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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NLJ: Law Schools Facing More Lawsuits by Disgruntled Students

Scary story in today's National Law Journal:  Suing Alma Mater, by Vesna Jaksic:

Unhappy with their exam grades, readmission policies and even administrators' conduct, a number of law students have sued their law schools in recent months. ...

Because of increasing costs of law schools, some students may be more likely to challenge issues that get in the way of their degree, said David Van Zandt, dean of Northwestern University School of Law and president of the American Law Deans Association. ...

On Nov. 14, John Valente, a second-year student at University of Dayton School of Law in Ohio, filed a complaint against the school, citing negligence in dealing with exam software. ... [He] alleges that some students used a loophole that allowed them to transfer answers to the test, thereby negatively affecting his grade and preventing him for competing for a position on the University of Dayton Law Review. ...

On Oct. 10, Clayton Hallford, a former first-year student at Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando, filed a lawsuit claiming that one of his professors used questions from a commercial test guide in an exam, putting him and others without the guide at a disadvantage. ...

Lisa Dawn Rittenhouse filed a lawsuit against Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale after she was told not to return for her second year because her first-year grade-point average was 1.948, just below the minimum 1.95 needed to continue. Rittenhouse, who is white and has learning disabilities, claims that she was discriminated against while minority students without handicaps who had lower averages were allowed to return. Rittenhouse v. Southern Illinois University School of Law, No. 07-CV-00763-MJR-PMP (S.D. Ill.).

Some of the student plaintiffs said they are not sure if the litigation will affect their employment in the legal field.

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