NEW YORK – October 13, 2011 – New York Law School has asked the court to dismiss as meritless a lawsuit claiming prospective students were lured into enrolling by misleading information about post-graduation employment. “The allegations are not only baseless, but also belied by the plaintiffs’ own complaint which demonstrates this case has nothing to do with New York Law School and everything to do with a crusade against the entire law school industry,” said Michael Volpe of Venable LLP, lead attorney representing New York Law School and a NYLS graduate. Volpe noted that the plaintiffs’ lawyers last week announced plans to file similar suits against 15 other law schools.
“The brief, filed Thursday with Manhattan Supreme Court, explains that no specific facts are alleged to support the plaintiffs’ claims, and even if the plaintiffs’ broad generalities were treated as completely true, there is still no legal basis for the suit,” said Volpe.
“NYLS clearly communicates the realities of the legal job market to prospective students,” said Harry Althaus, associate dean for special projects. “We offer students much more detailed information on our website than is required by the ABA or published by US News & World Report. Our website includes information about the industries in which NYLS graduates are likely to work, detailed post-graduate placement statistics and current salary information,” Althaus noted. “We also regularly and personally counsel students about employment opportunities, particularly important in this challenging economic climate.”
As stated in the school’s brief, “Notably, the Complaint does not allege … that the employment and salary data NYLS published violated the ABA’s standards, rules or policies [or] that Plaintiffs would have forgone a law school education or gone to a different ABA-compliant law school had NYLS published different statistics.”
New York Law School is an ABA-accredited, not-for-profit independent law school established in 1891. It is the second oldest independent law school in the United States. The school is located in the heart of lower Manhattan’s TriBeCa district, home to the city’s legal and government sectors and numerous corporate headquarters.
Among New York Law School’s many notable graduates are: U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan; former New York Appellate Division First Department Justice Emilio Nuñez, the first Latino to be named to the bench in New York State; former presiding Appellate Division First Department Justice Francis T. Murphy; and Judge Roger Miner, senior Judge on the United States court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
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• Plaintiffs concede that post-graduation employment information published by NYLS complied with ABA and industry reporting standards.
• The suit does not establish any causal link between information published by NYLS and any alleged harm. Indeed, two of the three named plaintiffs concede they work in law-related jobs, one in a “thriving law practice” and the other as “a legal and compliance officer at an investment management firm,” while the third is apparently employed in another field.
• The plaintiffs’ allegations are not sufficient to support claims on behalf of themselves personally, let alone as a class action.
• No specific facts are alleged. Instead, every allegation is made entirely on the basis of unsubstantiated “information and belief.”
• Two of three plaintiffs already had graduated and the third had attended for two years when the allegedly misleading data was published, so none could have relied on that data to choose NYLS.
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