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Law schools sued for 'misrepresenting' employment prospects to students

Graduate at your own risk? Seven former law students have filed class action suits against NYLS and Thomas M. Cooley Law School for providing what they say was misleading data about their future employment prospects. So whose fault is it if you can't find a job after graduating?<br /><br /><br /><br /> <!-- /* Font Definitions */@font-face{font-family:Calibri;panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;mso-font-charset:0;mso-generic-font-family:auto;mso-font-pitch:variable;mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face{font-family:Cambria;panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;mso-font-charset:0;mso-generic-font-family:auto;mso-font-pitch:variable;mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal{mso-style-parent:"";margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}@page Section1{size:612.0pt 792.0pt;margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt;mso-header-margin:36.0pt;mso-footer-margin:36.0pt;mso-paper-source:0;}div.Section1{page:Section1;}-->

If you graduate from law school but struggle to get a job, whose fault is it? According to a NYC law firm, it could be your school’s fault.

Kurzon Strauss LLP has filed class action lawsuits against New York Law School and Thomas M. Cooley Law School for exaggerating post-graduate employment and salary rates in order to recruit students. Seven former students who graduated from either NYLS or Thomas Cooley are behind the suit.

“We are bringing these suits because thousands of young lawyers, like the plaintiffs, struggle to purchase a home, raise a family and make investments because they leveraged their future to a law school based on inaccurate information,” said Jesse Strauss, a Kurzon Strauss partner. “It is time for the legal academy to own up to this problem.”

It’s no secret that the job market is bleak, no matter the degree you hold. However, these lawsuits say the schools actually reported inaccurate data about their students’ employment prospects by classifying graduates as “full-time” when in fact they only had part-time or temporary positions.

Both schools vehemently denied the claims to Metro. In fact, James Thelen, Cooley's associate dean for legal affairs and general counsel, said the school already filed its own suit against the law firm's lawyers for defamation when they began their investigation last month. Additionally, Thelen said the plaintiffs behind the suit did find jobs after graduating.

"We understand that three of the four named plaintiffs have established and are working in their own law firms," Thelen said. "This proves that Cooley's graduates are practice-ready lawyers who are well prepared to pass the bar exam and enter a profession with one of the lowest national unemployment rates among any profession in the country."

This isn't the first time graduates of a law school have made claims that they were misled about future opportunities. A similar suit was filed against Thomas Jefferson School of Law in May.



Whether the claims are with or without merit, it does raise the question: Can you base your decision to invest in higher education on post-graduate statistics? Should you trust the numbers... or your own abilities?



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