I’ve already written plenty about the dismal economy and how it’s wreaking havoc on the search for summer and first year associate positions. The natural tendency for the litigious ones among us is to want to find the responsible party and bring a law suit. But in this case, we can’t sue the economy. So who can the jobless law students and recent grads sue? How about their schools?
One recent college grad has decided to do just that. The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports that Trina Thompson, a recent graduate of Monroe College, has sued the school in an effort to get her tuition money back. She claims that the school didn’t do enough to help her find a job. Now she wants her $70,000 in tuition back, because she’s worried she won’t be able to pay back her student loans, and her repayment will be starting soon.
The school has refuted Thompson’s claims about their career services department. “The lawsuit is completely without merit,” school spokesman Gary Axelbank said. “The college prides itself on the excellent career-development support that we provide to each of our students, and this case does not deserve further consideration.”
While the claim against Monroe College might dismissed in the court room, it does bring to light the need for some discussion around job placement for graduates. I’m thinking specifically about law school grads, here. Those who go to law school are generally choosing to be lawyers. Some may go on to teach, or to work in a non-legal field, but a vast majority of students enroll with the idea that they plan to become lawyers. How important is it that the career services department at a school can guarantee a decent rate of placement? If, as is the case in this economy, there are too many graduates and too few jobs, should schools cut back on the number of students they admit? Perhaps, but it seems to be the case that schools are hurting for money just as much as the rest of us, and as a result are admitting more students than ever in hopes of bringing in enough tuition money to keep the school open. I’d really like to hear comments from people on these two questions:
Does your school do enough to help place graduates, and if not, what should they be doing?
Should schools cut back the number of students admitted in a given year based on the job market?
What students need to know when considering how to sue your school
Law school students who are unable to find employment after graduation may be able to sue their law schools for breach of contract or misrepresentation. This is because many law schools make promises about employment prospects, including job placement rates, median salaries, and other statistics. If these promises are false or misleading, students may have a case.
However, it is important to note that proving a breach of contract or misrepresentation claim is difficult, and the outcome of such lawsuits is uncertain. Additionally, many law schools include clauses in their contracts that limit their liability, making it even more difficult for students to successfully sue.
How to sue your school: common elements of a lawsuit
Plaintiff: The first element of a lawsuit is the plaintiff. In this case, the plaintiffs would be the law school students who are unable to find employment after graduation.
Defendant: The defendant in a lawsuit is the person or entity being sued. In the case of law students suing their schools, the defendant would be the law school itself.
Cause of Action: The cause of action is the legal theory that forms the basis of the lawsuit. In this case, the cause of action would likely be breach of contract or misrepresentation.
Evidence: The next element of a lawsuit is evidence. In order to prove their case, the law school students would need to present evidence of the promises made by the law school, the terms of the contract, and the lack of employment opportunities after graduation. This might include the law school’s marketing materials, job placement statistics, and other relevant documentation.
Remedy: The remedy is what the plaintiff is seeking in the lawsuit. In this case, the law school students would likely be seeking damages, such as compensation for tuition and related expenses, as well as any other costs associated with their inability to find employment after graduation.