by Brian Tamanaha
"When the fraud lawsuit against New York Law School was dismissed last week, the school proclaimed vindication. It was anything but that. What Judge Schweitzer ruled is that no reasonable consumer would have relied upon the obviously inflated employment percentages and salary numbers posted by the school."
This whole problem really is grim. I had the benefit of going to law school practically for free. Not because I was a star student! I had good LSAT and GRE scores, but that was about it. I was a grad student of Howard Zinn at BU and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer when I applied to Rutgers-Newark, drawn by the chance to work on the cause celebre of the moment - the Chicago 7 appeal.
Tuition was $500 in 1970! I had money left over from the Peace Corps - even after paying BU $2,000 for my M.A. The second year I got a full scholarship. Year three (1972-1973) tuition doubled to $1,000. I kept the $500 scholarship. Grand total: $1,000 for a J.D. at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey. My first job - as a Business Rep at Actors Equity paid $13,500 - with benefits. 13X my total tuition!
Now students take on huge debt for uncertain prospects. New York Law School has a fine faculty - and they have dedicated themselves to teaching weaker students - getting their bar pass rates up near the norm. 80% last summer, but 84% the previous two cycles. 86% is the statewide average. Fordham averages 90%, NYU and Columbia 96%.
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