Law School Grads Sue Alma Maters For 'Overblown' Employment Claims
Many law students dream of their first day in court, although three graduates of New York Law School probably never thought their first case would involve themselves.
But the trio are suing the college for fraudulently misrepresenting career opportunities that they claim practically guaranteed high-paying legal jobs, the New York Post reports.
In papers filed this week in Manhattan Supreme Court, Alexandra Gomez-Jimenez, Scott Tiedke and Katherine Cooper say they were victims of a "systemic, ongoing fraud that is ubiquitous in the legal education industry and threatens to leave a generation of law students in dire financial straits," according to the tabloid newspaper.
Claims by the school of a 90 to 95 percent employment rate within nine months of graduation are overblown, the group says.
In reality, according to the suit, "these seemingly robust numbers include any type of employment, including jobs that have absolutely nothing to do with the legal industry, do not require a JD degree or are temporary or part-time in nature," the Post reports.
The chances of finding full-time work in law-related fields is well below 50 percent or even lower, the students say, according to the court filing.
The law school responded by saying that the students' claims are without merit and that the institution will "vigorously defend against them in court."
A second suit filed by four graduates in Michigan against Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing also claims that the college knowingly inflated employment and salary statistics to recruit and retain students, Bloomberg News reports.
Cooley says, however, that its job placement rates are consistent with reporting standards for schools accredited by the American Bar Association.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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