Faculty fights back against plan to close Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa




COSTA MESA >> Whittier Law School faculty, angered at this week’s announcement that the campus will close its doors, are mulling over legal options after last-minute efforts to delay the public disclosure fell short.

A day before the Whittier College Board of Trustees announced that the law school will be discontinued, attorneys for more than a half-dozen faculty members filed an attempt for a temporary restraining order against the parent school.

A judge denied their request. But the issues raised in the court filings – including questions about the fate of millions of dollars raised in a recent sale of the Costa Mesa campus property that faculty contend was promised to the law school – will likely be at the center of future litigation, an attorney for the faculty members said on Thursday.

“It was a very irresponsible decision,” said attorney Hanna Chandoo of the trustee’s decision. A Whittier College alum, Chandoo filed the restraining-order request. “It is very sudden and not thought out.”

In announcing the decision to close the campus, Whittier College officials noted that like many other similar institutions across the country, Whittier Law School has struggled with declining enrollment and tuition income.

Whittier College officials declined to comment on the allegations in the court complaint, saying they had not received a copy of the legal challenge.

After decades as a profitable arm of the larger college, Chandoo in the court filing says that…

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