Lawsuit against Albany Law dismissed

Thumbnail image for albany law school exteriorA New York Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which recent graduates of Albany Law School alleged the school misrepresented employment statistics about its graduates. [Reuters]

The school's employment stats include grads who are working in jobs that are either part time or don't require a law degree -- and the plaintiffs argued that is a deceptive business practice. [New York Law Journal] From the decision by judge Richard Platkin (himself an Albany Law alum) [New York Law Journal]:

Here, the alleged deceptive acts or practices are directed principally at college graduates deciding whether to pursue a legal education at ALS ... These individuals are called upon to decide whether to pursue a legal education and, if so, which law school to attend. While highly consequential in their own right, these decisions generally are intertwined with an individual's choice of career. Thus, in considering a reasonable consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances, the Court is mindful that it is dealing with a reasonably well-educated (though not necessarily sophisticated) group of consumers who are called upon to make major life decisions. As such, this case is unlike those involving representations made to the general public in connection with the sale of modestly priced consumer goods (cf. Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d 268, 273 [1977] [sale of dictionary]).

Also from the decision:

There simply is nothing in the challenged representations that would lead reasonable consumers acting reasonably to believe that ALS's published "employment" rate carved out compensated positions for which a JD is not required or preferred, part-time employment, temporary employment, contract employment, post-graduate fellowships, research assistantships and/or certain types of solo legal practices.

The suit against Albany Law was part of a raft of similar suits against law schools filed by a trio of attorneys. Some of those other suits have already been dismissed. [NY Mag] [Above the Law] [Above the Law]

The economy hasn't been kind to recent law school grads. An analysis of the job market by the Wall Street Journal last summer called it "grim." Employment data by school is available from the American Bar Association. According to that survey, about 80 percent of Albany Law's 2011 graduates were employed either full time or part time (with 60 percent of all grads in positions that required passing the bar). The rest were either looking for a job, going to grad school, or unemployed but not looking for a job. [WSJ] [ABA]

(Thanks, Jess)

Albany Law has advertised on AOA.

Comments

Ouch! At 42K a year, It's going to take a long time working a part time job to pay off those loans.

Perhaps becoming a plumber would have been a better career decision given the economic condition of the last 5 years. But based on Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, I guess they should have been smart enough to figure that out.

It's amusing when court decisions include subtle but somewhat snarky statements:

"...the Court is mindful that it is dealing with a reasonably well-educated (though not necessarily sophisticated) group of consumers...."

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