Law grads are having trouble finding jobs. Nearly 20 lawsuits have been filed around the country by graduates of law schools who claim the universities used deceptive practices to lure them into three years of classes and mountains of debt.
“In Texas I could imagine that such a lawsuit could be filed,” Cleve Clinton, a civil law layer with Looper, Reed, McGraw in Dallas told KTRH, “and it would be filed inder a Texas statute called the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.” It was originally known as the Lemon Law.
The class-action lawsuits allege that some law schools mislead prospective students when they report on the success of previous graduates. Their prospects do appear to be limited. 86% of 2011 law school graduates are gainfully employed, but only 65% in jobs that require bar passage. In 2009 the median starting salary for a first year lawyer was $72,000 annually. In 2012 that’s down to $60,000; a big decline in three years.
Cleve Clinton laid out for KTRH what claim the law students could make against the schools that issued their degrees. “The claim would be that I was promised that if I went to your law school that I had a 97% chance of getting a job,” Clinton says, “and you charged me $40,000 a year for three years, which I in all probability put on some sort of a student loan, and now three years later I owe the government $120,000 and not did I not get a job but more than 3% of my classmates did not get a job.”
Reasons cited for the lack of jobs in the legal profession include:
- Computer applications for legal work
- Internet companies offering legal documents and basic services
- A glut of lawyers on the market