Yesterday, a panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed Judge Quist's decision to dismiss the lawsuit against Cooley.
You can read the ridiculous opinion:
The panel of judges spend pages on a weird technicality related to Michigan's consumer laws. Basically, they reason that the students might have a claim if the complaint mentioned that law school affected their personal lives and not just their business interests. This distinction made at the dismissal stage is a stretch and makes little sense. Of course, the judges spend the rest of the opinion discussing how unreasonable it was for law students to ever give any credence to anything that the law schools ever said or wrote. It is written in an eye-rolling tone, like the judges are saying, "Of course the law schools lie about the benefits of a J.D. -- Duh!"
Apparently, thousands of law students across the country are objectively "unreasonable" for relying on the information provided by their federally funded law schools about the benefits of earning a J.D. The one question that the judges never seem to answer: if the employment and salary data is not important or not a reasonable source of information, why do the schools go to such lengths to manipulate the data and to hide information even in this current era of Law School Transparency and new ABA rules (which some schools still do not comply with because no real consequences exist). If the employment and salary data are truly irrelevant and unbelievable, why would the schools not just tell the truth about 50% or more of graduates who never work as lawyers? Obviously, the law schools gain some benefit by misleading their students, otherwise they would not do it.
Even though a few of the other lawsuits have survived, so far, it makes me a little queasy to think that a lawsuit against Cooley cannot survive. If you read the opinion, the judges recognize that Cooley has an open admission policy, huge class sizes, a one third dropout rate, and all sorts of other factoids that I did not know before but that reinforce the sad joke that is Cooley.