As a person who financed his law school education and recognizes such a debt is generally not dischargeable, the news reports, blogs and other coverage of law student class action lawsuits filed against various law schools over employment and salary statistics have caught my interest. The complaints are well written and quite lengthy, but generally raise claims of deceptive trade practices, fraud and negligent misrepresentation on the part of various law schools based upon the reporting of post-graduate employment and salary data. The lawyers filing the suits provide substantial amounts of interesting information about the current legal job market, the representations made about the market and plenty of food for thought as to whether the number of law students graduating from law schools is healthy for the students or society as whole.
On the flip side, the plaintiffs will have to argue they were incapable of critically reviewing the job placement and salary data provided to them by their prospective schools, and they relied upon that data in electing to go to law school. This will be complicated by the plaintiffs being a class of persons who most likely sat for the LSAT and applied for admission to law school based on their belief in their capability to perform the critical analysis necessary for providing legal advice to the public as whole. Another factor complicating the position of the plaintiffs is law schools could not have predicted the economic upheaval in the United States economy which ultimately resulted in substantial reductions on the legal work force.
As a relatively naive person when I elected to go to law school based on the thought of a comfortable living, I look at the class members with a certain amount of empathy. As a practicing attorney who is often amazed at the lack of personal responsibility certain litigants demonstrate, I think the class members have a steep hill before them. Regardless of which side you take, the issues are the basis of some hard work and creative lawyering. I certainly am excited to see how the cases progress and reach a resolution.