Consumer Law

Judge Nixes $225M Suit By College Grads Claiming They Were Misled By NY Law School Job Stats


A state court judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by nine New York Law School graduates against their alma mater.

Although the plaintiffs contend they were somehow misled by published NYLS employment data into believing that their post-graduation job prospects were better than they are, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Melvin L. Schweitzer said in his opinion (PDF) today that the school’s employment data wasn’t misleading and college graduates have only themselves to blame if they didn’t fully research the issue before paying annual tuition that now totals $47,800 per year.

“The court does not view these post-graduate employment statistics to be misleading in a material way for a consumer acting reasonably,” the judge wrote. “By anyone’s definition, reasonable consumers—college graduates—seriously considering law schools are a sophisticated subset of education consumers, capable of sifting through data and weighing alternatives before making a decision regarding their post-college options, such as applying for professional school. These reasonable consumers have available to them any number of sources of information to review when making their decisions.”

Such research should immediately have made clear, the judge said, that the most lucrative legal jobs are often associated with attending the highest-ranking law schools, rather than those lower down on the list, such as NYLS, which is described as having a “lackluster ranking and reputation” by the plaintiffs themselves.

“It is also difficult for the court to conceive that somehow lost on these plaintiffs is the fact that a goodly number of law school graduates toil (perhaps part-time) in drudgery or have less than hugely successful careers,” the judge adds.

The suit filed last year against NYLS sought $225 million in damages. It was the first of 14 such claims made against law schools throughout the country, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog notes.

Attorney David Anziska, who represents the plaintiffs in the case, said they “thoroughly disagree” with Schweitzer’s ruling and plan an appeal.

In a written statement, NYLS called the ruling “clear, thoughtful and comprehensive.”

The National Law Journal also has a story.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer for New York Law School Says Misleading-Stats Suit Is Baseless and Part of a Crusade”

ABAJournal.com: “Cooley Dismissal Motion Says Misleading Stats Suit Reads ‘Like a Free-Form Rant’”

ABAJournal.com: “12 More Law Schools Sued Over Reporting of Law Grad Employment and Salary Stats”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyers Plan to Sue 20 More Law Schools over Employment Stats”

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