The past seven months have been an emotional seesaw for Allan Easley and the students, faculty and staff at Western State College of Law in Orange County, where he is dean.

The school’s future was cast into uncertainty in January, when its owner Argosy University was placed under a federal receivership and the campus lost it eligibility for federal student loans. The 50-year-old law school appeared poised to shut down, joining the ranks of five other law schools recently closed or soon to close. But Western State was thrown a lifeline by Westcliff University—a for-profit institution based in Irvine—which agreed to purchase the law school for $1 and keep the doors open.

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