Pictured above is the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Charlotte School of Law has officially shut down. 

The Charlotte School of Law can now be referred to as the “defunct Charlotte School of Law,” after the school published an August 24th letter that stated they will officially be shutting down.

On August 11th, the Charlotte School of Law was informed that their license to offer programs of study in North Carolina had expired after state regulators rejected a request for a license extension.

Not soon after, the law school officially announced that they would be closing their doors. Although the official announcement came on Thursday, the closure had been obvious for more than a week because the website had been shut down, and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein had said he would ensure the school was closed for good.

The closure of Charlotte School of Law marks the culmination of a long, and often messy, journey for both the school and the students. In early August, The Student Loan Report covered a story regarding Charlotte School of Law being informed that the U.S. Department of Education would continue to give the law school access to federal student loan funding.

That was the first piece of good news that the law school had received in a while despite the fact that it was followed by a closure notice.

Prior to that good piece of news, the American Bar Association (ABA) had placed the law school on probation in October. After receiving probation from the ABA, Charlotte School of Law was notified by the Department of Education that the school was losing all federal financial aid after it was discovered that the law school was seriously misrepresenting its compliance with ABA accreditation standards to law-students at the North Carolina school.

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That aforementioned decision by the Department of Education was supposedly going to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the law school. Not soon after, the ABA informed the law school to come up with a plan to prepare both faculty and students for the impending closing of the school.

However, after the Department of Education announced they would continue funding the Charlotte School of Law, all expectations of a school-closure were put on hold. It was not until the school’s license to offer programs of study in North Carolina had expired that closure had become a likely outcome. Finally, once state officials rejected a request to extend the license, the closing of the Charlotte School of Law became reality.

The Charlotte School of Law released the following statement as part of the letter: “On August 11, 2017, the school’s license to offer programs of study in North Carolina expired. Despite negative, often misleading headlines, we vigorously pursued ways to keep the school open and protect the interests of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We are heartbroken that we were unable to achieve the desired outcome.”

After news of the closure circulated, the Department of Education published information to help students of the Charlotte School of Law take their next steps. Within the piece, students can see if they will be eligible for student loan discharge, in addition to the next steps they must take if they wish to transfer or obtain their academic transcripts.

Image Copyright © James Willamor