Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Purdue has been runnning "Concord Law School" online in Indiana since 2017, and wants to avoid ABA oversight (UPDATED)

A concerned Indiana law professor writes:

Purdue's [Concord] law school enrolled 798 students last year.


Only 8 [out of 17 first-time takers] passed the bar exam


These facts are not mentioned in the Indiana Supreme Court's proposed rule change to exempt Purdue from ABA oversight, nor the working group report behind it.


If the exemption passes, Purdue will be free to advertise itself as "Indiana approved," with no obligation to continue disclosing its lackluster attrition bar passage and attrition rates.


The Indiana State Bar Association opposes the exception.


Locals expect the court to approve the exception as a favor to Purdue, whose outgoing President, Mitch Daniels, appointed Chief Justice Loretta Rush in his prior role as Governor.


Concord Law School is part of Purdue University Global, Mitch Daniels' flagship initiative. The online arm has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau, due to persistent complaints of fraud.


There is no public outcry in Indiana, where the legislature is busy debating transgender policy and criminal penalties for librarians who distribute banned books.  Indiana University's general counsel has discouraged its faculty from engaging in "activism."

UPDATE (MAY 4):  A colleague elsewhere (not Indiana) writes:

               The Concord bar exam pass rate document linked to is only for the California Bar Exam.  8 students passed in 2022 as first-time takers, but it was not out of 798 as the Indiana law professor implies, but out of 17 sitting for the exam for the first time.  That’s a 47% passage rate.  That’s dismal, but on par with Elon and Cooley, and better than a few ABA accredited schools.  

               The real issue is that only 17 students took the California bar.  Perhaps others took the bar in other jurisdictions, but that generally requires an ABA-accredited JD.  And yet Concord only seems to graduate 25-40 students per year.  Most of the students who matriculate never make it to graduation—the attrition is crazy high:  In 2021 there were 535 1Ls.  In 2022 there were 122 2Ls.  That’s 78% attrition after 1L year.  Where did the other 413 former 1Ls go?   


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