Arizona Summit Law School

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Arizona Summit Law School
Logo 2014-04-13 02-14.jpg
Parent school InfiLaw System
Established 2005
School type For profit
Dean Shirley Mays
Location Phoenix, Arizona, USA
33°26′55″N 112°04′24″W / 33.448563°N 112.073199°W / 33.448563; -112.073199Coordinates: 33°26′55″N 112°04′24″W / 33.448563°N 112.073199°W / 33.448563; -112.073199
Enrollment 450[1]
Faculty 18[1] full time 40 adjunct
USNWR ranking RNP[2]
Bar pass rate 28.4%[3]
Website www.azsummitlaw.edu

The Arizona Summit Law School, known until 2013 as the Phoenix School of Law, is a for-profit law school located in Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 2005 and accredited by the American Bar Association in 2010.[4] SummitLaw is part of the InfiLaw System of independent, for-profit law schools, which includes Florida Coastal School of Law and Charlotte School of Law, owned by Sterling Partners.[5][6] The retired Dean of the University of Alabama School of Law, Ken Randall, who has been credited to have raised the rankings and reputation of the school over the last quarter century has since joined InfiLaw.[7]

According to Arizona Summit's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 35.3% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[8]

Employment[edit]

According to Arizona Summit's official 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 35.3% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo practitioners.[9] Arizona Summit's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 34.4%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2015 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[10]

ABA Employment Summary for 2015 Graduates [11]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
  
42.8%
Employed - J.D. Advantage
  
15.9%
Employed - Professional Position
  
13.2%
Employed - Non-Professional Position
  
3.6%
Employed - Undeterminable
  
0%
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
  
3.29%
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
  
0.0%
Unemployed - Not Seeking
  
2.09%
Unemployed - Seeking
  
18.3%
Employment Status Unknown
  
0.8%
Total of 334 Graduates

Costs[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Arizona Summit for the 2014-2015 academic year is $64,856.[12] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $243,864.[13] The median amount of debt for program graduates is $178,263[14] The school offers controversial conditional scholarships to students that can be reduced or eliminated based on overall grade point average, rather than academic standing. During the 2015-2016 academic year, 73 students had their conditional scholarship reduced or eliminated.[15]

Campus[edit]

The school is located in the Phelps Dodge Tower, a 20-story building in downtown Phoenix, occupying the eight top floors (13-20), across from CityScape, at One North Central Avenue.

Academics[edit]

SummitLaw's mission is based upon three pillars: 1) a student-centered educational experience; 2) supporting programs that allow for professionally prepared graduates; and 3) commitment to underserved communities.

  • Clinical Programs: SummitLaw houses a Mediation Clinic and other clinical programs designed to develop and enhance practice skills. Courses are offered in trial and appellate practice, mediation and alternative methods of dispute resolution. Clinical methods are used in various courses throughout the curriculum.
  • Externships: SummitLaw offers qualified, upper-level students in good academic standing opportunities to participate in a for-credit externship program. Students attend a classroom component that provides a link between the placement setting and the learning process. A faculty member coordinates and supervises the externship program.
  • Mentoring Programs: Each student is assigned a faculty member as their mentor. The faculty member helps to guide the student through their law school experience and form a professional relationship that will carry into their future career.[16]

U.S. News and World Report did not report the rank of Arizona Summit in 2016.[17] US News only ranks the top three-fourths of law schools.[18]

Student organizations[edit]

  • Delta Theta Phi, Law Fraternity, International
  • Black Law Student Association
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta, International Law Fraternity- Goldwater Chapter
  • Hispanic Law Students Association
  • Intellectual Property Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • St. Thomas More Society
  • Justice for All
  • Juvenile Law Society
  • Parents Attending Law School (PALS)
  • Public Interest Law Project
  • Legal Aid Work for the Protection of Animal Welfare Society (LAWPAWS)
  • Student Bar Association
  • Night Student Society
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
  • SummitLaw Women's Association
  • Federalist Society
  • Real Estate Club
  • International Law Society
  • Moot Court
  • Law Review

Reputation[edit]

