October 5, 2011
15 More Law Schools Being Sued Targeted: Class Action Complaints Would Challenge Placement Stats (Updated)
Update: Karen Sloan is reporting the following based on a conference call with David Anziska and Jesse Strauss covering the law schools they are targeting for class action lawsuits:
They have yet to secure enough name plaintiffs for those suits, however. They won't file until three alumni from each of the targeted schools sign on, they said during a conference call with reporters. The announcement was intended in part to drum up plaintiff interest, they acknowledged.
The attorneys, David Anziska and Jesse Strauss, detailed what they said was convincing evidence that law schools have offered a skewed picture of postgraduate employment rates and salaries for years, not just since the latest recession.
"The problem isn't going away, and the legal academy isn't owning up to it," Strauss said. "We strongly believe that by the end of 2012, almost every school in the nation will be sued, if not by plaintiffs who are represented by us, then by plaintiffs represented by other law firms."
Strauss and Anziska said they are targeting the 15 schools either because alumni or students approached them with concerns, or because the postgraduate job data they have reported to the American Bar Association were "implausible."
See Sloan's NLJ report, Another 15 law schools targeted over jobs data.
Quoting from the Oct. 5, 2011 press release published on Law School Transparency:
Law Offices of David Anziska and Strauss Law PLLC announced today that they are seeking to file class action complaints challenging the post-graduate employment rates reported by the following 15 schools:
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 $108,829.4
Add complaints already filed against New York Law School, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law and that brings the total to 18 law schools. Near enough to call it about 10% of the legal academy as of today.
See this ATL post for more information and links to media coverage. [JH]
Where are these law schools again? So these graduates are smart enough to get through law school but were not smart enough to know 108,000 in debt from
a school no one has ever heard of is worth the equivalent of a library card and a Wikipedia search. Come on, looking at some of these numbers it is completely obvious (97% employment, Hoffstra must be the new Harvard....).
Posted by: Mike | Apr 2, 2013 9:15:44 AM
A related development involves California Senator Barbara Boxer. Yesterday she issued a press release on her letter to the ABA, in which she askes it "to increase its efforts to protect current and prospective law school students from misleading information from law schools on post-graduation employment and merit scholarships." (http://boxer.senate.gov/en/press/releases/100611b.cfm)
Posted by: Michael Ginsborg | Oct 7, 2011 11:15:25 AM
It's a matter of semantics. The student thinks employment means a healthy paycheck and benefits. The school, on the other hand, thinks employment means pro bono work, unpaid internships, and part-time employment with no benefits and a meager paycheck. See, it's all a matter of the failure to communicate clearly...
Posted by: Bret | Oct 6, 2011 7:53:27 AM
Those numbers definitely do seem really inflated -- how do you get a 98% placement rate? That's crazy.
Posted by: Phoenix Criminal Lawyer | Oct 5, 2011 3:36:10 PM