Founders of the Charleston School of Law announced Wednesday they now intend to sell the 9-year-old school to The InfiLaw System but are still willing to consider other offers.
The private school, one of two law schools in South Carolina, earlier entered a management agreement with InfiLaw that operates three for-profit law schools. Such a management agreement is usually the first step in a sale.
Any change in ownership would have to be approved by both the American Bar Association and the state Commission on Higher Education and is expected to take a number of months to complete.
“We made this decision because a majority of the founders had expressed a desire to pull back and retire,” Robert Carr and George Kosko, founders and directors of the school, said in a statement. “As a result, this transaction is part of a necessary succession plan that ensures that the Charleston School of Law will be viable and thrive over the long term.”
Word of the management contract caused concern among the law school’s students, alumni and some state lawmakers. They worried a sale would diminish the value of degrees awarded by the institution. One state lawmaker proposed that, as an alternative, the College of Charleston consider acquiring the law school.
The statement said the founders had approached other private institutions but that those institutions “elected not to engage in substantive discussions.” It said no public institutions have approached the school and that the founders considered becoming nonprofit or selling to a current owner.
“None of the options would have done as much protect the interests of the law school for the foreseeable future as the InfiLaw transaction,” the statement said, adding the founders are still willing to consider “well thought-out and financially viable offers.”
The Charleston School of Law has about 600 students and tuition for the current school year is about $38,000.
The state’s other law school is the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia.
InfiLaw operates the Charlotte School of Law, the Florida Coastal School of Law and the Phoenix School of Law. The Associated Press left a message with InfiLaw seeking comment.