Sunday, March 18, 2012

Why postgrads are taking New York law schools to court

Are law schools misleading potential students about the value of a JD (professional doctorate in law)? That's the argument that a handful of New York-based law grads from New York Law School, Hofstra and Brooklyn Law are making in a New York state court. They claim that the schools fudge postgraduate employment rates. They cite one school claiming that 90% of students are employed after graduation, when according to the complaints, only 40% have jobs that require a law degree and a number of students work in temporary jobs at the law school itself, which boots employment numbers.

The truth is that law school, if you don't go to a top one such as Harvard or Yale, is a gamble (especially in a bad economy). Students at top-tier schools are able to find jobs relatively easily, but students at other schools – New York Law, Hostra and Brooklyn among them – have to be at the top of their class to secure steady employment easily. It's easy to say that students should have known better, and that instead of filing a lawsuit they should take personal responsibility for their decisions. After all, if you're smart enough to go to law school, you should be smart enough to read employment data, right? And it's hard to feel sympathy for wannabe lawyers, who can come across as some of the most entitled people on the planet by seeming to say, "I went to law school, now give me a six-figure salary," when the unemployment rate in the US, though falling, is still more than 8%. Read more.....

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