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Judge Tosses Suit Accusing DePaul Law School of Using Misleading Job Statistics

Posted Sep 13, 2012 6:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Corrected: Another judge has tossed another lawsuit accusing a law school of misleading prospective students through incomplete job statistics.

On Wednesday, Judge Neil Cohen of Cook County dismissed the suit filed by nine graduates of DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports. The grads had obtained JDs between 2003 and 2008, owed significant amounts on student loans and were unable to find jobs in the legal field.

“Plaintiffs did not pay tuition to DePaul in return for future employment,” Cohen wrote in his order. “Plaintiffs paid tuition to DePaul in return for a legal education which would prepare them to practice law. DePaul provided the service paid for by plaintiffs. Plaintiffs all earned a JD from DePaul and were all admitted to practice law. DePaul cannot be blamed for the fact that eight of the nine plaintiffs graduated at a time which was witness to a metamorphosis in the practice of law due to a number of factors not the least of which was the height of a tumultuous and deep recession that seriously affected employment in the legal profession."

The school had cited statistics showing that, depending on the year, between 88 percent and 98 percent of its grads had obtained jobs within nine months of graduation, according to the plaintiffs. Their suit had contended prospective students would interpret the statistics as representing full-time jobs for which a JD is required or preferred.

New statistics released this summer show about 40 percent of the school’s 2011 grads had full-time, long-term jobs requiring a law degree nine months after graduation, the Law Blog says.

Cohen said the plaintiffs failed to identify any statement by the school predicting the plaintiffs’ odds of obtaining jobs as full-time lawyers, or suggesting they would obtain full-time employment as lawyers.

Prior related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "In Buyer Beware Decision, Judge Tosses Grads’ Suit Against Cooley Law School"

ABA Journal: "Few Jobs, But a Rack of Suits: Law Grads Claim Their Alma Maters Duped Them"

ABAJournal.com: "Judge Nixes $225M Suit By College Grads Claiming They Were Misled By NY Law School Job Stats"

Employment statistic corrected to say 98 percent, rather than 99 percent, on Sept. 14.

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