By Daniel Wiessner
ALBANY, N.Y., Dec 31 (Reuters) - A non-profit group has
filed a complaint claiming that Rutgers School of Law - Camden
misrepresented alumni employment statistics in a recruiting
Law School Transparency, a legal education watchdog group,
said in the complaint filed with the American Bar Association on
Monday that Camille Andrews, an associate dean at the school,
made "misleading and false statements" about graduates'
employment and salaries in an email to prospective students.
The email was sent in May to an unknown number of people --
including many MBA students -- who had not expressed any
interest in law school or legal practice, the group said.
"By portraying Rutgers-Camden as a down-economy safe haven
that leads to status and riches, the school attempted to enroll
the exact students who ought not to attend law school: people
who have not had time to carefully weigh the pros and cons of
this significant investment," the 10-page complaint said.
The group said the Rutgers letter violated Section 509 of
the ABA Standards, which requires that any consumer information
published by a law school be "complete, accurate and not
A spokeswoman for the law school declined to comment on
Monday and said Dean Rayman Solomon was not available to
comment. Andrews did not respond to a request for comment.
The recruiting email was published by the legal blog Above
the Law in May. Two days later, Law School Transparency called
for Andrews's resignation.
In response, according to the complaint, Rutgers-Camden
commissioned a report on the matter but did not admit wrongdoing
or retract the statistics used in the letter.
According to the complaint, Andrews said in the email that
"of those (Rutgers-Camden graduates) employed nine months after
graduation, 90 percent were employed in the legal field."
But only 64 percent of the school's 242 graduates of 2011
are currently working as lawyers, according to the complaint,
and another 11 percent have legal jobs that do not require a JD.
The remaining quarter of the 2011 class is not working in the
legal field, the group said.
Law School Transparency also claims the recruiting letter
misrepresented the average salaries of Rutgers-Camden graduates.
The letter claims the "average starting salary for a 2011
graduate who enters private practice is in excess of $74,000,
with many top students" earning more than $130,000.
The complaint claims that less than half of 2011 graduates
actually reported their income, and those who did tended to work
at large firms that offered better pay. Graduates who work at
small firms or are unemployed are underrepresented in the
statistics, the group said.
The complaint comes as some 15 law schools nationwide,
including four in New York, are facing lawsuits that allege they
published inflated or misrepresented employment statistics in
order to lure prospective students.
Five of those cases have been dismissed but are on appeal,
according to Jesse Strauss, a New York attorney who is
representing the plaintiffs in all but one of the lawsuits. The
others are awaiting decisions on motions to dismiss or are
proceeding to discovery, Strauss said on Monday.
Kyle McEntee, the executive director of Law School
Transparency, said in an interview Monday that his group is not
currently planning a lawsuit against Rutgers-Camden, one of
three law schools in New Jersey.
When the ABA receives a complaint against a law school, it
convenes a committee to investigate the claims. The ABA may then
dismiss the complaint or impose a range of remedial measures,
including fines, loss of accreditation or requiring a school to
update its employment and admission statistics and recruiting
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