Law Students

Lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson Law Moves Forward
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Summary: After most of the lawsuits brought by former law school students have been dropped, one against Thomas Jefferson School of Law has finally made it to court.

Law school graduate Anna Alaburda was excited to be done with law school and start working. She was in the top tier of her class, had passed the state bar exam, and was ready to find a job so she could start paying off her loans. Nearly ten years have gone by since she graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Alaburda has still not found a full-time salaried position as a lawyer. Her story is one of many except hers is the first to be heard in a San Diego courtroom.


Several other students that have faced similar circumstances as Alaburda have tried to sue their law schools in the last few years. Out of 15 lawsuits filed against schools for inflating their employment rates by counting jobs such as part-time waitressing or similar full-time jobs, only two remain open. The other cases were stopped by judges citing that the students chose to obtain a legal education on their own and should know that employment as a lawyer is never a guarantee.

In the case against Thomas Jefferson, Alaburda will demonstrate that she took on a debt of $137,000, higher than Stanford Law School, and one of the highest in the country. She argues that had she known the true numbers of the law school’s employment she would not have attended the school. Legal hiring took a hit in 2011 but Thomas Jefferson was still claiming that 92.1 percent of their graduates were working full-time jobs. The school was only claiming 83 percent employment in 2006 and 2007 when the legal market was most prosperous.

Due to the increasing number of students attempting to sue their law schools, the ABA has changed the requirements for law schools to report on so that employment information is more precise. Law schools try to pump up their data so that they can achieve higher national law school rankings.

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Alaburda was offered one $60,000 a year law firm job shortly after graduating, which she turned down because it was “less favorable than non-law-related jobs.” She has sent her resume to over 150 law firms. She is seeking $125,000 in damages, less than her school loan amount.




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