Law schools are like Rasputin

As I’ve noted before, it’s really hard to kill a law school.  Just a couple weeks ago, it looked like the end was near for Charleston School of Law in South Carolina.  First the school announced that it might not enroll any students in the Fall.  Then, in a video leaked to Above the Law, a member of the school’s board told the faculty that “the only viable option for the survival of the school”–a sale to the for-profit consortium InfiLaw–was off the table because InfiLaw was no longer interested in buying the school.  Obituaries were written.  But it turns out that CSOL will not go quietly into the night.  Now comes word of “some very skilled local attorneys” working on a plan to save the school by placing it into receivership.  And the school now says it will enroll new students in the Fall after all.

CSOL is not out of the woods yet.  Not even close.  As one of the articles linked above points out, ABA rules prohibit the school from closing abruptly; rather, a school must submit a “teach-out” plan detailing how current students can finish their legal educations.  So there is some chance that all of the recent maneuvering is just setting the stage for an eventual closure.  But more likely, CSOL is simply doing what troubled law schools do: limping along and doing whatever it takes to stay open.  As long as at least a few people are willing to attend the school and pay its tuition, then closing it means turning down money.

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