Law Schools

Teach-out plan for Florida Coastal approved; classes will end after summer term

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Florida Coastal School of Law

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

Following the U.S. Department of Education recently pulling federal financial aid at the Florida Coastal School of Law, a teach-out plan has been approved, with current students finishing courses at other ABA-approved law schools.

The law school is the last of three for-profit schools owned by InfiLaw, an entity of the private equity firm Sterling Capital Partners. In April, the DOE terminated Florida Coastal’s access to federal financial aid.

The department denied a reinstatement request in May, and in a news release, it stated that a private equity firm with 98.6% ownership in the school had relinquished its ownership.

“We will not be offering classes following the end of the summer term. Many students will transfer to other schools. Those who do not transfer will participate in the teach-out as visiting students at other schools,” Peter Goplerud, the law school’s president and dean, told the ABA Journal in an email.

The council and an executive committee of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar rejected two previously submitted teach-out plans from Florida Coastal.

According to a public notice dated June 4, the law school’s accreditation will continue until July 1, 2023, for the “limited purpose” of allowing currently enrolled students to receive credits earned as transient students at other ABA-approved law schools.

Some students will transfer to other law schools, while others will attend classes elsewhere but graduate with Florida Coastal degrees, according to Goplerud. He estimates that a dozen or more schools will take the students as visitors.

At one point, InfiLaw owned three for-profit law schools. The Arizona Summit School of Law entered into a teach-out plan in 2018, and the Charlotte School of Law shut down in 2017.

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