Today the CHE held the first of two scheduled hearings to consider public sentiment related to Infilaw’s attempt to take over the Charleston School of Law.
Nearly every seat was taken, and most were filled with CSOL supporters who came to register their opposition to Infilaw’s application for a license to operate the school.
Commissioners heard from the three remaining founders of the law school, assorted administrators and faculty, students leaders, alumni, and community leaders. The overwhelming sentiment was in opposition to the license.
Infilaw premised its demand for a license on the notion that the CHE has no discretion to act in the best interest of students and citizens in making its decision. (Professor Billy Want has countered that argument in his comprehensive memorandum, which has already been circulated to each of the CHE commissioners.)
Ed Westbrook urged commissioners to recognize that if Infilaw is denied a license, the Charleston School of Law will go on just as it had before the Infilaw takeover began. He decried his fellow founders’ willingness to put their own financial gain over the preservation of the community-based spirit of the law school they created together and that he funded with his own money.
Student leaders and faculty detailed the terrible effects of attrition at the school that are already beginning to be felt because of the presence of Infilaw. Alumni board president John Robinson urged the commissioners to exercise their discretion and to protect the character of our school and, by extension, of our profession by denying a license to Infilaw.
A second hearing will be held on Monday, May 19, at 11 AM in Columbia at the Airport Campus of the Midlands Technical College. Alumni, students, and friends of CSOL are urged to attend, as this is the last hearing before the Committee on Academic Affairs and Licensing will meet to vote on the Infilaw license.
If you were unable to attend the hearing, the CHE has posted audio from the event on its website. And Professor Want’s memorandum is available below.