Lawsuit Filed by Law Grads Over Tuition
Two lawsuits were filed in New York and Michigan on Wednesday against the New York Law School and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. The suits were seeking class action status.
The plaintiffs are graduates of the two schools. They are demanding tuition refunds amounting to $200 million from New York Law School and $250 million from Cooley as well as other damages and a restructuring of their methods in reporting the employment numbers of their graduates.
According to the lawsuit filed by four Cooley and three NYLS plaintiffs, they seek “to remedy 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.”
The case against Cooley was filed in the Western District of Michigan, while the suit against NYLS was filed in the New York County Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs alleged that the schools misrepresented their post-graduate employment data by advertising the percentage of graduates who secure any type of job within nine months after graduation, even the ones that does not have anything to do with the legal industry. They also claimed that the reported amount of average salaries of their graduates is inflated because the information is taken from self-selected pool of people who actually provide that data to the two schools.
On the part of Jim thelen, the general counsel of Cooley, he said that the plaintiffs ought to raise the issue of how law schools present their employment numbers with the American Bar Association. The ABA helps in setting the criteria with regards to collecting data.
Mr. Thelen said, “These are nothing other than attempts to bring public attention to this issue and it certainly doesn’t seem like the right way to go about it.”