Sometimes, things don’t work out the way people hope. Take law school, for example — once was a sure-fire path to wealth and prestige. Until recent years, odds were good that students be reaping high pay and enviable perks — no matter which law school they attended.
In 2009, the economic downturn and Big Law cutbacks were the root causes behind why may law school graduates entered into an abysmal legal market. And it continues to be a struggle for many graduates, who are strapped with six figures of debt from bottom-tiered schools and unable to find jobs. Looking for someone or something to blame, a few settled on faulting the very institutions that put them in debt.
In 2011 and 2012, more than a dozen disgruntled law graduates filed court cases against their alma maters. They largely claimed the schools deceived them on the amount of money they’d make after graduating. One-by-one these cases have been thrown out, with the latest happening this past week in Florida.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the most recent case involved the Florida Coastal School of Law. The ruling, similar to another recent New York-based case, said the students are “a sophisticated subset of education consumers, capable of sifting through data and weighing alternatives.”
Michael Volpe, the attorney who defended Florida Coastal and New York Law School, reasoned that “educational institutions don’t have an obligation to guarantee employment, nor did they ever guarantee employment.”
Brooklyn-based lawyer, David Anziska, has taken many cases on the sides of the graduates and says for-profit law schools are akin to other for-profit colleges that have been pursued by the Obama administration for alleged “misleading job data.”
“For-profit colleges have been held to account for the exact same consumer fraud,” Anziska told The Wall Street Journal. Meantime, stricter regulations from the American Bar Association have required accredited law schools to report more accurate job placement data.
For now, there are still a few similar cases in court. But if recent history is any indicator, the odds do not bode well for the graduates and schools will likely continue to win these types of cases.
Source: Wall Street Journal