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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

15 More Law Schools to be Sued Over Allegedly Fraudulent Job Placement Data

Law School Transparency reports today that the law firm pursuing class action lawsuits against Thomas M. Cooley Law School and New York Law School will file class action complaints against 15 more law schools challenging each school's post-graduate employment rates:
  1. Albany Law School, which reports rates of between 91% and 97%
  2. Brooklyn Law School, which reports rates of between 91% and 98%
  3. Hofstra Law School, which reports rates of between 94% and 97%
  4. Pace University School of Law, which reports rates of between 90% and 95%
  5. St. John’s University School of Law, which reports rates of between 88% and 96%
  6. Villanova University School of Law, which reports rates of between 93% and 98%
  7. Widener University School of Law, which reports rates of between 90% and 96%
  8. University of Baltimore School of Law, which reports rates of between 93% and 95%
  9. Florida Coastal School of Law, which reports rates of between 80% and 95%
  10. Chicago-Kent College of Law, which reports rates of between 90% and 97%
  11. DePaul University School of Law, which reports rates of between 93% and 98%
  12. John Marshall School of Law (Chicago), which reports rates of between 90% and 100%
  13. California Western School of Law, which reports rates of between 90% and 93%
  14. Southwestern Law School, which reports rates of between 97% and 98%
  15. University of San Francisco School of Law, which reports rates of between 90% and 95%

The average debt load for 2009 graduates of these fifteen schools is $108,829.

Update:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/10/15-more.html

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Comments

Interesting that they have not named any plaintiffs. Seeking to file a class action? That seems like fishing for plaintiffs.

The firm that file the lawsuits against NYLS and Cooley seems to have split up.

Posted by: Kenny | Oct 5, 2011 1:44:17 PM

I expect that the law firm pursuing the class action will argue that a "reasonable" reader would assume that these are legal or at least full-time jobs; not "jobs" that are part-time and pay minimum wage, or even worse, "experience."

The numbers are so high, however, that they well exceed the bar passage rates for most of these schools. I remember thinking when I looked at the numbers while I was in UG that they looked way too rosy. I also knew a few lawyers personally who told me that the numbers were inflated, even several years ago. I do remember thinking "well, even if the median salary at my school is inflated at $165,000, the real salary should be roughly half of that, which would still be great, especially since 90+% have jobs at graduation." After all, students don't expect universities to lie or fudge like a used car dealer. I feel bad for these kids, at least the T1 kids have a shot and most of them have decent employment.

Posted by: ry | Oct 5, 2011 2:10:38 PM

Good job Kurzon Strauss. The fraud that these schools commit is more a fraud against the taxpayer than it is the student. The student can go on IBR and not pay a penny of the loans back. The taxpayer will have to eat it.

These lawsuits could wind up saving the federal government tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars over time. Just goes to show you there are still good lawyers out there.

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2011 2:35:05 PM

Things are going to get really interesting when these things move to discovery and career services underlings are deposed regarding altering/falsifying employment survey data at the behest of their leaders...

Now's a good time to invest in shoes because they are going to be dropping like rain.

Posted by: anon | Oct 5, 2011 5:33:18 PM

I have no truck with institutions that falsify data. But what if the data hasn't been falsified? What if it reports accurately what it says it reports; e.g. employment, not full time employment as an attorney?

Posted by: more anon | Oct 6, 2011 12:18:58 AM

What are the odds that 97% of Southwestern Law School alums had jobs upon graduation? I have no doubt that they teach the same Erie doctrine as Yale, but it seems unreasonable for a tier 3 school to have a higher employed at graduation rate than most of the T25 in 2009. I'm not sure I even believe the T25 figures, which seem pretty rosy given the general economy.

Posted by: ry | Oct 6, 2011 9:14:01 AM

John Marshall represented 100% at one time! 100%! ... 100%! Real statistic is probably like 25%! Crazy.

Posted by: na | Oct 6, 2011 3:19:23 PM