Brooklyn Law School among five law schools settling over improper student loan claims

September 1, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Brooklyn Law School is one of five standalone law schools that have reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education over allegations of improperly disbursing federal student loans to students enrolled in advanced law degree programs.

The $2.9 million settlement was announced last Thursday and also involves Albany Law School, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, New England Law–Boston, and New York Law School.

The schools allegedly made ineligible student loan disbursements to a combined 92 students in their Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs between 2017 and 2022. As standalone institutions not affiliated with larger universities, the schools were required to secure additional accreditation to offer federal loans to students in their LL.M. programs, a requirement they failed to meet, according to the Education Department.

Brooklyn Law School (BLS) has been fined $120,000 as part of the settlement, while New York Law School and New England Law–Boston were fined $100,000 and $25,000 respectively.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

An Education Department spokesperson clarified that in addition to returning the loans, the settlement requires the schools to stop disbursing federal loans to students in ineligible programs and not to seek reimbursements from any students or former students. The settlement, however, does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by the schools, the Education Department said.

This settlement comes as part of a broader effort by the Federal Student Aid (FSA) to protect the integrity of federal student aid programs. FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray said, “Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to protect the integrity of the federal student aid programs. Through our ongoing work, we will continue to protect both students and taxpayers.”

The Dean of Brooklyn Law School from 2017 to 2021 was Michael T. Cahill. He took over as President and Joseph Crea Dean in July 2019. Before Cahill, Nicholas W. Allard served as President and Dean of Brooklyn Law School from 2012 until he stepped down in June 2018. Maryellen Fullerton served as Interim Dean from July 2018 until Cahill took over in July 2019.

BLS has appointed David D. Meyer as its 10th Dean and President, effective July 1, 2023, marking his return to the school after serving as Dean of Tulane Law School since 2010.

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