American Bar Association / ABA, Cardozo Law School, Law Schools

Breaking: Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Motion to Dismiss DENIED — And Twenty More Law Schools to Be Sued

Apparently, suing law schools isn’t a fool’s errand.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law filed a motion to dismiss its class action lawsuit over its employment statistics this summer. On a conference call with Team Strauss/Anziska today, we learned that TJSL’s motion has been denied.

Guess that means we’re in for the long haul with these lawsuits.

Three other law schools have filed motions to dismiss — New York Law School, Cooley Law, and Florida Coastal. Will this be the start of a trend?

When we last checked in with the attorneys responsible for the law school litigation movement, we were informed that “a very big announcement” would be coming in the “next few days.” With a promise to make 2012 the “year of law school litigation,” Team Strauss/Anziska is working hard to remain true to its word. March isn’t even over, and they’ve already sued 12 law schools. In fact, they’re so efficient that we only had to wait one day for the big reveal.

Today, the lawyers leading the law school litigation squad announced that they are planning to target 20 more law schools for class action lawsuits over their allegedly deceptive post-graduation employment statistics. This time around, you may be surprised by some of the law schools that appear on their list.

Is your law school or alma mater going to be a defendant?

We’ve got to say, their timing on this announcement is simply impeccable. Law school deans are still in a tizzy after the release of the new U.S. News rankings, and now some of them have got to deal with the threat of class action lawsuits. That being said, the next group of law schools facing potential lawsuits is as follows:

  • American University Washington College of Law
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Chapman University School of Law
  • Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America
  • Loyola Marymount University Law School
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • New England School of Law
  • Pace University School of Law
  • Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Roger Williams University School of Law
  • Seattle University School of Law
  • St. John’s University School of Law
  • St. Louis University School of Law
  • St. Thomas University School of Law
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Syracuse University College of Law
  • University of Miami School of Law
  • Valparaiso University School of Law
  • Western New England University School of Law
  • Whittier Law School

If you recall, back in December, the law school litigation squad was looking for plaintiffs to serve as class representatives for suits against both Pace Law and St. John’s Law, and it seems that the search is still on. Also of note is the fact that American Law, Pepperdine Law, and Cardozo Law — law schools that hover around the top 50 in the U.S. News rankings year after year — could be facing litigation over their employment statistics. No wonder they didn’t make it into our Most Honest Law School bracket.

In addition, Team Strauss/Anziska is hoping to sue the alma maters of some of your own Above the Law editors and columnists. (While I’m disappointed, I can’t say I’m surprised about Western New England Law’s presence on the list, but Brian Tannebaum might have something new to gnash his teeth about when it comes to the potential suit against Stetson Law.)

When we asked Anziska about whether he thought the downturn in the economy had anything to do with the allegedly deceptive employment statistics reported by our nation’s law schools, he had this to say:

At the height of the recession, most schools reported placement rates of well above 90%. Now, all of a sudden in 2010-2011, after we’ve weathered the worst of the worst, schools are starting to report employment data that paints a much more realistic picture — a dim picture of employment prospects for graduates. Why, at the height of the recession, did they report sterling placement rates? It was simply impossible to have these high employment placement rates in 2009.

Taking a step back, we’ve got to wonder what, if anything, the American Bar Association is planning to do in the wake of all of these class action lawsuits. Granted, the ABA has made modifications to its annual employment questionnaire, but isn’t there something more that our law schools’ regulating body could be doing to prevent lawsuits like these from being filed in the first place? After all, the most common defense law schools have raised in their motions to dismiss these lawsuits has been to cast blame and aspersions on the ABA.

How much longer will we have to wait for action — or even comment — from the ABA? We think that the accrediting agency will eventually come to its senses, but in all likelihood, by the time the ABA decides to step in, Team Strauss/Anziska will have already sued every law school in the country.

UPDATE (3/15/12): Last night, we got in touch with Brian Procel, Anna Alaburda’s lawyer, in an effort to obtain documentation regarding the denial of Thomas Jefferson Law’s motion to dismiss. Procel states that this wasn’t exactly a “denial”:

The judge did not issue a ruling denying the demurrer. He advised Thomas Jefferson that it was not well-taken. Thomas Jefferson ultimately answered our complaint without a hearing on the motion. We stated a claim as to every cause of action in the complaint (none were withdrawn or dismissed).

The point still seems to be that TJSL has failed to get this suit thrown out on its ear.

Graduates target another 20 law schools, alleging fraud [National Law Journal]

Earlier: The Law School Lawsuits Go to Court: How Did Team Strauss/Anziska Fare Against NYLS?
The Latest News in the Law School Lawsuits
Twenty Additional Law School Class Action Suits Are in the Works; Is Your School One of Them?
Twelve More Law Schools Slapped with Class Action Lawsuits Over Employment Data
Calling All Disgruntled Law School Graduates: Will You Ring in the New Year By Suing Your School?
Fifteen More Law Schools to Be Hit with Class Action Lawsuits Over Post-Grad Employment Rates
Cooley Law and NYLS Hit With Class Action Lawsuits

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