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The Feds Might Bail Out a Dumpster Fire Law School


The Department of Education is letting the Charlotte School of Law (19.23% J.D.-required employment rate; 46% bar passage rate; $249,693 in costs) back onto the federal teat. Delicious.

Charlotte Law, and therefore its students, were previously cut off from federal student loans because the Department of Education found that the school mislead its students. But if Charlotte Law can now put up six million in cash, and agree to offer refunds to first-years, then it will back in the taxpayer-funded cream.

Does this sound right? Should anyone ever attend this for-profit septic boil? Let’s discuss.

Charlotte Law shouldn’t get any federal funding

That the federal government is propping up such a sorry excuse for an educational institution is a ‘uge tragedy. Charlotte Law can’t even attract students who’ve scored above the median on the LSAT. As of 2016, their 75th percentile LSAT score is a 148, which is the 38th percentile. Charlotte Law takes these people and it spits them out with about $3,000 in monthly loan payments and only about a 20% chance of finding a JD-required job.

But even with such dismal results, and having lied to its prospective students, Charlotte is back in business thanks to the federal government.

You might wonder, is this private-equity outhouse even ABA accredited? It is. So a large share of the blame lies with the ABA, which is too weak to snuff out failing law schools.

But should anyone ever attend Charlotte Law?

The students aren’t to blame

The legal industry isn’t what it was before the financial crisis. But the massive improvement we have today on that subprime-fueled golden age is transparency. You have all the data you’ll need to decide whether law school is right for you, right down to the monthly loan payments (think: $2,500 to $3,500).

With all this information–and federal loans subsidized by taxpayers and other law students with better employment odds (yes, I’m salty)–if someone decides to attend Charlotte Law, they’re probably making a decision that makes sense for their circumstances. And if this dumpster fire blows up in their face, they will serve as an outstanding (eyebrow-less) example of poor decision making for the next crop of law school hopefuls.

Personally, I wouldn’t be caught using the urinal at Charlotte Law. But if someone has a big enough appetite for risk, I get it. You have about a 1.5% chance of landing a big law job out of Charlotte Law. That means a $180,000 salary. Your odds of getting a decent job in a DA’s office are probably better still.

So if Charlotte Law can manage not to lie to its prospective students, and these people still end up wanting to enroll, then have at it. They’re probably doing the best they can.

But a little more of the ol’ free-market (meaning less federal student loans) would do everyone a world of good.