  • In 2009, PhoenixLaw was ranked #8 for the "Most Diverse Faculty" in the Princeton Review's "Best 174 Law Schools Rankings".
  • The 2014 edition of Princeton Review's "The Best 169 Law Schools" features Arizona Summit Law School as top ten "Most Chosen by Older Students".
  • Students admitted for the Fall of 2014 to Arizona Summit Law School had a median GPA of 2.94 and a median LSAT Score of 144.[19]
  • The July 2015 bar passage rate for first time bar takers from Arizona Summit Law School was 30.6%. Out of 144 first time takers, only 44 achieved a passing score on the bar. With those retaking the bar included, the passage rate sinks to 26.4%.[20][21]
  • The February 2016 bar passage rate for first time bar takers from Arizona Summit Law School was 38.1%. Out of 97 first time takers, only 37 achieved a passing score on the bar. With those retaking the bar included, the passage rate sinks to 28.4%.[22]
  • Arizona Summit's July 2016 Arizona bar passage rate for first time writers was an abysmal 24.6%. Out of 73 first time test writers, only 18 achieved a passing score. The school's total July 2016 Arizona bar passage rate was 19.7%.[23]

Previously, the Chairman of the Board was Dennis Archer, a former Mayor of Detroit, Michigan Supreme Court justice and the first African-American president of the American Bar Association.[24]

A 2012 report showed that 18% of first-year students at Arizona Summit had transferred to other law schools. This led to a policy in which transfer students were required to meet with an adviser before their transcripts would be released. In 2013, two professors filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging that they had been fired for objecting to a new policy related to student transfers, among other policy changes.[25] The complaint was subsequently dismissed by District Court.[26] The plaintiffs appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The school created controversy in 2015, when the dean reportedly paid underprepared students not to take the bar exam.[27][28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Start Class - Arizona Summit Law School". http://law-schools.startclass.com/. Retrieved 2015-10-28.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ Best Law Schools – U.S. News and World Report
  3. ^ Arizona Bar Exam Results
  4. ^ "Phoenix School of Law: News & Events". Phoenixlaw.edu. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  5. ^ Infilaw Corp. (2012). "Home". Infilaw Corp. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ Sterling Partners (2011). "Portfolio:InfiLaw". Sterlings Partners. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Arizona Summit Law School: News & Events". InfiLaw. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  8. ^ "Employment Summary for 2015 Graduates" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "ABA Employment Summary for 2015 Graduates". 
  10. ^ "Arizona Summit Law School Profile". 
  11. ^ "Employment Summary for 2015 Graduates" (PDF). 
  12. ^ "Cost of Attendance". 
  13. ^ "Arizona Summit Law School Profile". 
  14. ^ "Arizona Summit Financing". 
  15. ^ "ABA Disclosures" (PDF). 
  16. ^ "Phoenix School of Law" (PDF). Phoenixlaw.edu. Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  17. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/arizona-summit-law-school-03197
  18. ^ http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/law-schools-methodology?int=9d0608
  19. ^ "LST Score Reports | Arizona Summit Law School, Key Stats". www.lstscorereports.com. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  20. ^ "Despite All Efforts, Law School Posts Worst Bar Exam Performance Ever". Above the Law. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  21. ^ Journal, ABA. "This law school had a 30% bar pass rate; do lower standards presage troubled times for law grads?". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  22. ^ https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/26/admis/2016/FEB2016ExamResults_WebVersion.pdf
  23. ^ "Arizona Bar Exam Statistics" (PDF). 
  24. ^ "Board Members". Phoenix School of Law. 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  25. ^ Cassens Weiss, Debra (4 June 2013). "Suit claims law profs were fired after opposing proposals to discourage student transfers". ABA Journal. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  26. ^ http://azcommonlaw.com/2014/03/12/amended-lawsuit-against-phoenix-school-of-law-by-former-profs/
  27. ^ http://www.nationallawjournal.com/home/id=1202728422268/Lawsuit-Infilaw-Paying-Law-Grads-To-Put-Off-Bar-Exam?mcode=1202617074964&curindex=0&slreturn=20160716225126
  28. ^ http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202729108185/Arizona-Summit-Defends-Encouraging-Grads-to-Delay-Bar-Exam#ixzz3hC7NEz6w

External links[edit]