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Lawyers Suing Law Schools

599px-CourtGavelIf there is one group of people you don’t want to anger, it’s lawyers.

Right now, there is a class-action lawsuit (many people working together to sue) of recent law school graduates (people who have completed their degree) against their own law schools. They say that law schools falsely claim (say something that isn’t true) high employment rates (percentage of people working) of over 90% within a short period of time after graduation. In reality (in truth), they say, graduates aren’t working as lawyers and many not even in full-time jobs. They are working as salespeople, in restaurants, and not in their chosen field (area; type of) of work.

The litigants (people suing) not only claim that law schools inflate (make larger than something really is) employment rates to lure (attract) new students. Schools also do it to improve their rankings (positions among others) in lists of the best law schools in the country. They claim that law schools routinely (done all the time) misrepresent (show something to be different than what it really is) information, including starting salaries (money earned when you first get a job).

This is a difficult time for new college graduates in the U.S. With the economy in poor shape (condition), many are finding it hard to get jobs. Making it more difficult are the student loans the graduates took out (obtained; got) to pay their tuition (money charged by schools to attend).

Five of the law schools being sued are in California. Each of these five law schools charges about $40,000 a year for tuition, and it normally takes three years to complete a law degree if you’re a full-time student. After graduation, students only have a short time before they have to begin paying back their student loans.  With over $100,000 of debt (money owed), these law school graduates are particularly angry that they can’t get jobs as easily as the law school’s promotional materials (materials used to get someone to buy or to be interested in something) suggest. Now they’re taking their case to court.

In many ways, the law profession is changing. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, more and more tasks traditionally (normally; usually) done by lawyers are now being done by, or are made easier with, computers. It used to be that lawyers spent many hours in the law library looking up previous cases and getting other legal information. With the online services and electronic databases now available, these long hours spent — and those who worked them — are no longer necessary.

Online companies have also made it possible for people like you and me to file (to send or submit to some authority) routine legal documents ourselves, without the help of a lawyer.  Experts (people with a lot of knowledge about a subject) say that even when the economy improves, there will still be a glut of (too many) lawyers working in all 50 states.

What is the state of the legal profession (jobs related to the law) where you live? Are there professions (types of jobs) where things are changing quickly, leaving many out of work?

~ Lucy

Photo Credit:  Court Gavel from Wikipedia

9 Responses to “Lawyers Suing Law Schools”

  1. Peter Says:

    Tell me about it.
    The Student loan is a pain in the neck. I , myself, am a victim of a high tuition fee and the softened market.
    I took out 30000 Canadians dollars of student loan just to finish my schooling. Ofcourse , the loan is given partially and periodically at the beginning is each semester. By that I mean, it is not like you receive a big chunk of money at the beginning of your schooling. No ! It is way more complicated than that. First , you must be approved of the loan which takes a lot of paper works , credit checks ,living situation,and whatnot
    After , you are figured out loan worthy.
    Still,you have to wait. It is not like that you waltz in ; you get the student loan. Sorry , It doesn’t work that way. Still a lot of administrative jobs need to be done before you see any green. besides, You must wait till the school year starts to get the money.
    They money your receive at the beginning of each school year supposedly should cover the tuition fee , and the cost of living. For the entire school year. Let me tell u sth , the amount is not even close to adequate. By that I mean , there is no two ways about it, you must work on the side in order to get by.
    approving for the loan is the only sweet part of the story. The kicker comes at the end when you graduated. Congrats guys on your graduation. you made it to the finishing line.
    Now , you have a job to find ,a career to build and a loan to pay.
    Well, tough luck with all of that.
    In all fairness , the good people on student loan services give you a 6 month-period before they start knocking on your door and ringing your phone off the hook. You have a good 6 month period to put your act together and does a miracle-that is- getting a descent job that pays the cost of living ,plus the monthly installment of tuition fee.
    The monthly payment varies. it rides on the sum of the loan you got during the entire of the school time. As I said ,my loan is $ 30000 and my monthly payment is 450 dollars. Go figure!!!
    Yup!! You got it right. 450 dollars every month right out of my pocket.

    i m guessing , some of you guys are college students at the moment.
    Well , as an alumni. I have a piece of advice for
    Count your blessing and party , and party hard that the storm is coming.
    Just so u know , I graduated two years ago still digging to find a job that may someday lead to the a path towards building a career.
    I know, you are saying ” tough luck!”
    Well, I must say ,right back at yours ;)

    Thanks
    Pete

  2. Dan Says:

    Hello,

    They are just doing what evryone else does, selling a product.

