Posted Oct 05, 2011 04:37 pm CDT
Updated: The litigation against law schools over employment statistics may be expanding.
Two law firms announced Wednesday that they plan to sue 15 more law schools in seven different states, according to Law School Transparency, which posted the press release. The suits will challenge the schools’ reported employment rates for law graduates.
Prior suits against Cooley Law School, New York Law School and Thomas Jefferson School of Law in California have claimed law students were misled by job statistics that didn’t specify whether jobs obtained by grads were in the legal field.
In a conference call with reporters, lawyer Jesse Strauss of Strauss Law said the 15 new schools were targeted either because alumni approached the law firms, the schools were in markets saturated with lawyers, or the schools released implausible statistics. According to the press release, the average debt for 2009 graduates of the 15 schools is more than $108,000.
“We are ready, willing and able to sue these schools,” Strauss said, but the law firms need alumni to come forward to join in the lawsuits. The Law Offices of David Anziska, which will be filing the suits with Strauss Law, lists the schools on its website and asks graduates to contact his firm. The firms won’t file suit against any particular school until they find at least three plaintiffs.
“With these lawsuits,” Law School Transparency says, “nearly 10 percent of all ABA-approved law schools across eight states will be accused of tortiously misrepresenting job placement statistics and violating state consumer protection laws.”
Strauss and Anziska are representing plaintiffs in the suits against Cooley and New York Law School. Strauss was previously a name partner at Kurzon Strauss, but it has since dissolved, Above the Law reports. Strauss told the blog his former partner, Jeff Kurzon, will be working on the law school cases “in an adjunct capacity.”
A day after the announcement of future lawsuits, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., sent a letter to the ABA pressing for quick collection and dissemination of more detailed job statistics. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is adding several new questions to law school questionnaires about jobs held by 2011 graduates nine months after graduation. Boxer wanted the section to collect the information for 2010 grads as well.
ABAJournal.com: “Grads Sue New York Law School and Cooley Law, Saying They Inflated Job and Salary Stats”
ABAJournal.com: “Cooley Sues Law Firm and Bloggers, Says Law School Falsely Accused of Misstating Grads’ Success”
Updated at 1:20 p.m. to include comments from a conference call with reporters. Updated on Oct. 6 to include information from Above the Law and to include information about Sen. Barbara Boxer’s latest letter to the ABA. An early version of this story incorrectly stated that Kurzon Strauss was working on the new cases.