For-Profit Law School Goes for Non-Profit Status

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on February 07, 2019 2:50 PM

Chest-deep in problems, Florida Coastal School of Law is trying to dig out by going non-profit.

As a for-profit entity, Florida Coastal had had all kinds of issues. Among them, the American Bar Association said the law school had substandard admission practices and low bar pass numbers.

Changing tax status won't solve those problems. But going non-profit is better than going broke.

Non-Profit Law School

Florida Coastal is one of three for-profit law schools owned by InfiLaw. However, business has not been good for law schools in recent years.

In the midst of a nationwide decline in law school enrollments, the InfiLaw schools performed miserably in academics as well. Still, they continued to attract students in what The Atlantic called, "The Law School Scam."

By 2017, InfiLaw was looking for a way out. Charlotte School of Law, one of its operations, lost funding and closed. Arizona Summit, the other InfiLaw school, is set to close next year.

Scott DeVito, Florida Coastal's dean, said the move to non-profit status is part of a bigger plan. The law school wants to become part of a non-profit university.

Non-Profit University

In a press release, the law school said the change will also take InfiLaw out of the law school business. The "for-profit" numbers won't matter any more.

"At the completion of this transition, Florida Coastal will be an independent law school run by an independent board," the school said.

In the meantime, the law school will be working on other numbers. Florida Coastal had a pass rate of 62.5 percent for the July bar last year.

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