Legal Education

Arizona Summit Law School will eventually close and has submitted a new teach-out plan to the ABA addressing the individual needs of its remaining 22 students.

Peter Goplerud, Arizona Summit’s interim president, shared this information Thursday with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, the Arizona Republic reported.

The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in March 2017 placed Arizona Summit on probation, after finding it out of compliance with various accreditation standards. In June, the council announced it had withdrawn approval for the for-profit InfiLaw school. The finding was affirmed in August and may be the first time approval of an operating law school was involuntarily revoked by the council.

In September, the council rejected a teach-out plan where the remaining Arizona Summit students could finish coursework for their degrees at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The teach-out agreement was incomplete and not executed by the parties, according to the ABA notice.

Goplerud told the ABA Journal the law school submitted its new teach-out plan to the council Oct. 24. If the ABA approves it, the law school will drop its appeal of the council’s accreditation finding, according to the Arizona Republic article.

InfiLaw started three law schools—Arizona Summit, the now-shuttered Charlotte School of Law, and Florida Coastal School of Law, which remains open. Of those three law schools, all of which filed federal due process lawsuits against the ABA in May, only Florida Coastal has not been placed on probation by the ABA. It was found to be out compliance with various accreditation standards in October 2017, and in March the council ruled that it remained out of compliance, with the exception of meeting the requirements of Standard 501(a), which deals with admissions policies. That finding was affirmed by the council in August.

Scott DeVito, Florida Coastal’s dean, said in an email the law school “believes in its mission, its students, its program of legal education, and that it is fully compliant with the ABA Standards.” He said the law school admitted a class this year with a 150 median LSAT, and there were no admittees with an LSAT score below 145. According to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, the law school’s first-time pass rate for July 2018 was 62.5 percent.