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Senate Hearings for Law Schools Possible
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Legal education in the United States could come under some heavy scrutiny very soon as Senate staffers are in the midst of gathering as much information as possible regarding facts and figures on law school job placement and student-loan debt. The reason for this is that experts in the legal and education fields feel that law schools are luring students to their institutions by giving them false data.

Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, has submitted three letters to the American Bar Association’s section that accredits law schools in an effort to urge the organization to increase its efforts in protecting current and future students from possible misleading data about job placement.

  
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Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has himself sent two letters to the same organization asking whether or not law schools are enticing students to take on federally-backed loans, which most in government feel is irresponsible of the schools because it is becoming increasingly harder to repay those loans, putting students in a major financial hole.

In October, Senator Boxer and Republican Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma requested the following:

“To better understand trends related to law schools an examination of American law schools that focuses on the confluence of growing enrollments, steadily increasing tuition rates and allegedly sluggish job placement.”

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For as long as anyone can recall, students have used a law school’s promise to land them a job and future financial security as the basis to pay for their law degree, which can cost upwards of $100,000. The American Bar Association releases data that has been collected from law schools across the country; data that is referenced by prospective students when choosing a school for their law studies.

When the country’s financial situation went in the tank back in 2008-2009, plenty of law schools across the country have continued to release data that they are placing graduates at a 90 percent rate in jobs upon graduation. This comes at a time with massive amounts of layoffs and hiring shutdowns at law firms across the country.



The University of Illinois College of Law admitted that one of its assistant deans in fact posted inflated data on the school’s website about employment.

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan and Manhattan’s New York Law School have had lawsuits filed against them by a law firm in New York. The suits, filed in August, allege that each school provided distorted data about employment for graduates. Both of the law schools have vehemently denied the allegations and have filed motions to dismiss the lawsuits.

This article explains what’s really going on at Thomas Cooley Law SchoolThomas Cooley Law School Exposed (and Why Much of the Legal Profession is a Scam)

If a congressional hearing were to take place, this would not ultimately lead to legislation, but it would be the most aggressive action taken by the government against the country’s law schools to date.

The Senators involved in the investigation would likely investigate law schools’ failure to report correct data regarding employment for their graduates. The Senators would also air their concerns about the amount of debt being collected by law school students by the time they hit graduation.



 

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