The Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey has had a complaint filed against it by a non-profit group that claims the school misrepresented employment statistics of its alumni in a recruiting letter it sent out to potential students, according to a report by Reuters.
The complaint was filed by Law School Transparency and it said that an associate dean at the school, Camille Andrews, issued “misleading and false statements” regarding employment and salaries of graduates in an email sent to possible students.
An unknown amount of people received the email back in the month of May, many of whom were MBA students. The email was sent to students who had not shown interest in legal practice or law school, according to Law School Transparency.
“By portraying Rutgers-Camden as a down-economy safe haven that leads to status and riches, the school attempted to enroll the exact students who ought not to attend law school: people who have not had time to carefully weigh the pros and cons of this significant investment,” the complaint said, which is 10 pages.
Law School Transparency noted that the letter from Rutgers violates Section 509 of the ABA Standards. Section 509 requires consumer information that is published by a law school be “complete, accurate and not misleading.”
In may, the email was published on Above the Law, a legal blog, and just two days later, Andrews was asked to resign by Law School Transparency. Rutgers-Camden responded to the complaint by commissioning a report, but did not admit that it did anything wrong. The school also did not retract the data used in the email.
In the email, Andrews said the following, “of those (Rutgers-Camden graduates) employed nine months after graduation, 90 percent were employed in the legal field.”
The complaint states that just 64 percent of the school’s 242 graduates from 2011 are working as lawyers right now. The complaint also says that 11 percent jobs in the legal industry that do not require a law degree. Law School Transparency said that the remaining 25 percent of the class is not working in the legal world.
The advocacy group also noted that the letter from the school did not represent the average salaries of the school’s graduates correctly. According to the letter, the “average starting salary for a 2011 graduate who enters private practice is in excess of $74,000, with many top students” making over $130,000.
Law School Transparency said in the complaint that under half of the graduates from 2011 reported their income, with most of them employed at large law firms, where the pay is markedly higher. Unemployed graduates and those working at smaller law firms were not represented correctly in the letter.