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 Post subject: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:43 am 
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At least one graduate has chosen to seek judicial relief from her alma mater in hopes that at least 2300 others will join her class action suit against Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.

The complaint, among other things, alleges that Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL) has engaged in “fraudulent and deceptive business practices,” including “a practice of misrepresenting its post-graduation employment statistics,” and that “the disservice TJSL is doing to its students and society generally is readily apparent.” The complaint cites a number of news articles and quotes from law school faculty and administrators over the last few years to demonstrate a widespread consensus that schools are engaged in unfair and misleading practices.

The complaint and other court documents are available here: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/20 ... ol-of-law/


Last edited by jenesaislaw on Fri May 27, 2011 11:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:00 am 
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Great. This is long overdue...

If the ABA would actually care about the students, it should side with them. But I have a gut feeling that the ABA is going to side with the school.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:41 am 
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I'm all for getting schools to be more upfront about the employment prospects and I think that the ABA should probably close some law schools do to a lack of a sufficient demand for that many lawyers, but I'm not sure litigation like this is going to have that effect. Don't many business engage in what a laymen would consider “fraudulent and deceptive business practices?" I'm not sure of the precedent of this (I'm interested to know), but I'd bet that the fraud and deception better be pretty egregious. With TTTT, I'm not so sure it's that egregious. Looking at more than the school's claim about employment stats on the web for about 20 mins can tell you they're misleading you... And misleading you, that's what advertisements do all the time.

But, I'm definitely interested to see how this plays out.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:46 am 
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adt231 wrote:
I'm all for getting schools to be more upfront about the employment prospects and I think that the ABA should probably close some law schools do to a lack of a sufficient demand for that many lawyers, but I'm not sure litigation like this is going to have that effect. Don't many business engage in what a laymen would consider “fraudulent and deceptive business practices?" I'm not sure of the precedent of this (I'm interested to know), but I'd bet that the fraud and deception better be pretty egregious. With TTTT, I'm not so sure it's that egregious. Looking at more than the school's claim about employment stats on the web for about 20 mins can tell you they're misleading you... And misleading you, that's what advertisements do all the time.

But, I'm definitely interested to see how this plays out.

That's true, but I think the difference in this is that whereas a guy who drinks a hair-growth tonic can point to an ad that says 70% of customers grew hair, he'll have a hard time proving that he's not simply one of 30%. The thing with LS is that you have such a well-defined group of customers who can essentially claim that the results of the class don't match with the claims made by the school; it's not hard for 200 people to convene and compare notes. And classes past who were lured by high employment statistics can point to their classes' statistics used in present rankings to prove that the misinformation was not simply due to chance (i.e., that although the school said 90% one year, it doesn't guarantee 90% the next).


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:50 am 
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I think the biggest flaw in this persons claim is that they are citing numerous readily available news articles, faculty quotes, and known statistics. Sounds like you had notice, caveat emptor anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:51 am 
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Relief being sought (also we updated the post to include more information, since it will probably be the main source in today's news cycle):

1. For compensatory damages in an amount to be proven at trial, but believed to be in
excess of $50,000,000;
2. For restitution in an amount to be proven at trial, but believed to be in excess of
$50,000,000;
3. For disgorgement of all profits obtained by TJSL as a result of its unfair and
fraudulent business practices;
4. For punitive damages;
5. For injunctive relief enjoining, preliminarily and permanently, TJSL from continuing
the unlawful conduct alleged herein;
6. For attorney’s fees and costs of suit herein incurred pursuant Code of Civil Procedure
section 1021.5;
7. For prejudgment interest pursuant to section 3287 of the Civil Code; and
8. For such other and further relief as the Court may deem proper.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:52 am 
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adt231 wrote:
I'm all for getting schools to be more upfront about the employment prospects and I think that the ABA should probably close some law schools do to a lack of a sufficient demand for that many lawyers, but I'm not sure litigation like this is going to have that effect. Don't many business engage in what a laymen would consider “fraudulent and deceptive business practices?" I'm not sure of the precedent of this (I'm interested to know), but I'd bet that the fraud and deception better be pretty egregious. With TTTT, I'm not so sure it's that egregious. Looking at more than the school's claim about employment stats on the web for about 20 mins can tell you they're misleading you... And misleading you, that's what advertisements do all the time.

But, I'm definitely interested to see how this plays out.

