Now that it’s mid-December, we’re still waiting for these lawsuits to be filed. What’s the hold up? These crusading lawyers say that they are ready, willing, and able to sue all 15 law schools, but there’s just one teeny, tiny problem. Here’s where our loyal readers come in.
Are you a disgruntled law school graduate? Did you rely on your law school’s employment data, only to find that you are now unemployed or unemployable, despite your law degree?
If so, then consider heeding this call, if you want to help crowdsource a lawsuit against what Anziska calls the “law school industry cartel”….
Back in August, we reported that Kurzon Strauss had filed class action lawsuits against Thomas M. Cooley Law School and New York Law School for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and deceptive business practices. And earlier this week, we started to wonder how those cases would be moving forward, because Kurzon Strauss is apparently no more.
That’s right, the law firm that brought us some of the most prolific class action lawsuits of the year has broken up. Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you’ve got major cases like Gomez-Jimenez v. NYLS and MacDonald v. Cooley Law to deal with.
So, what’s a lawyer to do? Apparently the solution is to file fifteen more class action lawsuits against law schools with questionable post-graduate employment data.
Is your law school or alma mater a defendant? Let’s find out….
We shouldn’t be surprised that the American Bar Association barely cares about law schools misleading prospective law students when the organization doesn’t even really seem to mind when law school lie directly to the ABA itself. The Villanova Law LSAT scandal has been resolved, and boy are you going to be underwhelmed by the penalties associated with lying to the ABA for four years.
For those who haven’t been following along, an investigation revealed that former Villanova administration officials misrepresented the median LSAT scores and GPAs of incoming Villanova students. The deceit took place for many years. Investigators later found that Villanova also falsely reported the number of admission offers extended to Villanova applicants.
These are pretty serious findings against the school. You’d expect the punishment to be severe… unless you’ve actually been paying attention to how the ABA operates. If you are an ABA watcher, you know that this is an organization that thinks wrists are for slaps, not for cuffs.
Either way, all will find it amusing to listen to Villanova Law Dean John Gotanda try to explain how the meaningless sanction was only achieved because Villanova took the matter so seriously….
This Villanova scandal is going to get uglier before it finishes. On Friday, we reported that John Y. Gotanda, the dean of Villanova Law School, sent a letter to students and alumni in which he revealed that the school reported inaccurate admissions information to the American Bar Association.
The letter was light on specifics. According to comments made by a Villanova spokesperson to the ABA Journal, the problem involved Villanova providing the ABA with incorrect LSAT and GPA numbers.
The Villanova administration has not yet disclosed exactly what data was inaccurate, who was responsible, and what the school is doing to make sure that this kind of thing won’t happen again. That could be because the school is still investigating the full scope of the problem.
But Villanova students and faculty members are talking. Here’s what we’ve heard so far…
In a letter just released to students and alumni of Villanova University School of Law, Dean John Y. Gotanda admits that Villanova Law knowingly reported inaccurate admissions information to the American Bar Association, for years prior to 2010.
The school has conducted an internal investigation and has been independently audited by Ropes & Gray. In response to the investigation and audit findings, the school will reorganize its admissions reporting process, with the goal of implementing “a reporting system which is above reproach.” In addition, according to Dean Gotanda’s letter, “the University will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”
Sadly, this is not the first scandal that has rocked the law school in recent years….
Welcome to the top … of the second tier. We are at the point where the value proposition of going to law school is questionable. But the “nailing attractive co-eds” possibilities remain high. Check out some of the schools ranked in this batch. If you are going to spend three years and six figures on something, you’re going to need more than illusory job prospects to keep you warm at night:
54. Florida State
54. Yale Law School’s Hartford Campus/University of Connecticut (j/k)
56. Case Western Reserve
56. Loyola (Los Angeles)
56. San Diego
60. Georgia State
60. University of Houston
64. Lewis & Clark College
67. New Mexico
72. Penn State
72. Seton Hall
72. St. John’s
See what I’m saying. I bet young law students are just cutting a swath through the undergrads at Yeshiva University.
Seriously though, FSU, Miami, Rocky Top, Ha-freaking-Waii. Good times! You know, unless you want to get a job…
As 2010 gets underway, a couple of law schools are taking steps to keep students from accessing the internet while they’re in class. This would be a pretty mundane and much expected story, if we all lived in China.
The most extreme attempt by a law school to captivate an audience comes from Villanova Law. Professors there on a case-by-case basis have been banning the use of laptops in class. That’s right, some professors are going totally old school and forcing their students to take handwritten notes, just like students did in the 1800s. A tipster puts Villanova’s attempt to turn back the clock this way:
There seems to be a growing movement at Villanova Law to ban laptop use in class. Last year, an entire section of 1Ls was not permitted to use laptops and both a contracts and crim law professor in another section banned them as well. Now a Con Law professor teaching 2Ls has banned them for Con Law 2 this semester.
In general, the professors doing this complain that students who use laptops in class tend to surf the web or gchat/IM rather than pay attention, which distracts both themselves and classmates around them who look at their screens. As a result, these professors claim that class discussion is harmed. I can’t dispute that logic, but I do think laptops in class benefit many students. Personally, I take extremely thorough notes in class because of my laptop and only surf the web when some jackass makes an asinine point just to hear himself speak, so the laptop is a tremendous educational tool for me.
I had a very good professor who once said: “If you are more entertained sitting at home after you’ve already paid to attend my class, the fault lies with me.” Why don’t more professors internalize this basic truth? Professors — professors whose high salaries are made possible by the students they teach — should be able to be more entertaining and informative than “the internet.”
Shutting down the ‘net, even to the point of outlawing laptops altogether, isn’t going to make students pay attention. Trust me, students are capable of zoning out in any number of ways. Ever heard of a doodle?
Luckily, Villanova’s acting dean, Doris Brogan, tells us that the bans are the actions of a few professors who are experimenting, not the stated policy of the law school.
The news from Dean Brogan, and a look at Albany Law School’s draconian test run, after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned the Princeton Review law school rankings. The rankings are based on law student surveys, which may explain why the rankings bear little relationship to reality.
But Paul Caron of Tax Prof Blog has looked at Princeton Review’s underlying data, and he’s come up with some interesting info about how much law students are studying.
Here are the top ten schools in terms of study hours per day:
Villanova law students, you guys are lying. You cannot possibly average 7.5 hours of study a day unless you are (a) skipping class or (b) really dumb.
After the jump, let’s take a look at the schools that report the least amount of study time.
When you talk to a prospective lateral about your firm during their first meeting, the conversation can go deep, sideways, and in circles. There is so much to share and discuss. What path of a dialogue can you follow to get better odds of a favorable conclusion?
Consider this template as a model you can use to discuss your firm’s opportunity. This simplifies the conversation and gives you a mental framework so the discussion is meaningful, relevant and moves things forward.
The Four P’s
In my transition from retained corporate executive search to legal search, I saw that there were many levels of complexity in the move of a partner transitioning from firm A to firm B. In placing an executive in a corporation, it was simple because of the linear nature of relationships in corporations. In a law firm, because of the multi-layered aspect of the interdependent relationships that each partner must manage with others, the dialogue is much more involved.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
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