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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Former Students Sue Law School in Expanding Legal Showdown

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Last month I wrote how Thomas M. Cooley Law School had filed a lawsuit against various attorneys and bloggers who had allegedly written disparaging statements about the school. Although Cooley fired the opening salvo by filing suit first, four graduates have entered the fray by filing a lawsuit of their own. The alumni allege that the school misrepresented post-graduation employment rates and recruited students in numbers that vast exceeded the number of lawyers the market would bear, all while gladly collecting millions in tuition money.

As I have mentioned, I am a Cooley Law School graduate and I am thankful for the opportunities my legal education has provided. This contentious scenario is likely only the beginning of what could turn out to be a spate of class action lawsuits against law schools and for-profit colleges. With the job market as weak as it currently is, there are thousands of unemployed and underemployed graduates across the country carrying enormous student debt. Many of these former students claim they would not have gone to school and incurred this debt had they been given the straight facts about their post-graduate employment prospects.

Colleges and law schools have an obligation to represent their facts in a truthful manner. Still, the best they can offer is an opportunity to obtain an education or specific skill set. Hard work and determination (and maybe a little good fortune) are crucial components of future success. No school can guarantee all of that. I can’t think of a better forum than our civil justice system to work it out if the parties can’t.