Federal Court Dismisses Employment Statistics Suit Against Law School
In dismissing the suit against Cooley, Judge Gordon J. Quist of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan ruled:
(1) Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act does not apply to the purchase of a legal education to attain employment because a law degree is purchased for a business or commercial purpose (e.g., obtaining employment as a lawyer), and such transactions are not protected by the Act;
(2) the employment rate reported by the school was not objectively false, even though it did not specifically state that it included employment that was temporary, part-time, or in positions for which a law degree was not required; and
(3) while the average starting salary reported was “objectively untrue”, any reliance on such information by prospective law students was unreasonable. Prospective students, the court said, should not have relied solely on “two bare-bones statistics” that were “inconsistent, confusing, and inherently untrustworthy” in making a decision about whether to enroll at Cooley.
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