The ABA had a busy summer.
After squabbling over foreign law school accreditation for two years, the ABA's Council of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar overwhelmingly voted on August 3 that foreign schools will not be accredited.
The ABA puts an end to the controversy over whether or not out-of-country law schools damage an already suffering domestic legal market—at least for the time being.
In other ABA news, in the first sanction of its kind, the ABA slapped a $250,000 fine on Illinois College of Law for falsifying applicants’ test scores.
The National Law Journal reports that The University of Illinois College of Law fabricated its students’ mean LSAT scores and GPAs. The ABA has recently said they would start holding schools accountable when it comes to lying—and says that money from the fine will go toward monitoring data reporting. What’s next? Fining schools for misrepresenting other vital student misinformation like employment rates?
Ageism is alive and well.
As we’ve previously reported, Baylor University School of Law royally messed up when it “doc-dumped” a ton of personal information on its students. As expected, the leak has resulted in at least one lawsuit from an applicant who was denied enrollment.
Fifty-five-year-old Baylor applicant Michael Kamps alleges that admissions officials repeatedly refused to take into account the fact that grades have inflated over time since his 1979 graduation from Texas A&M University. (He had a 3.2 grade point average.)
And in another age-related claim, immigration attorney Donald Dobkin, 59, is suing the University of Iowa College of Law for age discrimination for a second time.
Dobkin first filed suit in 2009, claiming that the school refused to interview him for an academic position the previous year, and instead the faculty hiring committee gave the job to a significantly younger, less qualified candidate. A jury rejected his claims in February, so in July, Dobkin filed a second suit claiming that the faculty hiring committee discriminated against him during the 2010 hiring cycle because of his age and his first lawsuit, which was still pending at the time.
Since they're men, I guess they didn’t have to wrestle with the thorny issue of whether or not their hairstyle was age-appropriate.
Law schools are expanding.
Washburn University School of Law is upgrading to bigger new space, reports The National Law Journal.
University officials have approved a plan to build a $40 million headquarters for the Topeka school. The new building will be twice the size of the current one, and will add an additional courtroom. (The school currently has only one courtroom.) The university says that the new building won’t be funded by tuition hikes, but rather by donations, short-term bonds, and money taken from the school’s general operating budget.
The University of Idaho Law School would also like add more room, but unlike Washburn, it's willing to gamble on expansion plans.
The school has turned to state lawmakers in hopes of snagging a couple million dollars in lottery cash to underwrite a Boise courthouse renovation.
And Harvard is branching out overseas. Harvard Law School's Institute for Global Law and Policy has partnered with the Qatar Foundation to move toward establishing a graduate law school in Doha, reports The National Law Journal.
Caveat emptor, redux.
A federal judge in Michigan tossed out the suit against Thomas M. Cooley Law School alleging that the university misled students about the job market for law school grads.
Graduates had claimed that the school misrepresented its employment stats, and this violated their rights as consumers. But U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist ruled that education purchases aren’t the kind of “goods” the law covers. The attorney representing former students, Jesse Strauss, is considering an appeal.
Strauss is also working with a similar suit against Brooklyn Law School. Earlier this month Strauss, along with his fellow attorneys, petitioned Kings County judge and Brooklyn Law School alum David Schmidt to recuse himself from the case.
Schmidt declined, stating that he didn’t have any ties to the school and wasn’t a major donor. Besides, he counters, “did [Brooklyn Law School] really do anything different than any other law school? Is anyone getting a job right now?"
And in case you’re still considering going to law school, despite the preponderance of evidence against it, read this report by Vanderbilt law professor Herwig Schlunk. Convinced yet?
To stay up-to-date on law school news, please “like” The Careerist affiliate The National Law Journal’s new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NLJLawSchools.
Editor's Note: The original post about Illinois College of Law stated that the ABA fine was $25,000. The correct amount is $250,000. We regret the error.
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