Thursday, March 21, 2013

Breaking News: Another Law School Scam-suit Survives

UPDATE: Sorry everyone, I only had a pdf, but I have now found a link to the decision:

http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/2:2012cv00608/270000/33/

New York now stands alone as the only state to unanimously dismiss the law school scam-suits.

Today, Judge William H. Walls of United States District Court (New Jersey) denied the motion to dismiss by Widener University School of Law.  If you have never heard of it, Nando can give you the scoop over at Third Tier Reality.

The decision cites the New York rulings and shreds them.  He concurs with the reasoning of the California rulings, where some of the motions to dismiss have failed and the discovery process has started to reveal fraud far outside the scope of just the employment statistics game.

Perhaps the New York lawsuits were filed just a tad too early, before the New York Times and other major media outlets started reporting on elements of the scam and on the free fall of law school enrollment.


17 comments:

  1. Sweet. Good news there. Hopefully after the validity of these suits are established there will be a cascade effect.

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  2. Awesome news! Nice catch Adam.

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  3. Adam make sure you post a link to the decision.

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    1. I only have a pdf version but will try to post a version of the opinion or the money quotes in an update.

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  5. The case hasn't been dismissed against Hofstra School of Law. This might be the one that works in New York. Hofstra just fell from 89 to 113 in the US News rankings, mainly based on its employment score. Something is very fishy at Hofstra.

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    1. Brooklyn Law School has a pending case too but it all comes down to whether the Court of Appeals overturns the First Dept. or whether the Second Dept. contradicts the first. All unlikey, as the Chief Judge seems very supportive of at least one TTT that would be next on the hit list.

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  6. Hi all,

    Tried to find the decision on the web, but couldn't. Could you please post the link? It makes your case that much more impressive when you do.

    Thanks!

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  7. http://www.law360.com/classaction/articles/425968/widener-law-can-t-shake-fraud-suit-over-postgrad-job-data

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  8. The Valvoline Dean has his henchmen monitoring this suit very closely.

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  9. Yay for more relaxed federal court standards!

    Mayor victory for Anziska/Strauss and Stone & Magnanini. Widener is a great discovery candidate.

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  10. This is great, I'm so happy. I can't wait for a decision from one of the cases. I predict that once just one case goes our way that then the flood gates will open and many more of these lawsuits will be filed. I can't imagine, if these ever get before, that a jury will side with the schools, no matter what the says.

    Our day will come.

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  11. This is fantastic news, maybe it will help open the flood gates. I don't think any of the these schools want things to go to discovery. Ton of dirt under the rug.

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  12. “Perception is often affected by location of the object. Here, we have data displayed above the category of “Full Time Legal Employers.” Why should a reasonable student looking to go to law school consider that data [the 90%-96% employment rate slop published by Widener from 2004-2010] to include non law-related and part-time employment? Should that student think that going to Widener Law School would open employment as a public school teacher, full or part-time, or an administrative assistant, or a sales clerk, or a medical assistant?

    The study of law is the learning of a profession. Widener’s website promotes a professional school. Its function is to persuade a prospective law student to attend Widener in order to receive a degree in law. The employment rate was disseminated to third-party evaluators to establish Widener’s standing among law schools. Within this context, it is not implausible that a prospective law student making the choice of whether or which law school to attend, would believe that the employment rate referred to law related employment."

    Harnish v. Widener, slip op. at 12-13

    (O wise and upright judge!)

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  13. i'm not even affected by the LS scam but this is great news. i'm tried of these fucking assholes in their ivory towers.

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  14. I am a soon to be graduating 3L at a non- Tier 1 school. So, exactly the student who "got scammed" by law schools.While I am sympathetic to some of the arguments made by the law school "scambloggers" and media, here is my problem:

    If you began going to law school anytime after the 2007-08 academic year (like I did), there was ample evidence out there, if you looked, to suggest that going to law school was potentially risky, and was certainly no guarantee of getting a job or financial security. We all should have known that the endeavor was probably more risky than it was 10 years prior. I knew the potential pitfalls of attending at the time I enrolled. If you relied solely on law schools' representations of what your future would look like if you attended, that decision was, to put it mildly, questionable. Just because a university is a non-profit institution does not mean they are not trying to sell you something. Professors, administrators, everybody you interact with in any way has a vested interest in making sure that plenty of students attend their institution. I am sympathetic to the argument that these individuals in some cases pushed their positive spin to unethical levels, but that does not excuse ignorance on the part of the potential student. Do you buy a product you don't know anything about without researching online? This is 2013, if you aren't then you deserve what you get. Why, then, would you invest around $120k in a legal education relying only on the representations of the people who will literally draw their paychecks out of that $120k?
    Law school admissions are dropping dramatically and are projected to continue to do so. People will choose other career paths in higher numbers, and the problem will correct itself. Though I don't enjoy being punched in the mouth by the law-school market correction, I am not going to blame anybody for it. I went to law school knowing that my school was trying to sell me something. I did the research, did my soul-searching, and decided that, despite the risks, it was what I wanted to do. I have yet to determine the correctness of my calculation. I am not saying that I particularly enjoy the uncertainty that is staring back at me when I look into my future, what I am saying is that there is really nobody to be mad at. You aren't guaranteed tomorrow, much less a cushy, $160k a year job at a big firm. Your success or failure in this life are a result of your efforts. If you started law school in the last 5 years and thought that it was going to guarantee a 6-figure job, you should have known better. If you started over five years ago, your law school is mighty indeed if it caused the 2008 global financial crisis. The correction will affect law schools as well. Many lower tier schools will likely close, most will suffer dramatic staffing cuts, and a lot of those people who "misled" students will lose their jobs. But to demonize people for trying to use misleading statistics to stay employed is silly, you would have behaved in exactly the same way in their shoes. Each of us is responsible for our decisions. I own my decision to go to law school. I learned lessons that will serve me well in the future, no matter what that future looks like.
    If you had the opportunity to go to law school, then you, like me, are more privileged than the majority of all other people in the world. People have dug themselves out of holes deep enough to make a crappy legal job market and a couple hundred grand in student loans look like the Mariana Trench vs. a puddle. Rather than look for somebody to blame, how about taking ownership of the decision that we made, quit wallowing in self-pity, and figure out how to move forward. The world belongs to those that hustle. So personally I plan to make like Rick Ross as soon as I graduate. If you don't get that reference, hit up YouTube. The internet is a magical research tool...

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