True. But law schools (and higher education in general) are the only such fraudulent and deceptive businesses that do so under the auspices of the government (in the form of student loans). So, I believe, they should be treated to a higher standard; otherwise, if law schools want to be like any other business and pursue "fraudulent and deceptive business practices," fine with me, but then they should not have access to government funding.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:55 am 
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BU2013 wrote:
I think the biggest flaw in this persons claim is that they are citing numerous readily available news articles, faculty quotes, and known statistics. Sounds like you had notice, caveat emptor anyone?


We thought that at first glance too, but all of the articles/quotes came after she first chose to attend law school back 2004, and the complaint does state that she did not learn about Thomas Jefferson's own misleading tactics until the NYT article published back in January. Whether or not it's true that she had no idea about what they did until nearly three years after graduating is a different matter, though as with many grads she probably only had her suspicions and no hard proof that the fraud was intentional.

It will be interesting if this case moves forward and we get to see TJSL start accounting for the actual employment status of their graduates for those years. We could end up seeing the realities of the hiring market in far greater detail.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:59 am 
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BU2013 wrote:
I think the biggest flaw in this persons claim is that they are citing numerous readily available news articles, faculty quotes, and known statistics. Sounds like you had notice, caveat emptor anyone?


This - although they can make the argument that these stories and quotes are just now seeing the light of day, and the stats are just now being shown to be misleading.

Still, I find it hard to fathom a class action based on the fact that the class failed to be savvy consumers. Of course, Blockbuster got raked across the class action coals because they charged late fees to consumers, who knew when the videos were due. Should be interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:00 am 
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scammedhard wrote:
adt231 wrote:
I'm all for getting schools to be more upfront about the employment prospects and I think that the ABA should probably close some law schools do to a lack of a sufficient demand for that many lawyers, but I'm not sure litigation like this is going to have that effect. Don't many business engage in what a laymen would consider “fraudulent and deceptive business practices?" I'm not sure of the precedent of this (I'm interested to know), but I'd bet that the fraud and deception better be pretty egregious. With TTTT, I'm not so sure it's that egregious. Looking at more than the school's claim about employment stats on the web for about 20 mins can tell you they're misleading you... And misleading you, that's what advertisements do all the time.

But, I'm definitely interested to see how this plays out.

True. But law schools (and higher education in general) are the only such fraudulent and deceptive businesses that do so under the auspices of the government (in the form of student loans). So, I believe, they should be treated to a higher standard; otherwise, if law schools want to be like any other business and pursue "fraudulent and deceptive business practices," fine with me, but then they should not have access to government funding.


We certainly think they should be held to a higher standard. But even the minimum standard required in other consumer right-to-know cases is usually better than what the ABA currently requires of law schools. The only "basic consumer information" schools are currently required to disclose is the overall percent employed in any job and bar placement statistics. This complaint alleges that not only is this overall percentage portrayed as if it only reflects full-time or legal jobs, but that the additional information supplied by the school is also misleading.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:03 am 
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Page 6, Line 6. Legal assistant/paralegal position just opened up, if anyone is interested.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:22 am 
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Is that a typo? Hmm...not sure. I think my brain is fried.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:24 am 
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jenesaislaw wrote:
Is that a typo? Hmm...not sure. I think my brain is fried.


I don't know - is "swtich" a word? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:31 am 
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fundamentallybroken wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:
Is that a typo? Hmm...not sure. I think my brain is fried.


I don't know - is "swtich" a word? :D


Fail. Me and them...


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:43 am 
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I think something like the "gainful employment rule" aimed at for-profit universities should be applied to law schools. The ABA wouldn't need to get involved in shutting down universities. These schools would become unprofitable when the financial aid dries up due to bad employment prospects.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:42 pm 
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TJLS will win. They probably have better lawyers. The plaintiffs went to aTJLS. ...half kidding.


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:48 pm 
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I for one am supportive of such a law suit. I feel it's time these law schools get sent a message that their exploitation of students has come to an end. Man I really wish the ABA regulated law schools like the AMA what the hell happened?


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 7:50 pm 
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"The False Advertising Act makes it is unlawful to “make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated before the public [a statement] which is untrue or misleading, and which is known, or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known, to be untrue or misleading” with the intent to “induce the public to enter into any obligation relating thereto.” Such statements include statements made through “any advertising device,” including “over the Internet.” "

How could the school argue they did not violate the False Advertising Act?


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:33 pm 
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In January 2011, The New York Times ran a post about how Thomas Jefferson School of Law counted graduating students who did not respond to the employment survey as being employed in their employment percentage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson School of L
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:42 pm 
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adt231 wrote:
I'm all for getting schools to be more upfront about the employment prospects and I think that the ABA should probably close some law schools do to a lack of a sufficient demand for that many lawyers, but I'm not sure litigation like this is going to have that effect. Don't many business engage in what a laymen would consider “fraudulent and deceptive business practices?"
But, I'm definitely interested to see how this plays out.


