Below is an email that Pres. LeDuc of Tom Cooley sent to students. Is he gonna sue me? I'm a little scared. But I won't let his threats affect my speech. Doesn't Tom Cooley fall into some sort of "public figure" exception? Ha. If I wrote bad things about Walmart, could they sue me too?
Sounds like a load of horse shit, i.e. Motion to Dismiss GRANTED. Good to know they are educating lawyers over there. And they should solicit students to join the lawsuit on the side of Cooley. I imagine it will strengthen their case as every Tom Cooley grad claims to have suffered from T. Cooley's insufferable reputation. I imagine the students would join too, so long as they are promised immunity from prosecution when they graduate and "defame" Tom Cooley on their scamblogs.
Life is stranger than fiction.
Update: They're not suing me! Happy Day. Check out the complaint right here.
Update: They're not suing me! Happy Day. Check out the complaint right here.
From: President LeDuc
Date: July 14, 2011
Cooley filed two lawsuits in Ingham County today.
The first lawsuit is against a small New York law firm. Our suit contends that the
firm has defamed us and tortiously interfered with our student relationships, and that the
firm and two of its lawyers have been unethically soliciting former and present Cooley
students to join in a class action lawsuit against us. At our insistence, the firm previously
retracted blatantly false online statements about Cooley, but only days later the firm
moved their focus to Craigslist and Facebook, where they began circulating a draft
complaint filled with more false and damaging statements about Cooley.
The second lawsuit is against four John Doe defendants. As with the law firm
defendants, we contend the Doe defendants are defaming Cooley online and tortiously
interfering with our student relationships through a series of false, damaging, and often
vulgar statements in Internet blogs and comments to those blogs and other sites.
Two main falsities run through the defendants' online statements.
First, the bloggers state that Cooley is engaged in student loan fraud and stealing
tuition money. They say we are secretly employed as bankers, not professors, who are
engaged in the fraudulent sale of student loans. We are called criminals and said to be
under investigation by two federal agencies.
Second, the law firm defendants falsely state that we are fraudulently hiding a
preposterous 41% student loan default rate and fraudulently reporting and
misrepresenting our post-graduation employment and salary numbers, misleading
students into attending law school.
The actual facts are as follows.
Default rates—Student loan default rates are calculated by the U.S. Department
of Education’s Default Prevention and Management Office. We are not involved in their
calculation. Cooley’s most recent default rate was 2.2%. While the rate is slightly higher
than in the previous four years, it is the same as it was in 2001, and is lower than our
default rate in the mid-to-late 1990s, during the last recession. The most recent national
average default rate was 7.0%.
The past five years Cooley had overall default rates of 1.5%, 0.8%, 0.8%, 0.7%,
and 2.2%. The rates for Cooley graduates during the same years were 0.6%, 0.1%, 0.1%,
0.1%, and 0.6%. As you can see from above, even at the most recent 2.2%, Cooley’s
default rate is very low compared to the national default rate.
The defaulters are predominantly students who did not graduate.
In the past five yea
rs, only 16 graduates entered into default. The other 55 defaulters in that time did not
graduate, and are likely to have lower student loan debt totals in default. Not all of our
students have loans, but of the current graduates who do, the average indebtedness is
The defendants' statements about manipulation of students to obtain loans, selling
loans, or having employees who are really bankers are just bizarre. We have never been
investigated regarding irregularities in our loan program by any governmental agency.
Employment data—We have reported our employment data exactly as required
by the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement.
The reported figure we use publicly is the number that the ABA publishes in its
Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. We are required to submit this
information in a specific format that includes the number and percentage of graduates
employed among those whose status is known. In the 2011 Official Guide, Cooley’s
reported employment rate was 78.8%.
We have never manipulated the data or attempted to mislead anyone. No school I
know of, Cooley included, makes any promise or commitment about jobs for graduates,
other than to say it provides placement counseling and assistance to graduates seeking to
get jobs. And, of course, all who pass the bar are equipped with the necessary skills to
begin a solo practice, in which they may work as lawyers if they are willing to make the
effort required to be successful. In that sense, law students graduate with the means to
begin working for themselves almost immediately -- something that cannot be said for
most other professions.
The entire conversation about employment in the law and legal occupations is
almost entirely wrong:
1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate
among lawyers in 2010 was 1.5%, for those in all legal occupations it was 2.7%, and for
all occupations it was 9.6%, which drops to 8.9% when those who have never been in the
labor market or are returning from military service are excluded.
2. The 2.7% unemployment rate for legal occupations, including lawyers, was
better than the rate for all other occupations in the BLS category of management,
professional, and related occupations except for health care practitioners and technician
occupations (2.5%). This data shows that becoming a lawyer is a better choice for those
considering a career, not a worse choice.
3. According to the National Association of Law Placement (NALP), the
preliminary unemployment rate for the 2010 graduates of the 192 ABA-approved law
schools that reported data to NALP was 6.2%, about the same as it was in 2002.
4. Cooley’s unemployment rate for 2010 was 17.05%, slightly higher than it was
in 2002. Like the national rate, Cooley’s rate fell during the decade until the recession,
when it bumped up. This reflects unemployment among the graduating class in 2010 and
includes those who did not pass the bar on the first try and those who did not attempt a
While it would not be appropriate for me to publicly discuss our entire legal
strategy, rest assured that we have given much consideration to these actions, and our
Board has agreed that legal action is necessary to protect and defend the school's
reputation and the value of your degree. We could have done nothing, but then we risk
being sued by the defendant law firm, and the media would then report only the false and
defamatory hyperbole stated in the draft complaint that the firm has been circulating on
Facebook and advertising on Craigslist.
We are not suing anyone for expressing a negative opinion about Cooley online,
and we are not attempting to police the Internet. We believe these particular defendants
have crossed the line both legally and ethically, calling us criminals who deceive our
students and steal their tuition money, and ascribing to us fraudulent student loan
activities and default rates that, if true, would cause either the Department of Education
or Department of Justice to shut us down immediately.
In short, we've determined that we need to protect Cooley's reputation and stand
up for our students and more than 15,000 graduates. And we continue to look at ways to
counter the negative comments with positive comments about us, including online.
From time to time, we will post updates about the litigation on the Portal.
Thanks for your support