August 18, 2006
Class Action Claims St. Thomas Univ School of Law, Miami, Expelled Students with Low GPAs to Boost Bar Passage Rates
The National Law Journal reports that the complaint specifically alleges that Franklyn Casale, who is the university's president, Robert Butterworth, the law school's dean, and other administrators violated federal anti-racketeering laws by devising a scheme to intentionally dismiss students who were in the bottom 25% of their class in order to improve the law school's bar exam pass rate. Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. The action asserts that the ABA failed to adequately oversee the school by not detecting the alleged scheme and by not taking the steps necessary to make sure the school was meeting its standards.
According to the NLJ report the associate dean for student and alumni services at St. Thomas law school called the lawsuit "illogical."
From the Princeton Review's 2006 edition of the Best 159 Law Schools: "the admissions statistics are pretty forgiving at St. Thomas... Admitted students at the 25th percentile have an LSAT score of 148 and a GPA of 2.6. Admitted students at the 75th percentile have an LSAT of 153 and a GPA of 3.3." [JH]
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