Saturday, October 15, 2011

NYLS moves to dismiss scambloggers' lawsuit

By "scambloggers," I mean the lawsuit filed by recent law grads who claim New York Law School misled them about employment data (similar suits have been filed against Cooley and Thomas Jefferson).  From the National Law Journal:

New York Law School on Oct. 13 filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by three former students who claimed the school inflated its post-graduate employment rates and salary data in order to lure students.

In its motion, the law school argued that the plaintiffs haven't backed up their claims and that they are focusing on much larger issues in legal education than anything specific to the school.

"The allegations are not only baseless, but also belied by the plaintiffs' own complaint, which demonstrates this case has nothing to do with New York Law School and everything to do with a crusade against the entire law school industry," said Venable partner Michael Volpe, who represents the school.

The motion argued that the job data published by the school complied with American Bar Association rules, and that the plaintiffs have not established a link between the reported job statistics and any alleged harm.

It said that two of the three plaintiffs are in fact working in law-related jobs, and that all three decided to attend New York Law School before the publication of the allegedly misleading jobs data.

Attorney Jeffery Strauss, who with David Anziska represents the plaintiffs, said on Oct. 14 that the motion to dismiss did not address the crux of the suit, which was filed in August.

"We are still digesting [the motion to dismiss], but the fact remains that when our clients paid their $40,000 to attend New York Law School, they did so based on New York Law School's misleading representations that they had an over 90% chance of getting a job and that those jobs paid certain salaries," Strauss said. "That representation is demonstrably false. Their motion fails to address that basic fact."

The plaintiffs seek class status, tuition refunds and additional remedies.

Strauss and Anziska have filed a nearly identical suit against the Thomas M. Cooley Law School on behalf of its graduates. Cooley's lawyers were expected to file their response by Oct. 21.

New York Law School's response was similar to that offered by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, which was sued by a graduate in May.

Earlier this month, Strauss and Anziska said they were seeking plaintiffs for class actions against an additional 15 law schools, and predicted that nearly every law school in the country will have been sued by the end on 2012.


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