Underemployed Law Grads Find Silver Lining After They Lose A Huge Lawsuit Against Their Alma Mater

A federal appeals court has dismissed a case filed by Thomas M. Cooley graduates claiming the school misreported job statistics, but their lawyer says they’re still happy they sued.

Despite the loss, the case should “expose the school as a highly questionable investment,” Reuters’ Alison Frankel reports.

“Based on my clients’ reactions, everyone is proud of their involvement in this suit,” their lawyer Jesse Strauss told Frankel. “We’ve done real justice.” 

The suit is part of a wave of fraud lawsuits against law schools since the job market began getting really, really bad for new lawyers.

The 12 plaintiffs, who sought $250 million in damages, argued that when the school reported 76% of graduates landed jobs within 9 months, they assumed that meant full-time positions requiring a law degree. The law school responded by implying their grads didn’t do enough research when applying to schools.

“I completely disagree that we were painting a rosy picture,” Cooley’s general counsel James Thelen told the Associated Press. “They never bothered to call us and ask what the 76% meant.”

In siding with the law school, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the grads couldn’t prove they bought their education at Cooley based on the school’s job survey of other graduates. But the appeals court also painted a pretty bleak picture of the school.

Currently, the school has the highest acceptance rate in the country and high drop-out rates, according to the opinion, which described graduates’ job prospects as “dismal.”

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