In August, New York Law School (NYLS) was hit with a class action lawsuit over the school’s allegedly deceptive post-graduate employment data. The case was filed by plaintiffs’ lawyers Jesse Strauss and David Anziska. In October, NYLS filed a motion to dismiss that claim. On March 12, the lawyers ventured down to the New York Supreme Court to argue the merits of the case, and a little more than one week later, we’ve got news on whether the class action suit survived that motion.
What result? The class action lawsuit filed by Team Strauss/Anziska against NYLS over its allegedly deceptive employment statistics has been dismissed….
Initially, we didn’t think that these lawsuits stood a chance in the courts, but what with Strauss’s and Anziska’s passion, we were almost made into true believers in the cause. We thought that these lawsuits might be able to survive the myriad motions to dismiss that had been filed, but sadly, we were wrong.
The decision penned by Judge Melvin Schweitzer makes clear just how wrong we were. He notes the following on the first line of his conclusion:
In this court’s view, the issues posed by this case exemplify the adage that not every ailment afflicting society may be redressed by a lawsuit.
The order and decision are available here. Here’s one of Judge Schweitzer’s money quotes:
And here’s another one. Apparently Schweitzer, much like William Robinson III of the ABA, thinks it’s inconceivable that the plaintiffs suing NYLS weren’t aware of the declining market for legal jobs:
This does not bode well for the dozen or so other class action lawsuits that have already been filed. And those 20 additional forthcoming lawsuits? I suppose we’ll see if they’ll ever be filed.
But what about prospective law students? Schweitzer believes that “we owe the most transparent data of the state of our profession that we can possibly assemble so that they can make the most informed decisions that affect their livelihoods.” Excuse me, but where is this data supposed to come from?
The ABA hasn’t exactly viewed these waves of class action lawsuits as a call to action. Instead of attempting to cull more employment data from law schools, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has hacked and slashed its requirements, including the reporting of salary data and the actual legal employment rate. I suppose we’ll have to rely on the honesty of law schools — because as we’ve learned from Villanova and Illinois Law, law schools are oh-so-truthful when it comes to their data.
If nothing else, we now have judicial notice that prospective law students need to read more than the U.S. News and law schools’ recruitment brochures before applying to law school.
What do NYLS and Team Strauss/Anziska think about the dismissal? Read on for the details….