Christopher Hoofnagle Thinks FTC Lacks Jurisdiction Over Law Schools

California Watch


A paper by a newly minted UC Davis School of Law graduate is creating a buzz in legal circles, arguing that law schools that overstate job prospects for their graduates are violating federal law.

One of the main questions is whether the commission has jurisdiction over law schools. The commission claims to have jurisdiction over nonprofits that provide financial benefits to members, so Murray argues: Why not include nonprofit law schools, which compete for customers and sell a product? Chris Hoofnagle, director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology's information privacy programs, said the idea would still face hurdles.

"At the most basic level, the FTC only has jurisdiction over acts in commerce," Hoofnagle said in an e-mail. "Thus, for-profit educational institutions would be the easiest to reach, but state-run institutions, for both legal and political reasons, are not going to be pursued by the FTC." 6/20/2011