Class action lawsuit against Cooley dismissed

A U.S. District judge dismissed the class action lawsuit against Thomas M. Cooley Law School on July 20 that had been filed by graduates over misleading employment data.

“We’re obviously pleased with this decision,” said Don LeDuc, Cooley’s president and dean. “We are committed to graduating law students who are ready to practice law, and their success in a tough job market is our success too.  We have always been in compliance with American Bar Association and National Association for Law Placement employment reporting standards.”

This is the second lawsuit that has been dismissed. New York’s state court dismissed all claims brought by a class of New York Law School students and alumni in late March. In the opinion, Justice Melvin Schweitzer said, “The issues posed by this case exemplify the adage that not every ailment afflicting society may be redressed by a lawsuit.”

Leaders at Cooley expected a similar result in their case.

“The claims are such a stretch, and I will be surprised if any court proceeds into discovery,” said James Thelen, associate dean for legal affairs and general counsel at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. “They don’t have a good track record. New York was a sympathetic court to the graduate’s plight. But it was crystal clear that that stopped at the courthouse steps.”

The Cooley lawsuit, filed by 12 former students, alleged that the school’s post-graduate employment reports led them to believe they would have an easier time finding legal employment after graduation than they did. The judge ruled that the 12 students failed to establish any legal grounds supporting their claim that Cooley’s post-graduate employment reports were fraudulent or misleading.  The judge noted that for purposes of deciding the motion he was required to assume that all of plaintiffs’ allegations in the complaint  were true.  But the court’s ruling makes no finding that those allegations were in fact true.