Law School Fraud?
Law school is a business and an overdue subject for a BLS post. So why not start with a lawsuit against a law school? An unemployed, enterprising graduate of Thomas Jefferson Law School has filed a class action her alma mater, claiming that the school distributed misleading employment data.
The complaint seems to have some teeth and the support, of course, of website lawschooltransparency.com, but it is more of an indictment of the industry than of TJLS and draws heavily on a recent NYT article, Is Law School a Losing Game? (This article was a handout at the inaugural meeting of the BLS; every law student should read it.)
One problem for the plaintiff may be that a Kaplan study found that only 8% of law school applicants named placement success as the most critical factor in choosing a school, with law school ranking claiming the #1 spot at 30%. But placement stats are often a component of ranking formulas, and they may be among the easiest to fudge, so the stats still matter. TJLS may point to the 24% who name location as the most critical factor, with that number probably being significantly higher for a school (like TJLS) located in San Diego.
Will Villanova Law School, which admitted knowingly falsifying employment data, be the next defendant? Or if the entire reporting system is corrupt, why not bring a class action against all law schools? According to law professor Paul Campos, “All law schools inflate their employment rates” (see video below). What advice would you give a law school about distributing placement information?
Inteview with law professor Paul Campos about his article on law schools’ inflated employment data: