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BREAKING NEWS: Panel rejects licensure for InfiLaw




The committee will provide its negative recommendation to the full commission at its next meeting on June 5. The commission will then decide a final action, according to Julie Carullo, deputy director of the commission. (Photo/Ashley Barker)The committee met this afternoon and agreed to recommend that the full commission deny licensure to InfiLaw, a for-profit consortium of independent law schools, to purchase the Charleston School of Law.



By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published May 19, 2014

A subcommittee of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education has rejected a motion to provide a license to the InfiLaw System for the purchase of the Charleston School of Law.

On Friday, the Committee on Academic Affairs and Licensing held a public hearing in North Charleston to hear from community members about the future of the law school. Another public hearing was held this morning in West Columbia.

The committee will provide its negative recommendation to the full commission at its next meeting on June 5. The commission will then decide a final action, according to Julie Carullo, deputy director of the commission. (Photo/Ashley Barker)
The committee will provide its negative recommendation to the full commission at its next meeting on June 5. The commission will then decide a final action, according to Julie Carullo, deputy director of the commission. (Photo/Ashley Barker)
This afternoon, the committee met and agreed to recommend that the full commission deny licensure to InfiLaw, a for-profit consortium of independent law schools including the Charlotte School of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law and Arizona Summit Law School.

The committee will provide its negative recommendation to the full commission at its next meeting on June 5. The commission will then decide a final action, according to Julie Carullo, deputy director of the commission.

Students, faculty and alumni of the school have spoken out against InfiLaw, calling it a “diploma mill.”

Ed Westbrook, one of the school’s founders, said Friday he is willing to continue financially supporting the law school if InfiLaw does not receive licensing or American Bar Association approval.

“I put up the money to start the school. If the school had failed, it would have been my financial loss. That would have been fine,” Westbrook said. “I was willing; I am willing to continue financially to back the school, and — if the license is not granted, or the ABA does not approve it, or InfiLaw decides it doesn’t want the school — to carry on with the school with a reconstituted board with community leaders and with support from the community to carry on the way we started, as a community-based law school for the students and not for the founders.”

Fellow founders Robert Carr and George Kosko are planning to retire soon, and both said Friday that they wanted InfiLaw to be granted licensure.

Charleston School of Law President Andy Abrams said he visited other InfiLaw-owned law schools and believes the system is the right company to continue the school. He said InfiLaw presents the “best opportunity to secure a bright and vibrant future for the school we care so deeply about.”

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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