Legal Education

Florida Coastal’s teach-out plan rejected again; another school demonstrates compliance on bar pass rates

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Florida Coastal School of Law

The Florida Coastal School of Law. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

For the second time in a month, the council and an executive committee of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has rejected a teach-out plan submitted by the Florida Coastal School of Law.

The May 18 public notice follows the U.S. Department of Education pulling the for-profit law school’s federal financial aid on the basis that it did not meet financial responsibility standards.

According to a May 13 news release from the DOE, the private equity firm that owned 98.6% of Florida Coastal relinquished its ownership in April.

In regard to the teach-out plan rejections, the council first posted a public notice April 26, stating that the submission did not include sufficient details. The revised plan also lacked sufficient details, specifically in regard to the DOE decision, according to the May 18 public notice.

Florida Coastal will submit another teach-out plan to the ABA, according to a May 19 statement from Peter Goplerud, the law school’s president and dean. He also said the school plans to submit factual evidence to dispute the DOE’s decision.

“We continue to focus on our students, and I, along with senior members of the administrative team, am meeting throughout the next several days with each student individually to discuss their future,” Goplerud said in the statement.

In other legal education news, the council found May 18 that the Mississippi College School of Law has demonstrated compliance with Standard 316, which requires a bar passage rate of at least 75% within two years of graduation.

The law school’s two-year bar passage rate was 72.64% for 2017 graduates and 73.83% for 2018 graduates. For 2019 graduates, the pass rate was 79.2%, Patricia Bennett, the law school’s dean, recently told the ABA Journal.

According to a June 2019 memo from the section, if a law school is out of compliance with the standard and in a subsequent year reports a bar pass rate of at least 75%, the school “will have cured its noncompliance and will be found back in compliance with the standard.”

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