Biting the Hand that Feeds Them? Law School Graduates Sue Alma Maters
by Rebecca E. Neely
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Per the wsj.com blog, the suits seek ''to remedy a systemic, ongoing fraud that is ubiquitous in the legal education industry and threatens to leave a generation of law students in dire financial straits.'' Essentially, the plaintiffs feel the law schools have inflated post-graduate employment statistics, as well as distorted the amounts reported as average salaries for graduates, and thus perpetrated ‘false advertising' about career expectations.
Thomas M. Cooley Law School's general counsel, Jim Thelen, was quoted as saying of the lawsuits: ''These are nothing other than attempts to bring public attention to this issue and it certainly doesn't seem like the right way to go about it.''
Richard Matasar, dean of New York Law School, was quoted in the wsj.com blog as having said in a statement that the suits were ''without merit and we will vigorously defend against them in court.''
In a press release at Kurzon Strauss LLP's website, David Anziska, of counsel with the firm, and attorney for the seven plaintiffs, was quoted as saying: ''These suits are not just about NYLS and Thomas Cooley - we believe the practice of inflating employment statistics and salary information is endemic among law schools. We hope these suits bring systematic change in the way legal education is marketed by making transparency and accuracy the rule, not the exception. Our efforts to bring about that change begin today.''
Anziska also explained per the wsj.com blog that these two law schools were chosen because they have some of the largest class sizes in the nation.
Law firm Kurzon Strauss LLP strives to ''do well by doing good'', and is among the premier commercial litigation and corporate transactional law firms in New York.
Thomas M. Cooley Law School is located in Michigan, with its main campus in Lansing, and satellite locations in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids. Currently, the school has the largest law school faculty and total enrollment in the country.
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is one of the oldest independent law schools in the nation, in addition to being one of the most progressive - the school established one of the nation's first evening study programs to accommodate people with family obligations and those in the workforce.