CHICAGO (CBS) — Three Chicago area law schools are being sued, on claims that they misrepresented the number of students who were hired for full-time jobs requiring a law degree after graduation.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the class action suits were brought by some graduates of the DePaul University Law School, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and the John Marshall Law School.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
The law schools claim that more than 90 percent of graduates obtain full-time, permanent jobs that require a law degree within nine months of graduation, the suit said.
But the suit alleges the numbers are false and misleading because any type of employment that doesn’t require a law degree is included.
The accurate placement rate for graduates who obtain full-time, permanent job that require a law degree would be between 40-50 percent, the suit said.
The mean salaries of graduates are also inflated by calculating a small subset of graduates who actually submit their salary information, the suit said. If salary data included graduates who haven’t found a full-time, permanent employment, reported mean salaries would decline sharply.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Disturbance Brings Chance Of Rain-Snow Mix To Our North Overnight
The law schools have been “astonishingly successful” in deceiving prospective students about the value of a law degree to maintain and increase enrollment and tuition, the suit said.
The deceptions are undertaken to “prevent prospective students from realizing the obvious… forking well over $120,000 in tuition payments is a terrible investment which makes little economic sense and, most likely, will never pay off,” according to the John Marshall suit.
“Currently, the legal employment market is highly oversaturated, with law schools churning out 43,000 JD degrees each year, even though roughly half as many jobs are available (26,000),” a suit said.
Tuition also continues to rise along with law professors’ salaries with a Chicago-Kent dean earning $322, 851 in total compensation, the suit said.
The class-action suits claim a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and Deceptive Business Practices Act, fraud, negligent misrepresentation.
Representatives of the DePaul University College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, and John Marshall Law School were unavailable for comment Wednesday evening.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.