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13 March 2012 at 15:42 BST

American graduates blame law schools for rising flood of job applicants

A group of disgruntled US law graduates is taking legal action against law schools for producing too many lawyers.

Manhattan: graduate lawyers launch legal action

The landmark lawsuit demonstrates the shrinking legal sector that thousands of young graduates are desperately trying to squeeze into on both sides of the Atlantic.
The lawyers in questions, based in Manhattan, are seeking to take action against 14 law schools. Yesterday, they had their first taste of action as they clashed with representatives from the New York Law School, in what could potentially be the first battle in a long war.

'Misrepresenting statistics'

According to The Times newspaper in London, the suit accuses law schools of ‘churning out’ 43,000 graduates a year, ‘even though roughly half as many jobs are available’. It goes on to say that NYLS, along with other schools, is ‘misrepresenting employment statistics to prospective students’.
The suit alleges that although the schools claim that for the last five years, around 90 per cent of graduates have secured employment within nine months, the real figure may be around 40 per cent, or lower.

False claims

The report focuses on one claimant is Shane Hobbs, a 32-year-old graduate from Thomas M Cooley Law School in Michigan. He has racked up $120,000 of student debt, but has only found work as a bartender and golf course attendant.
Law schools have made it clear that they will strongly contest the law suits. The Thomas Cooley Law School has already filed a defamation action in response, with general counsel James Thelen stating: ‘The claim is simply false.’

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