might've lobbed 50 people off the class, but NATIONAL ENTHUSIASM!
You know where else you can see this enthusiasm? The job market!
Bar Passage Required
Class of 2010: 53.5
Class of 2011: 55.4
Class of 2012: 59.8
Class of 2013: 59.6
See how the InfiLaw sale bushwhacked the school's prospects? Absent any sale to InfiLaw, the school was seeing an exponential gain in student prospects looking at this small sample size. By my calculations, the school was poised to have 71% of its graduates in BPR jobs in 2013. Soon, it would be well over 100% if they just let it ride.
Of course, the villain in all of this isn't InfiLaw. Heck, if InfiLaw makes a backroom deal to buy the school, and no one ever hears about it, it has literally no effect on anything. No, the real villain is people protesting InfiLaw.
By protesting the sale and opening your mouths, you cost students jobs, and put CSOL on shaky ground. If you had simply quietly accepted InfiLaw, none of these awful things ever happen. CSOL continues to rise as InfiLaw's crown jewel, and pretty soon its graduates enjoy the fruits of a Harvard-like reputation in the American southeast.
In fact, one has to wonder why Mr. Derfner is writing to the newspaper. If he truly believed in the school, I believe his talents would be better spent appealing to InfiLaw to get them to come back to the table and get the owners the money they rightfully deserve.