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Jax Daily Record Thursday, May 20, 202105:00 AM EST

Florida Coastal’s teach-out plan rejected

The ABA said it did not include sufficient detail and must be resubmitted.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The American Bar Association notified Florida Coastal School of Law on May 18 that the school’s teach-out plan was rejected and must be resubmitted.

The ABA directed the law school to submit the plan to facilitate the transfer of its students to other accredited law schools to finish their education after Florida Coastal’s application for reinstatement in the federal Title IV student loan program was denied in April.

“We will be submitting an appeal of the Department of Education’s decision this week. We will be resubmitting the teach-out plan by May 28 with details on how the plan will work for each of our students,” said Peter Goplerud, president and dean of Florida Coastal, in an email May 19.

 “We continue to focus on our students and I, along with senior members of the administrative team, am meeting throughout the next several days with each student individually to discuss their future,” he said.

A notice from the ABA published May 18 indicates that its Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions determined that the teach-out plan submitted by Florida Coastal “did not include sufficient detail relating to the operation of a teach-out” in light of the denial of the school’s access to the federal student loan program.

Goplerud has some experience submitting teach-out plans to the ABA.

The ABA Journal reported in November 2018 that a teach-out plan for Arizona Summit Law School was approved after the first plan, submitted two months earlier when Goplerud was interim president of the school, was found to be incomplete.

Sterling Capital, a private equity firm based in Naples, Florida, purchased Florida Coastal in 2004 and at the same time established the InfiLaw System.

InfiLaw founded the Phoenix School of Law (later renamed Arizona Summit School of Law) in 2004 and the Charlotte School of Law in 2006 in North Carolina.

The ABA put Arizona Summit on probation for violating academic and admission standards in March 2016. The school’s accreditation was withdrawn in July 2018. It closed in May 2020.

Charlotte School of Law was placed on probation in November 2016 for violating admissions standards required for ABA accreditation. The Department of Education terminated the school from the student loan program a month later. It closed in August 2017.

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