American Bar Association / ABA, Law Schools

Thomas M. Cooley Law School Adopts the ‘Blame the ABA’ Theory For Defending Its Employment Stats

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Thomas M. Cooley Law School has now filed a motion to dismiss the class action suit filed against it over its employment statistics. New York Law School was also sued and filed its motion to dismiss a couple of days ago. NYLS argued that the students shouldn’t blame NYLS for its reporting of employment data because NYLS meets the standards set forth by the American Bar Association.

Cooley’s motion to dismiss is largely duplicative. The motion has some colorful lines about how the plaintiffs’ complaint “reads more like a free-form rant on an Internet blog,” but at the end of the day, Cooley isn’t really defending its statistics so much as it’s claiming the school can’t be sued because it’s in compliance with the ABA’s reporting standards.


So let me ask the question: how does the ABA feel now that member institutions are blaming the ABA’s weak regulation for the schools’ questionable statistics?

Let me ask that question the way it would be asked on a playground: “Oh snap, ABA. Cooley just said you’ve been such a trifling bitch that you don’t even want schools to give an accurate picture of the legal employment market. Cooley said it’s just a soldier, you’re the kingpin.”

Look, neither NYLS or Cooley has really come out and defended their employment statistics. Neither school has said, “You know what, our statistics portrayed an accurate picture of the employment opportunities our recent graduates enjoyed,” or “I’ll stand behind these stats ’til the day I die,” or anything like that. Instead, the schools have said: “I’m rubber and the ABA is glue, everything you say bounces off me and sticks to the ABA.”

So I’m wondering what the ABA thinks about that argument. Does the ABA think that it has set graduate outcome reporting requirements so low that schools can basically get away with saying whatever they want? Or does the ABA think that it actually held these schools to any kind of actionable standard to accuracy when it comes to reporting who is employed and who is not?

I’m just curious. Either way, the system is messed up. I just want to know if the ABA agrees with the law schools that all the statistical shenanigans are the ABA’s fault.

Earlier: Cooley Law and NYLS Hit With Class Action Lawsuits
New York Law School Files Motion to Dismiss Suit Over Employment Data

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