Wave of Lawsuits Targets 15 More Law Schools for Inflating Job Placement Rates
Two lawyers have announced that they will file class action lawsuits against 15 law schools in seven states for misreporting postgraduate job placement rates.
The cases will be represented by the Law Offices of David Anziska and Strauss Law PLLC. Anziska and Strauss have previously filed similar suits against Thomas M. Cooley Law School and New York Law School. The lawyers allege that the schools named in the complaints have inflated advertised job placement rates by including part-time positions and jobs that do not require law degrees.
Among the targets of this month’s suits are Pace University School of Law, John Marshall School of Law, and Albany Law School, according to a press release by the two firms.
“The numbers reported by the schools just don’t comport with the reality of the legal job market,” Anziska wrote in a press release. “We hope that litigation, combined with pressure from regulators, applicants, students and alumni changes the way legal education is marketed and provides compensation to those who may have been mislead in the past.”
There is concern that misreporting job placement rates is widespread among law schools. And the temptation to inflate statistics is great – US News & World Report noted that among the estimated third of University of Texas-Austin’s School of Law graduates who are now working in non-law fields are “cartoonists, service dog trainers, and wind farm employees.”
According to Anziska and Strauss, they are waiting until they can locate three plaintiffs from each institution before suing.
The two lawyers have rebuffed a profit-based motive in favor of rhetoric about consumer protection. And indeed, the market that stares down current and soon-to-be J.D.’s is unprecedented in its challenges—while graduates are likely to run into six digits of debt in exchange for a degree.
“There can be no more self-reporting of unaudited employment data released to the public,” Anziska told Above The Law. “Over my dead body, this has to happen, because the incentive to cheat is too great. All law schools must be forced to have their employment data independently verified. I will not sign off on an agreement that does not have that in it. Period. It will not happen.”
Above The Law’s Staci Zaretsky also points out that one of the schools named is Strauss’ alma mater, Brooklyn Law School.
Jon Christian is a reporter with Campus Progress. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Christian.