Monday, July 23, 2012

An Argument Only A Lawyer Could Love

It's a little hard to parse the judge's argument in the opinion Paul Campos references here, but taken as a while the dismissal of the case is demoralizing. Cooley Law School is a for-profit, low-tier Law School that takes very low-performing students. Their promotional materials advertises "statistics" that, to an untrained eye, appear to claim that a large number of their graduates are employed in permanent full-time positions that require a law degree and/or passing the bar, and with a decent salary to boot. The statistics appear to be, at best, technically accurate but highly misleading and/or incomplete. And again, remember that these students are not the sharpest tools in the shed. In this case, the judge reasons that the statistics are so misleading incomplete that a reasonable person would not rely on them as convincing evidence that attending Cooley would improve their employment & salary prospects. Had Cooley tried harder to gather or present more accurate statistics, they might have run more risk of actually defrauding their students. As a question of law, the judge here might well be correct, but as a question of justice, this is pretty horrid stuff. One wonders if the judge's standard of a reasonable person is the judge himself, who is almost certainly a cut above these students in terms of LSAT score and probably basic numeric reasoning.

The opinion makes reference the term "median average", which gives me the rough sensation of what it's like to have someone press their thumb directly onto my brain.

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