A New York court sided with a law school in a case that alleged that the school misled its students about post-graduate employment prospects.
The Supreme Court of the State of New York dismissed last week a lawsuit brought by nine recent graduates of New York Law School, which is located in lower Manhattan in New York City. The plaintiffs sought up to $225 million in damages from their alma mater.
The court stated that those who consider law schools are a sophisticated subset of education consumers. They are “capable of sifting through data and weighing alternatives before making a decision regarding their post-college options,” Judge Melvin Schweitzer wrote. In essence, the court said that the onus is on the students to do thorough research before deciding to enroll at a particular school.
However, the court did express sympathy for these students — noting that the legal employment market is at its worst in decades.
These recent grads have “turned their disappointment and angst on their law school,” the court stated. “Law graduates today and over these past few years have been faced with the effect of the most severe contraction in demand for legal services that this court can recall since the early 1970s. Now it is recent law graduates who are caught in the midst of an unanticipated squeeze.”
The lawsuit alleged that New York Law School misled plaintiffs about the post-graduate employment prospect. Some of the graduates included in the school’s data as employed were working just part-time, in some cases in fields that didn’t require a law degree, according to the lawsuit.
“According to plaintiffs, New York Law School has been able to attract a large number of applicants and charge an expensive price for its educational services because the school has disseminated this misleading information about its graduates’ employment profiles,” the court stated.
According to media reports, the attorney for the plaintiffs is planning to appeal.
The case is Alexandra Gomez-Jimenez, et al. vs. New York Law School, et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. The full decision is available on the New York State Unified Court System’s website.