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2 Students Sue Charlotte School Of Law Amid Troubles

Two students at the for-profit Charlotte School of Law are seeking class action status for a federal lawsuit against the troubled school.  

The state’s largest law school is on probation with its accrediting organization, the American Bar Association, over concerns that it admits unqualified students, that graduates have too high a failure rate on the bar exam, and that it offers an inferior education.  

This week, citing similar concerns, the U.S. Department of Education said the school no longer can receive federal student loan money.   

Students Robert Barchiesi and Lejla Hadzic filed suit Thursday at federal district court in Charlotte.  It names Charlotte School of Law and its for-profit owner, Infilaw, as defendants.

Barchiesi said Friday that the school misled students about the extent of its problems.

“I found this deeply disturbing that all of this information was withheld from us for a substantial period of time,” Barchiesi said.

Charlotte School of Law got nearly $49 million in federal student loan money last year. Losing that could take a big chunk out of the school's budget and threaten its future.

Barchiesi is 31 years old. He moved to Charlotte from the New York area to study at the school. He's worried the school won’t reopen in January.  With only a semester left before graduation, he said it's difficult to transfer to other schools.

“The problem is that they only want to take a certain amount of credits if they take any credits at all,” Barchiesi said. “Because with the findings from the Department Education and the American Bar Association, the rigors of the coursework is now being challenged in the legal community, so folks at some of these other legal institutions aren't confident that people in my position have received the quality of education that's necessary to advance.”

Charlotte School of Law spokeswoman Victoria Taylor said the school was not aware of the complaint.

“We are currently working to secure the best outcome possible for our students,” she said.


Charlotte School of Law website, http://www.charlottelaw.edu/

Lawsuit filed at Federal District Court in Charlotte (PDF)

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.