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Would-be attorneys look like a growth opportunity to Sterling Capital Partners. The Illinois-based VC firm has acquired Florida Coastal School of Law, one of two for-profit law schools accredited by the ABA. SCP, which steered Sylvan Learning Systems toward success in the public market, says it plans to open more such schools, starting in Phoenix and Charlotte, N.C. … Meanwhile, the only other accredited for-profit law school has filed suit against the ABA, charging that it discriminates against for-profit institutions. Western State University College of Law received provisional approval in 1998 but has struggled to receive full accreditation. The Fullerton, Calif., school says it’s improving. Its bar pass rate, for example, climbed to 46 percent last year. On average, ABA-approved schools in the state posted a 72 percent bar pass rate … A teen who angered Microsoft by refusing to relinquish his domain name may get the settlement he was seeking, after all. Canadian Michael Rowe first drew fire from the software company for naming his Web design site MikeRoweSoft. When Microsoft lawyers demanded that he transfer the domain name and offered just $10 (the cost of his registration), Rowe countered with a request for $10,000. Microsoft rejected the deal, but following a barrage of bad publicity on the case, now says it’s looking to settle with the 17-year-old entrepreneur … A conflict of interest dispute is simmering down in Rhode Island. House Majority Leader Gordon Fox has said he had no idea that lottery company GTECH was a client of his firm when he voted to grant it a multimillion-dollar no-bid contract. The state’s ethics commission agreed to drop its investigation after Fox promised to pony up $10,000 in fines. The lawmaker has also vowed to cut ties with Providence law firm Ferrucci Russo. – Lori Patel

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