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Law school falsified jobs data, according to ex-employee

A former career services staffer at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law says the school misled students about their post-grad employment prospects

Law school graduates suing the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL) for allegedly misleading jobs data now have an unexpected ally: a former career-services employee who accused the school in court of distorting its employment statistics.

Karen Grant was assistant director of career services at the school from 2006 to 2007. As part of her job, she surveyed recent TJSL graduates about their employment status. The school then reported the compiled statistics to the American Bar Association and the Association for Legal Career Professionals.

 According to Grant’s sworn statement, her boss instructed her to inflate job statistics by marking former students as employed if they had held a job at any point after graduation. “If the graduate indicated he or she was employed at any time after graduation (even though currently unemployed), I was instructed to record the graduate as ‘employed,’” the statement reads.

Grant says the school also inflated statistics by updating its jobs data when graduates found work, but not when they became unemployed. When Grant expressed concern over these practices, her boss allegedly told her that “everybody does it.”

In a statement, TJSL called Grant’s claims “meritless” and maintained that it has found no other documents or witnesses to back up her allegations.

TJSL was the first law school to face litigation from students over its job placement statistics, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Upwards of 20 schools have been sued by graduates claiming that their alma maters misled them about post-grad job prospects.

Courts have dismissed three such lawsuits against Cooley Law School, DePaul University’s College of Law and New York Law School. In the latter case, the judge ruled that graduates should understand that widespread reports of a bleak legal job market “obviously trump any allegedly overly optimistic claims in their law school’s marketing materials.”

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the law school litigation, see:

Judge tosses Cooley Law grads lawsuit

Judge tosses suit against New York Law School for misleading jobs data

20 more law schools to be sued for misleading jobs data

12 law schools sued over misleading jobs data

Alanna Byrne

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