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Law Deans Could End Up in Prison for Misleading Applicants, Paper Suggests

Lawsuits by disgruntled graduates may be the least of the problems facing law schools and their deans, according to a provocative new paper that says they may have committed felonies by providing false or misleading information about grades and job-placement rates. The paper, “Law Deans in Jail,” was written by two law professors at Emory University and published last week by the Social Science Research Network. The authors, A. Morgan Cloud and George P. Shepherd, contend that employees of law schools and U.S. News & World Report could face charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, racketeering, and making false statements for their roles in the magazine’s annual ranking of law schools. The authors acknowledge that some readers might find their arguments “implausible, perhaps even preposterous,” but they say their paper should convince “even these skeptics” of “the possibility that these organizations and individuals have committed crimes affecting the lives and careers of thousands of people.”

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