With the news about Western State College of Law in Orange County, California on the brink of closure and financial destruction, some law students and prospective law students might be wondering what the chances are that their law school will be next.
Notably, if Western State actually does end up closing mid-semester, and it's looking like that's pretty likely due to the current state of affairs and the very real consequences, it would be the first time in history an accredited law school just up and closed mid-semester.
The problems for Western State probably started when they were acquired by Argosy University, which was just put under a receivership. Argosy has gotten in hot water for misuse of federal money, namely that students were not receiving financial aid that they were owed.
This led to the Department of Education putting a stop to student loans going to students enrolled in any Argosy institution, and also barred those schools from accepting tuition and enrolling new students.
For Western State students, the consequences of the current problems are very real. It's not just the students reliant on student loans that are suffering (though they are definitely feeling the pinch of not being able to pay rent, or afford other necessities, and there's even a GoFundMe set up to accept donations).
What's even worse is that law students who would be graduating and sitting for the bar this year are really up the creek without a paddle right now, as there might not be a school to graduate from and issue the J.D., which is a prerequisite for sitting for the bar.
The law school is exploring a few options, and could potentially be sold to a new owner and continue to operate, or potentially reach teach-out plan agreements with nearby law schools to allow Western State students to finish up their programs there.