Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Questions Regarding Viability of New Indiana Tech Law School Are Raised After Dean Steps Down; Indiana State Bar Association Still MIA

I've been following the saga of Indiana's newly opened fifth law school, Indiana Tech.  However,while in Florida, I overlooked the mysterious story of the dean of the Indiana Tech Law School departing after the first year.  The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported last June:
Peter Alexander, Former Dean, Indiana Tech Law School
With very little fanfare late last month – in sharp contrast to how his hiring was announced – Indiana Tech announced the founding dean of its fledgling law school was gone.

The news release announcing Peter Alexander's departure came late on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day.

In contrast, when Alexander was hired in November 2011, the university introduced him at a news conference attended by staff, faculty and students at the school.
 ...

Though Alexander's departure was sudden and shrouded in mystery – no one will say why he left and his attorney Mark Paul Smith said he could not comment on the matter – university officials said the law school remains on solid footing as it looks to begin its second year.

Adding to the mystery is the not-publicized decision by the school and Alexander for him to remain on as a consultant from a distance, which school officials confirmed.
...
After Alexander's departure was announced, the university appointed andr√© douglas pond cummings as interim dean of the law school.  (Note:  the name is not a typo. Mr. cummings doesn't use capital letters in his name.)

...

“We've started the process (of looking for a new dean),” Englehart said, adding that the position has been advertised and is receiving interest and applications.

A search committee has also been formed, he said.

...

With 28 students having completed their first year at the yet-to-be accredited school on Fort Wayne's east side, there is a lot on the line.

Because the school is not accredited by the American Bar Association, those credits earned in that first year would not likely transfer to other law schools should a student get cold feet and not want to wait it out.
...
Law schools cannot even apply for provisional accreditation until they have been in operation for one year, according to the American Bar Association. 
According to required ABA disclosures published in July 2014, in its first year 68 students applied to the school and 51 were accepted.  The median GPA at the school that year was s 3.03.   The bottom 25% of the students have a median 2.42 GPA.   The tuition is $30,360.  Living on or off campus is
Jim Dimos, President of the
Indiana State Bar Association
pegged to cost an additional $17,800.
A law school education from even established law schools are, at best, an iffy investment in a saturated legal job market.  To spend nearly $50,000 a year to attend a law school that has not been ABA certified is an even more dubious gamble.  If Indiana Tech is not certified by the ABA, those who graduate from that school won't be eligible to sit for the bar in more than a handful of states, most prominently California.   Indiana, like most states, require that those sitting for the bar have attended an ABA certified law school.

I sense a big scandal on the horizon, likely led by angry former students suing the school.  Of course the Indiana State Bar Association has been a major leader in opposing the unneeded Indiana Tech and standing up for students exploited by false representations of law schools about the legal job market.  Of course, I kid.  The ISBA, as is typical, is nowhere in sight on issues relating to the Indiana Tech Law School.  That mirrors the ISBA's refusal to stand up for attorney free speech, including the right to criticize judges and others players in the legal profession.

1 comment:

Shiny Elena said...

Whatever it is, it shouldn't reflect on students and eduction process. Education is worth investing in and that's fact! Knowledge you gain at college can bring lots of benefits in the future. Essay writing is an inescapable part of being a student as it fosters some vital skills, like researching, analyzing information, critical thinking. As a rule your educator should help with the writing process, but there are many professional essay writers who can give tips, teach and help to write perfect essay. Also it's very important to learn how to write the paper on your own.