New “Queen” Of InfiLaw?
It should be readily apparent by now that George Kosko – one of the few remaining founders of the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) – doesn’t have the best interests of his school’s faculty, staff or students in mind. Why else would Kosko push so aggressively for the school to cut a deal with InfiLaw, a company which has been pilloried in the legal press for its shady, student-unfriendly approach to running under-performing law schools?
One reason is likely Kosko’s efforts to secure career advancement within the InfiLaw system for his longtime “special friend” Abby Saunders, who is CSOL’s dean of students and – ostensibly – a professor at the school. In fact sources at the school tell FITS a future position for Saunders (and a hefty raise) was part of the controversial deal struck between CSOL and InfiLaw last week.
Saunders and Kosko have been inseparable at the school for years. In fact they are so close Saunders listed Kosko in an obituary she ran after losing a child to stillbirth a few years ago.
Students, faculty and fellow staffers at CSOL have a universally low opinion of Saunders – one shared by several employees at the Nelson Mullins law firm, where she was briefly employed.
“She never works. She is ‘Charleston Law Barbie,’” one student told us.
Another source at the school mockingly referred to Saunders as “the Kosko founder,” implying that she – not Kosko – is the one exerting influence over the direction of the school.
“She consistently manipulates the feelings he has for her into a base of power and new career opportunities for herself,” the source told us.
Another source put it more bluntly, saying: “She controls him.”
At a recent closed door meeting held to answer questions from alumni, students and faculty regarding the CSOL-InfiLaw deal, Kosko departed in the middle of the gathering to get a bite to eat.
The reason? ”Abby was hungry,” one source told us.
No stranger to controversy, Kosko lost his federal magistrate’s position in 2008 after he was accused of making racist and sexist comments. He continued to serve as a CSOL board member despite the controversy, though.
Obviously CSOL isn’t a taxpayer-funded entity (well … assuming you don’t count all those federally guaranteed student loans). Accordingly, it can hire, fire, promote or demote whomever it chooses for whatever reason. Oh, and it can enter into any management/ ownership deals it wants with other private sector providers.
The marketplace will be its judge … not the taxpayers, which is the way it should be for all institutions of higher learning.
But if the judgment and competency of George Kosko and Abby Saunders is any indication, students would be wise to depart this sinking ship while they still can …