This Article will show that although Paul Pless, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Illinois College of Law, and Mark Sargent, the Dean of Villanova University School of Law, acted with unusual mendacity, misrepresentation in law school marketing is by no means unique to a few bad actors at a handful of law schools. Part II describes many ways in which law school officials have used deceit and misrepresentation, along with misleading statistics, to market legal education. In addition to highlighting examples of particularly egregious marketing, it depicts how the common presentation of employment statistics on law school webpages and elsewhere tends to mislead readers. Part III discusses ethical rules governing lawyers and explains how law school officials have violated these rules, particularly prohibitions on engaging in misrepresentation, dishonesty, and deceit. It also discusses how bar discipline could encourage better behavior by law school officials and why this strategy might be more effective than other tactics that have been proposed, such as class-action litigation and criminal prosecution. Part IV then offers some suggestions for reform, including potential amendments to existing ethical rules and invigorated oversight by entities such as the ABA and the Association of American Law Schools.
Law School Marketing and Legal Ethics,
91 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol91/iss4/4