Yes (on the bolded part), and we can see where that has gotten this country. Deregulation screwed homeowners and investors, and has done permanent damage to our economic model. Even if/when we recover, we cannot continue to function in the same way. When the fox guards the hen house it ain't good for the baby hens! It's about time someone stepped in. Congress needs to step in and place a moratorium on rankings and the LSAT for about five years, until a new test can be placed and administered. Colleges and universities with law schools found to be deceiving the public should be at least partially defunded, administrators should be removed and brought before the state bar(s), and some should even face criminal charges.

Through their administrators, these schools are engaging in the very behavior for which they would quickly deny or expell students. They hold students to character-fitness standards while failing it themselves. I want to know who is lying.

I also believe the lawsuit should name the ABA and the LSAC, both of which enable and even assists the schools in the behavior.


Last edited by PDaddy on Fri May 27, 2011 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:44 pm 
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I don't think it is fair to single out TJL or even law schools in general.

Law school is not the only graduate education or educational forum that enhances employment #'s - what about BA's for the love of god or better yet BFA's from expensive liberal arts schools who claim mean 70k starting salaries?


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:49 pm 
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It begins!


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:53 pm 
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flexityflex86 wrote:
I don't think it is fair to single out TJL or even law schools in general.

Law school is not the only graduate education or educational forum that enhances employment #'s - what about BA's for the love of god or better yet BFA's from expensive liberal arts schools who claim mean 70k starting salaries?


Who said the law schools were unique in their behavior? If other UG and grad schools are engaging in the behavior, I say go after them as well. The law schools apear to do this on a more massive scale, and the fraud (that's what it is) does seem to have more far-reaching implications. I have repeatedly said that law schools were committing fraud, and a lot of people laughed. There is no difference between what the law schools are doing and what Bear Stearns, MCI Worldcom, Enron, and WaMu did.


Last edited by PDaddy on Fri May 27, 2011 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:55 pm 
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PDaddy wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:
I don't think it is fair to single out TJL or even law schools in general.

Law school is not the only graduate education or educational forum that enhances employment #'s - what about BA's for the love of god or better yet BFA's from expensive liberal arts schools who claim mean 70k starting salaries?


Who said the law schools were unique in their behavior? I say go after tham as well. But the law schools apear to do this on a more massive scale, and the fraud - and that's what it is - does seem to have more far-reaching implications. I said the law schools were committing fraud about three years ago, and a lot of people laughed. There is no difference between what the law schools are doing and what Bear Stearns, MCI Worldcom, Enron, and WaMu did.

When you say fraud, do you mean they are directly making shit up or are they only reporting from 2% of graduates which they disclose in small print?


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 Post subject: Re: Class Action Suit Filed Against Thomas Jefferson Law
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:04 pm 
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flexityflex86 wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:
I don't think it is fair to single out TJL or even law schools in general.

Law school is not the only graduate education or educational forum that enhances employment #'s - what about BA's for the love of god or better yet BFA's from expensive liberal arts schools who claim mean 70k starting salaries?


Who said the law schools were unique in their behavior? I say go after tham as well. But the law schools apear to do this on a more massive scale, and the fraud - and that's what it is - does seem to have more far-reaching implications. I said the law schools were committing fraud about three years ago, and a lot of people laughed. There is no difference between what the law schools are doing and what Bear Stearns, MCI Worldcom, Enron, and WaMu did.


When you say fraud, do you mean they are directly making shit up or are they only reporting from 2% of graduates which they disclose in small print?


This reminds me of an exchange in "A few Good Men".

Lt. Caffey: "Grave danger?"
Colonel Jessep: "Is there any other kind?"

That goes to say, isn't misrepresentation of numbers (whether by commition or omission) for the ultimate purpose of financial gain classic fraud? A lie is a lie!

The resulting increase in demand that schools use to justify tuition increases and inflate rankings in order to secure million$ in donation$, not to mention the application fees that can total up to $300K-$1M per year, spells fraud.

If WaMu routinely fails to tell investors about quarterly losses or unfavorable court rulings, WaMu is misleading its investors for financial gain. No way to get around that. If a schools fails to tell applicants that only $70% of its graduates are employed, and this is the case after a year-and-a-half (as opposed to 90% employment after nine months), it is fraud.


Last edited by PDaddy on Fri May 27, 2011 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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