Tim (littlebluedog) wrote,

when law school pays you

In my last semester of law school, the UC Regents hiked up tuition by quite a bit. I don't recall thinking much of it at the time, I guess just shrugging it off as a "dammit that sucks," taking out another loan, and getting back to studying drinking and goofing off, but a class action suit was instituted as a result, because undergrad and other professional school tuition was similarly raised.

The basis of the undergrad portion of the suit was that the hike was enacted after students had enrolled and been billed. The basis of the grad portion was ... well, I'm not clear on this, but my suspicion is that the pesky law students found some basis in the stated UC policy about the Professional Degree Fee that was contravened by the unexpected tuition hike. You don't mess with law students on technicalities; they are much more tenacious, and zealous, than attorneys.

The plaintiff class won in March 2006, and prevailed on appeal in early 2008. Counting the principal damages plus interest, and subtracting attorney fees and service payments to the representative class members, there is a total of about $34 million to be distributed among the approximately 9500 members of the professional student subclass, which apparently includes me.

The letter from the court to the class members indicates that the total damages per student ranges from $150 to $10,822 (before interest). Because I only was subject to one semester's worth of the increased tuition, I'm guessing that if I actually qualify to receive a distribution (something about reduced damages if any University grants offset the hike), I'll be toward the lower end of that range.

Anything I get is more than what I have now, though, so I'll be plenty happy if I receive a check.

Also, I'll believe it when I see it.
Tags: law school

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