Beleaguered Law School Arizona Summit Reaches Its Nadir

BPPphilip-lsat-blog-arizona-summit-law
…more like Arizona Plummet, amirite?

Growing up, I used to wish that my school would magically disappear, leaving me free to play around all day without any responsibilities. Well, for law students at Arizona Summit, that childhood dream is quickly becoming an adult nightmare.

In case you missed it, the latest in beleaguered law school news is that Arizona Summit will not be holding classes this fall semester. Basically the school just emailed all of its students and told them to transfer, pointing them to apply as “visitors” to the nearby Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. And then yesterday, it was reported that Arizona Summit got kicked out of its building after it allegedly stopped paying rent months ago.

Arizona Summit is a for-profit InfiLaw law school — InfiLaw also owned the now-shuttered Charlotte School of Law and currently owns Florida Costal. By all indications, the ABA is cracking down on these for-profit law schools and on similarly underperforming peer schools.

So, how does this affect current applicants?

If you’re considering attending one of these law schools, you should realize there is a real risk that you will not graduate from an ABA-accredited institution. In most states, graduation from an accredited institution is required to sit for the bar exam. If graduating from your school doesn’t even let you sit for the bar exam and become a practicing lawyer, what’s the point? Additionally, unaccredited schools are not subject to the same quality control standards for curriculum as accredited schools.

These additional detriments are on top of the other glaring weaknesses almost universally present with respect to unaccredited schools — low bar passage rates (if you can sit for the exam) and terrible employment outcomes. Schools like Arizona Summit have abysmal bar passage rates well below 50% to go along with abysmal employment numbers.

My constant anthem about selecting a law school is to attend an institution that maximizes your positive employment outcomes while minimizing your costs. These types of schools accomplish neither goal. Sure, offers of admissions may include financial aid packages, but those packages are often contingent upon earning a certain GPA, which is by no means guaranteed in law school.

Ultimately, the vast majority of students attending these types of schools find themselves in debt, unemployed, and unable to pass the bar. And, for those students at Arizona Summit, out of a school.

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