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University of Missouri School of Law

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Law School Marketing And Legal Ethics, Ben L. Trachtenberg Jan 2013

Law School Marketing And Legal Ethics, Ben L. Trachtenberg

Faculty Publications

Law schools have misled prospective students for years about the value of legal education. In some cases, law school officials have engaged in outright deceit, knowingly spreading false information about their schools. More commonly, they have presented statistics — especially those concerning the employment outcomes of law graduates — in ways nearly guaranteed to confuse readers. These deceptions and sharp practices violate the norms of the legal profession, a profession that scrupulously regulates the advertising of legal services. The deceptions also violate ethical rules prohibiting lawyers from engaging in dishonesty, misrepresentation, and deceit. This article exposes how pitches aimed at …


Regulators, Mount Up, Ben L. Trachtenberg Jan 2013

Regulators, Mount Up, Ben L. Trachtenberg

Faculty Publications

Since I began circulating drafts of an article arguing that certain law school officials have exposed themselves to professional discipline by engaging in dishonest marketing tactics, responses have varied considerably. Everyone seems to agree, however, that law school officials should not lie in their pursuit of students. There also appears to be broad consensus that misleading (albeit not intentionally false) marketing—such as systematically skewed salary statistics—is an unfortunate phenomenon, although disagreement remains on just how serious a problem it is and what level of corrective effort is appropriate. In their recently-published response pieces, Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency (“LST”) …