Law students file scathing lawsuit against their alma maters

<p>Graduates</a> accuse law schools of scamming students - Yahoo! News</p>

<p>"The two class-action suits were filed by graduates of New York Law School in lower Manhattan and Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, amid growing scrutiny over whether law schools across the country are deliberately concealing the truth about their graduates' employment and salary in order to enroll more students despite their dismal job prospects.
Among the tactics allegedly employed by the schools were misclassifying graduates with temporary or part-time jobs as "fully" employed, omitting information about graduates who didn't respond to employment surveys, and creating post-graduate job programs to hire their own graduates.
"The law school industry today is much like a game of three-card monte, with law schools flipping over ace after ace, while a phalanx of non-suspecting players wager mostly borrowed money based on asymmetrical information on a game few of them can win," according to the New York lawsuit."</p>

<p>Well at least they learned how to file class action lawsuits.</p>

<p>I strongly recommend people NOT to go to law school</p>

<p>I was given that advice 30 years ago, and pooh poohed it.</p>

<p>I have many reasons for this recommendation---not only my experiences, and those of my friends, but also those of a myriad of co-workers I have known over the years.</p>

<p>I know that is not what a lot of you want to hear, but so be it.</p>

<p>I think I heard that there's a controversy surrounding u of Baltimore law school, too. </p>

<p>What's going on? Is there no integrity?</p>

<p>You know what I'm tempted to say....(in response to that last question)</p>

<p>I do know some Cooley grads who have good jobs, but I also have heard a lot of joking about how "easy" it is to get a Cooley degree (although you still have to pass the bar ... if the grads pass the bar, they can't have received too bad an education).</p>

<p>I suspect in Cooley's case the grads are realizing what MANY recent law school grads are realizing ... there are more new lawyers than there are jobs available for new lawyers. The school is in Michigan, meaning there are likely to be even fewer available jobs. If the grads borrowed a lot in order to get the law degree, they probably want to live with the parents while they are unemployed - so they aren't moving somewhere with jobs - and so it goes.</p>

<p>According to Wiki, Cooley's is the largest law school and one of the lowest ranked. They are opening a new, additional campus in Fla. in the Fall, so they will have even more graduates to flood the market. I wonder if the lawsuit will slow them down.</p>

<p>They do a lot of solicitation with mailings.</p>

<p>Something I remember reading, not sure how true the fact is.....</p>

<p>America has ~4.5% of the world's population, but over 50% of the world's lawyers</p>

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Something I remember reading, not sure how true the fact is.....</p>

<p>America has ~4.5% of the world's population, but over 50% of the world's lawyers

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</p>

<p>Not true. India alone has about as many lawyers as the U.S. Of course, India has a much bigger population than the U.S. so it's ratio of lawyers per capita is lower, but still, that's enough to belie the "more than 50% of the world's lawyers" figure. The European Union, with a population a bit larger than the U.S., has perhaps 70% or 75% as many lawyers. Latin America taken as a whole has probably about as many lawyers as the U.S.---Brazil alone has about half as many, with a population about 60% that of the U.S. Latin America has fewer fewer lawyers on a per capita basis, but add those to the EU and India totals and you'll see the "more than 50% " claim is a total fraud.</p>

<p>Then of course you have China, Central Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, where you have essentially no lawyers . . . and no rule of law as we know it. I'm not sure they're better off for it. So, you pay your money and you take your choice.</p>

<p>The school's advertising and promotion to potential matriculants is all gloss and rosy promises? Unemployed graduates sue their alma mater because it's too tought out there to find a job? What rot!!!</p>

<p>These under-employed and non-employed alumni sound like spoiled children, or hopelessly clueless. Might they be lazy as well?</p>

<p>Although there may indeed be some Cooley grads who have managed to find good jobs, the school itself is a joke in the world of law schools.</p>

<p>If I was seeking legal advice, I'd think twice about going to someone stupid enough to choose a law school based on a glossy marketing campaign - or to believe any school's representations about future earnings potential. But I guess that's what it's come to when courts are used to protect stupid people from themselves. </p>

<p>Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using CC App</p>

<p>I do not know about these specific law suits, but H is a lawyer and D has tossed about the possibility of law school, so this topic interests me. And while I have never heard of Cooley, I do think that many law schools manipulate their employment numbers because percent of grads employed is a factor that US News uses to calculate its rankings of law schools. So I have heard of some very well-regarded law schools doing things like employing their own grads as research assistants or some other such kind of position, in order to increase that percentage. I do think that if the law schools here did not provide accurate data to prospective students, then the law schools should be held accountable in some way.</p>

<p>The issue isn't a superficial as some posters are making it seem. Law Schools blatantly misrepresent statistics about employment, and although the ABA is mulling over solutions, the misrepresentations continue. Schools routinely include grads who are employed in temporary positions, low-paying positions and non-legal jobs (including Baristas/servers). In addition, several schools offer unemployed graduates "temporary" employment opportunities to pad the employment stats. Of course, the law school DO NOT disclose this information. Only in the past year or two have these deceptive practices been brought to light. It's really bad. For example, law school x might report 90% employment 6 months after graduation, when less than 30% of their graduates are actual employed in full-time, legal positions. </p>

