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Florida Coastal School Of Law Plans To Convert To Nonprofit

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Jacksonville Daily Record
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The Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville

The Florida Coastal School of Law wants to become a nonprofit.

The school announced Tuesday it has filed an application with the American Bar Association (ABA) for permission to make the transition.

“Moving to nonprofit is the right thing for our students, alumni, and our community. It will also strengthen the institution and open the door to our becoming affiliated with a non-profit university. We are extremely fortunate in having the support of all of our stakeholders as we transition to non-profit,” said Florida Coastal Dean Scott DeVito.

DeVito believes the change will benefit the school and students alike. “For example, it enables us to reach out and get grants so our students would have greater opportunities in that regard. There are schools at which we’re not currently easily able to recruit because they don’t allow for-profit schools to recruit there.”

DeVito the goal is to get to about 600 students. Right now there about 200 students enrolled. The dean said it's possible - although not likely - the switch to nonprofit could be accomplished in time for the next school year.

The law school also announced it is pursuing an affiliation with a nonprofit university, although it did not reveal the name of the university or whether it is in Florida.

The move to nonprofit will also mean separating from its parent company, InfiLaw. Once the transition is complete, Florida Coastal will be an independent school run by an independent board.

Florida Coastal and InfiLaw have faced issues with the ABA.

Last year the the ABA found InfiLaw’s three law schools out of compliance with admission and accreditation standards.

InfiLaw-owned Charlotte School of Law closed in August and Arizona Summit’s accreditation was rescinded in June by the ABA.

Florida Coastal appealed the noncompliance determination and remains accredited and is not on probation.

Tuesday Florida Coastal said it was the only law school in Florida to improve its Florida Bar passage rate over the last four test administrations.

The February 2018 results placed Florida Coastal fourth in the state,  and the school ranked seventh out of Florida's 11 law schools on the July 2018 Bar, according to the school.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews.