A policy watch-group is calling for the dean of admissions at Rutgers - Camden to resign while urging the American Bar Association to investigate a “demonstrably deceptive” recruiting campaign by the law school.
Law School Transparency says that an ongoing recruitment campaign by Rutgers targets potential students using misleading employment data.
“Law schools have been on notice that the way they advertise is problematic,” said Kyle McEntee, LST’s executive director. “Now that there’s so much attention on this, it’s hard to read this email and not see intentionality.”
LST specifically cites an email used in the campaign, sent by Camille Andrews, Associate Dean of Enrollment, highlighting employment achievements by the class of 2011. It claims the email misleads students when it states “of those employed nine months after graduation, 90 percent were employed in the legal field.” McEntee said the email does not elaborate on what it means by “of those employed,” a number that excludes 17.8 percent, or 43, non-employed graduates. Nor does the email disclose that its definition of “legal field” includes jobs such as paralegals and law school admissions officers – jobs that don’t require bar passage.
Rutgers - Camden’s Dean Rayman Solomon declined to comment. In an article published in Inside Higher Education, Solomon said that the recruitment material was accurate. He added that he’s “open to discussion” about the best way to reach prospective students going forward.
“This was one letter saying are you interested, have you thought about it?” Solomon said in the article. “This is not our entire marketing campaign. This is telling people that we have a program.”
McEntee said that LST has not officially filed a complaint with the ABA, but that the organization intends to do so. LST claims the school violated ABA Standard 509, which requires that “[a] law school shall publish basic consumer information. The information shall be published in a fair and accurate manner reflective of actual practice.”
Pursuant to its rules, the ABA neither acknowledges receipt of official complaints nor discusses ongoing investigations. In August 2011, the ABA censured Villanova University School of Law for intentionally reporting inaccurate admissions data.
Rutgers-Camden has not received the best news of late. The university is currently grappling with a proposal being debated by the New Jersey legislature as to whether the university, which includes the law school, should be merged with Rowan University.