Is Your Law School a Defendant?

“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.”

The complaint says, among other things, that law schools’ employment figures include work outside the law. And Senator Barbara Boxer of California wants the ABA to require all law schools to better determine where their graduates go after school and what kind of employment they get.

In a recent teleseminar I conducted, recent graduates were angry that they spent so much of their money (and incurred so much debt) to receive an education in a profession that does not offer them employment opportunities.  They considered it fraudulent for the schools to have taken their money.

Those feelings and this law suit are different. On the one hand, the students want jobs and feel the schools have an obligation to help them get jobs. On the other hand, the current spate of law suits merely wants information — consumer information — to be accurate and available to law school entrants.

What is the obligation of the law school?  How could anyone have predicted the shifts in our economy and the disruption of the profession?  Not even senior partners are safe in their firm positions. Why should students be protected? We need to watch these developments as the profession continues to change … caused by the economy … and perhaps more significantly, caused by technology.

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