Professional Dishonesty: Do U.S. Law Schools That Report False or Misleading Employment Statistics Violate Consumer Protection Laws?
University of Houston Law Center, Journal of Consumer & Commercial Law, Vol. 15, No. 3, Summer 2012
12 Pages Posted: 29 May 2011 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2012
This article examines the potential legal application of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) to American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools. In recent years, evidence has emerged indicating that many law schools are misreporting or falsifying employment statistics in marketing materials and to the U.S. News Rankings and World Report law school rankings, the preeminent rankings for United States (U.S.) law schools. The reporting of false or misleading employment statistics to prospective students may violate provisions of the FTC Act that prohibit deceptive practices and false advertising. This article reviews evidence that U.S. law schools are misreporting employment statistics, examines how the FTC Act applies to U.S. law schools, and argues that U.S. law schools that misreport or falsify employment statistics violate multiple provisions of the FTC Act.
Keywords: law school, employment statistics, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, academia, law school graduates, salaries, recent law school graduates, career services, employment outcomes, student loans, debt
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