Let’s see: Torts, First Year: Fraud: a false representation of material fact stated with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard of its truth, and reasonably relied upon by the recipient with resulting detriment and injury. Now, how many law schools can do the basic issue spotting and analysis? It seems 2012 will be the defining year for some law schools whether they pass their own tort exams.
For example, the law schools may have to write a winning exam essay on this factual scenario: A law school presents data to potential law school applicants stating that 85%-95% of is applicants who graduate are employed with median annual salaries of $160,000 within 9 months of graduation. The truth is that the data is incomplete and misleading, and at best 40% of graduates are employed full time nationally within 9 months. The student/graduates testify that they would not have applied or paid tuition but for his reliance on the data.
New York class action attorney David Anzika said he will be suing 20 to 25 law schools every few months. He obviously feels he has found the mother lode. Will the defendants have the requisite legal talent to fight back? Maybe they should call upon their own tort professors, who may have to shift from education to advocacy on behalf of their employers.
There is a cultural perception that a law degree is the way to power and riches, and many college graduates chase that elusive carrot of big money instead of taking the time to know their true passions, talents and strengths. When a student has dropped several hundred thousand dollars of tuition as well putting his family and social life on hold for several years, the hard cold reality of unemployment can definitely produce a bitter, vindictive graduate.
What Mr. Anzika has tapped into is a long accumulating disjuncture between the dream, the perception, and the reality of what a law degree really offers. The irony may very well be that if students pursued a career in law only because they defaulted to an easy social/cultural definition of “significance,” they might very well be unhappy in their careers anyway, whatever their earnings.
[Article derived from Daily Journal, online, 02-02-12: “Four California Law Schools Sued Over Employment Data.”]