    During the elections aren’t the candidates selling themselves and promising everything under the sun?

    It seems as though there is harsh competition between these schools, so it natural that someone misrepresenting data.

    I sympatyze with those student havin such a debt this early in life. I for sure would not want that for myself.
    One of the things I hate is owning money to somebody.

    What if I am not learning English? Am I supposed to sue ESLPodcast? and ask for compensation?

    Thanks guys.

  3. Willy Says:

    Even though there is a harsh competition between those schools I thing that to misrepresent data is not right.
    I agree with student that was cheated and now they want to be refunded.
    Besides they could have missed some other opportunities about their future, choosing a school doesn’t let them to find a job soon.
    That age is critical to make own future.

    However to respond to Lucy questions, I live in Italy, here the crisis are killing every work sector. Even Information Technology field is severely compromised.
    Less-damaged sector is about basic needs and primary services.

    But every thing seems to go towards a serious decline.

    I hope things change better, let’s be optimistic!

    Bye!

  4. Jesus P Says:

    Hi Lucy,

    Here in Colombia (Latin America) to be a lawyer is not seen by society as important as it was many years ago.
    In fact, I think the lawyers have the status of being dishonest people, not all of them of course, but unfortunately
    the big majority.
    I’m not aware if the lawyers are working to sue the Law Schools in Colombia, but I do know that there are more
    lawyers that we (as society) need to, and this is something that’s happening to many careers these days.

    Thanks for this interesting article!

    Regards,

    Jesus P.

  5. sally Fan Says:

    just like in other countries,the activities of the lawers attend are related to the system of justice,the better the civil servant works,the less the lawers acts.If the leaders consider well,there is no necesssary to hire a lawer,to waste your money,as it is,pour out like water.

  6. Peter Says:

    My good friend Willy,

    I understand ,in most part of Europe undergraduate and graduate college study is for free. It means , you don’t pay a dime. You sale through academic years without piling up any debt. Well, here , in North America , things are going down differently. College education up here costs you a pretty penny.you go through School knowing all the while that you are accumulating some sort of debt that you must pay back down to the last penny. Man, even the though of it wears you down.

    There is no cheating my friend. It is not like you are an unwitting victim here. Everybody knows that the cost of education is quite high In North America. It is a fact of life around here. They are so sleek that way. I can give you that. Why they are so sleek. Because , building a quality life requires you to get through school.
    It is a simple math. There is no alternative here. You go through school with one thing hanging over your head : how am gonna pay it back ? How am I gonna pay it back ?
    All the poor economy does my friend is make it more terrifying.

    Yours
    Pete

  7. Willy Says:

    Dear Peter.

    Exactly, so the fact that school cheats students (about a promise of a future secure job) is more and more a grave injustice.

    (However, here in Italy, students pay taxes to attend school but they aren’t so high)

  8. Betty Says:

    Dear Lucy

    Thank you for this article.

    Lawyers Suing Law Schools?

    I am so excited when I read the title of this article.

    Let’s see who will win the case – the senior or the junior of the same family.

    Now both the law school and the law graduates have a chance to practice their skills.

    If the law graduates win this case, they would have earned themselves a decent ‘salary’ but it also proves the law school has provided an excellent law education to them.

    So, how can the law graduates sue the law school when the law school has provided them excellent law skills?

    Sorry Lucy I think my English is very clumsy, I hope you know what I mean.

    Thanks again for a good education for us. We will never do what the law graduates do.

    Betty :)

  9. emiliano Says:

    It is like a fake, they are selling a product very expensive that doesn´t work. They are selling the appealing of earning a good salary in future in exchange of money but
    this product doesn´t work at all.
    Some how it is like the charlatans of before who sold grow hair or the elixir of health, another time, another products but the same scams. Charlatans and scams have
    ever been but what is selling now in exchange of a lot of money could be a good tittle, a house too expensive hoping its value will increase the same of the profit these
    students were going to have in future investing loans asked for that purpose.
    More or less the same always, money in exchange of dreams or smoke, the tale of dairy afteer all.

    What about vocation, that means:

    An occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework
    A person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking.

    Money it is not all, vocation or desire to learn it has more meaning in life that studing to get just a lot of money in a most
    required proffesion.

    Among these students it sure there would be some who has vocation but other that doesn.t any vocation only the desire of
    getting a good salary in future and they don´t care in studing this or that carrer.

    Sorry for the former but not very sorry for the later one, that is my opinión.

    Just a pleasure to be here dear Lucy.

    emiliano