CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Four months after the embattled Charlotte School of Law closed its doors, Eyewitness News learned the future is still uncertain for many people who were connected to the school when it shut down.
The American Bar Association placed the school on probation in November 2016 and the Department of Education pulled its federal student loan funding in December 2016 before the state pulled its license over the summer.
"A year later and I'm still in limbo," former student Talece Hunter said.
Hunter put her dreams on hold when she withdrew from the crumbling Charlotte School of Law amid its financial and academic crisis earlier this year. Now, she's searching for a way to attend law school on the weekends so she can continue working to support herself.
"I would fly every other weekend and have to get a hotel for a few nights a week. Very expensive but it's the option I have," Hunter said.
Channel 9's past coverage of Charlotte School of Law troubles:
- American Bar Association places Charlotte School of Law on probation
- Charlotte School of Law loses federal student aid
- Charlotte School of Law funding troubles leave students in limbo
- Recent bar exam scores lowest in history at Charlotte School of Law
- NC attorney general investigates Charlotte School of Law
- Charlotte School of Law receiving federal aid again
- Charlotte School of Law can't admit new students until further notice
She is one of the hundreds of students being represented by attorney Gary Jackson who want CSL and its parent company, Infilaw, to pay up for drowning students in debt and then leaving them hanging.
"Many have over $200,000 in student debt. Some of these are people who have finished, graduated and still haven't passed the bar. This has obviously been an extraordinary burden on these people," Jackson said.
There are several groups suing CSL. Most of the students’ cases are slowly making their way through the courts.
Some are filing individually while others are waiting to receive certified class-action status.
Many former students are also still waiting to learn if the Department of Education will forgive their loans.
"Is the Department of Education going to forgive these loans? We don't know. It is a political hot potato," Jackson said.
As it did for so many students, the closure left former professor Brian Clarke without a law school option in the Charlotte metro area.
Clarke left before the school's abrupt decline and said he and many other professors, of whom are some still looking for work, often discuss what could have been.
"It's a tragedy, a tragedy for people individually and, I think, in a lot of ways, I think it’s a tragedy for Charlotte," Clarke said.
Hunter said while the door is closed at CSL, she's promised herself this is not the way her story will end.
"Follow your dreams. Do not let this mountain stop you from achieving your goals," Hunter said, hoping to encourage students who are in the same situation.
The head of the Charlotte School of Law Alumni Association said the school has been evicted from its uptown location.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is still investigating possible deception at the school.
© 2020 Cox Media Group