<p>This is NOT acceptable. These students are not lazy. These students are not whining. Law schools are fraudulently misrepresenting their employment statistics, which prospective students reasonably relied on.</p>

<p>^ Concur 100%. These so called "schools" manipulate the data to misrepresent the value of their product and thousands of kids every year fall for it. It leads to nothing more than financial ruin with debt that can not be discharged. Meanwhile these schools are raking in filthy amounts of cash. They should be taxed to hell because we all know in reality that all of these schools churning out JDs like candy that are also charging $50k+ a year are nothing more than corporations. </p>

<p>1.) allow students to file for bankruptcy and discharge debt
2.) get the government out of the business of guaranteeing payment on defaulted loans</p>

<p>Allow those things to happen and all of the sudden banks will start have to do what they should be really doing all along--make good loans. Once banks start making better loans tuitions at all universities will plummet because the true value of the degree will be exposed.</p>

<p>Seems like College Confidential is a more reliable source than those statistics by law schools! Speaking of statistics, is getting a graduate degree in Statistics a good idea? Anyone have an anecdote to share?</p>

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These so called "schools" manipulate the data to misrepresent the value of their product and thousands of kids every year fall for it.

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<p>Although I don't disagree that schools should be held accountable for the accuracy of their employment statistics, I think that applicants should also be held accountable for doing their due diligence. How is it that so many here know that these schools are fudging their stats, that so many of these lower tier schools are a joke, that attending law school in this economy comes with great risks? This information is not a secret. It's been in the press and discussed in academic and legal circles, as well as on online forums such as CC, for probably at least a decade now. Too many people are not conducting the research they should be prior to committing to three years of their lives and a large amount of debt. </p>

<p>If the schools are providing stats on employment for grads, why are applicants not asking where those grads are working? Why aren't they contacting recent grads and asking the hard questions? Why aren't they looking at the websites of law firms in their area, or in the area in which they want to work, and seeing where recent hires went to law school? This is not difficult to do, especially in this day and age with the ease of email and social networking. </p>

<p>As I said, schools should be held accountable to provide accurate information but anyone who is planning on attending law school without looking at every aspect with an honest and realistic view of their future opportunities is very foolish. Caveat Emptor.</p>

<p>I mostly agree with alwaysamom. But I will say that those who end up attending these lowest-tier law schools are probably the most likely to be duped, and who probably need the protection.</p>

<p>I agree with the previous poster. It is somewhat rich to put the blame for the lack of employment opportunities for newly minted attorneys on law schools in the middle of the biggest recession since the 30s. It does not matter if you graduate from Yale or a third tier law school: legal jobs are hard to find. Some of the largest law firms in the world have vanished over the past few years leaving scores of highly trained lawyers unemployed. It is very hard for an inexperienced young lawyer to compete for a job against an attorney with years of experience sometimes willing to take a huge salary cut.</p>

<p>I also believe law schools are hardly the worst offenders in promoting a rosy employment picture upon graduation. Business schools are at least as bad and they don't even prepare for a licensed professional degree. For profit colleges are even worse. At least graduating lawyers have to pass the bar in their respective states and can start a solo practice if they can't find a job. Many can find internships with other small firms to get on the job training.</p>

<p>In most countries, even Canada, graduating lawyers have to spend years as low-paid trainees with a registered attorney before being allowed to practice on their own. This is somewhat like graduating doctors going through residency. Let's face it, what does a graduate actually know after law school that would justify paying him a six figure salary? Not much. A doctor with significantly more training may take 5 to 7 years to make any real money after graduation. </p>

<p>The bubble in the financial sector fed the illusion for a while that the $160K associate position was the norm for many graduating lawyers. It never really was and certainly no longer is. Law can still be a very exciting career and many fields of law have greater demand than supply. Legal careers in public service may not pay as much as private jobs but working for the DAs office or as public defender is a great experience. For those with technical degrees, patent law is certainly in demand (and pays very well). For those with finance or accounting backgrounds, bankruptcy law is very active. </p>

<p>Opportunities are there for those who seek them out whether they come from a top tier or third tier law school: just don't expect the school to hand you an offer on graduation. You have to go and get it. I went back to law school in my late 40s for an evening program at my state U law school. I spent 4 years while working at another job, graduated in the middle of the recession, passed the state bar and then the patent bar. I now run my own solo patent practice and work with a bunch of small and medium size companies helping them protect their inventions. I set my own schedule, don't charge by the hour and probably make more after less than two years than most patent attorneys at big firms after ten years. I also have a lot more fun. I never even used the law school's career office.</p>

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I will say that those who end up attending these lowest-tier law schools are probably the most likely to be duped, and who probably need the protection.

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<p>I am not sure why this would be true. Admisison to law school is largely a function of LSAT score and undergrad gpa. Those students who can only get into a "lowest-tier" law school are not necessarily lacking in common sense--they might not be good standardized test-takers, or might have spent too much time partying in college, but I don't see how their admission stats makes them in more need of protection than someone who is admitted to a higher-tier law school.</p>