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Golden Gate University in San Francisco sued for planning to drop law degree program

San Francisco, California – The alumni group and four students currently enrolled at Golden Gate University School of Law filed a lawsuit against the school and its president in a California court on Wednesday. They want to prevent the school from closing its law degree program.

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The university’s leaders said in late November that they would end the law degree program in May because the school is losing money. This is happening because not as many students are enrolling, jobs for graduates are hard to find, and not enough students are passing the bar exam. The school, which is 123 years old, plans to keep offering other law-related degrees at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The lawsuit accuses the university of not telling students about the school’s money problems and not helping students find other schools to attend. It was filed in San Francisco and claims the school broke its agreement with the students.

On Friday, Golden Gate University responded to the lawsuit by saying it was without merit and they expect it to be dismissed quickly.

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The lawsuit also accuses the university’s president, David Fike, of poor management. It says he borrowed money using the law school’s property, started new degree programs that weren’t tested, and got rid of tuition for new students starting in 2022 to attract more students. The lawsuit finds it shocking that the school offered free tuition and then ran out of money before those students could finish their degrees.

“The fact that this occurred speaks to the serious leadership issues at the university,” said the complaint, filed by San Francisco attorney Ryan Griffith, a Golden Gate law alumni.

Griffith mentioned to Reuters on Friday that the legal process would bring out information that Fike and others have kept from students, alumni, and others involved with the university.

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The people suing are asking for a court order to keep the law degree program open for now, and they want to be compensated for damages. The American Bar Association, which oversees law schools, has not yet approved the university’s plan to close the program.

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