Tuesday, April 17, 2018

In final blow to defunct Charlotte School of Law, zero bar passage rate for February exam

A sad and disheartening end for a small group of alums from the recently closed school who face substantial student loan debt (although those who withdrew before the school closed may be eligible for debt relief), no jobs, no school, and now all of them have failed the most recent administration of the state bar exam. The Charlotte Observer has more details:

Last class of Charlotte School of Law faces bleak reality after bar exam results


A chaotic year at Charlotte School of Law has given way to a disastrous performance by its graduates on the most recent bar examination, according to newly released state figures.


Eleven recent alumni of the defunct school took the test for the first time in February. All failed. 


Among the Charlotte Law graduates who had taken the test before, eight out of 73 passed the most recent exam.


Combined, that gives Charlotte Law an overall passing rate of 9.5 percent — by far the lowest of the state's seven law schools.


Statewide, 43 percent of the in-state law grads passed the exam on the first try, according to figures released by the N.C. Board of Law Examiners. Charlotte Law's performance pulled down the overall passage rate to 29 percent.


Several of the in-state schools saw their overall success rate fall. At UNC Chapel Hill, for example, the combined passing rate dropped from 65 percent in February 2017 to 46 percent this year. A total of 28 UNC law graduates took the most recent exam. 


No school fell as far as Charlotte Law, which locked its doors in August. The end came nine months after the uptown school was bounced from the federal student-loan program amid regulatory scrutiny of its bar exam scores and the rigor of its curriculum and admissions — even as the for-profit operation charged more than $40,000 in tuition annually.


Charlotte Law had more graduates sit for the February exam than any other N.C. law school. According to the school's critics, the performance of Charlotte Law's final graduates illustrated the school's basic failings.


"There are many reasons this law school closed, and this is just one of them," said Staci Zaretsky, editor of the blog Above the Law, which first reported the bar results.

"God, that's depressing. At least with Charlotte's closure, the suffering has ended."


Over the weekend, Charlotte attorney Noell Tin posted on his Facebook page that the "zero point zero" passage rate of Charlotte Law's first-time takers reminded him of the movie "Animal House."


On Monday, Tin told the Observer he sympathizes with the local students who have taken on significant student loans and now may not be able to find the jobs and salaries to pay them off.

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