Jobless in San Diego . . . And Suing Over It

Another one for my legal colleagues. Have you all been paying attention to news on how law schools have failed law students? Empty promises, no delivery? Just debts that can bury you for life? The lawsuits also seem to be coming even more frequently now. Below is a very interesting suit, a class action, against Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Students, the media, and some members of the law professoriat have all been criticizing the legal academe on its lack of transparency for some time. Law schools have gamed their numbers, the allegation goes, in a big mostly unchecked effort to reel in students — and capture their tuition dollars.

So it’s not all that surprising to find out that someone has struck back — in the courts.

A 2008 graduate of San Diego-based Thomas Jefferson School of Law filed a class action in California state court last week, alleging that the school committed fraud by misrepresenting the employment statistics for its recent graduates. Click here for the National Law Journal story.

“For more than 15 years, TJSL has churned out graduates, many of whom have little or no hope of working as attorneys at any point in their careers,” the complaint reads.

According to the complaint, plaintiff Anna Alaburda graduated with honors from the San Diego law school in 2008 and passed the California bar examination, but has been unable to secure full-time employment as an attorney. She sent more than 150 resumes to law firms and received only one job offer that was “less favorable than non-law related jobs that were available to her.”

“The complaint alleges that Alaburda amassed more than $150,000 in student loans during her law school years. She currently works as a document reviewer on a project-by-project basis.

So wait a second, you say. Why is this the school’s fault. It didn’t force Alaburda to sign up, did it?

Well, no. But Alaburda claims that she was lured to the school by statistics reported by U.S. News & World Report in 2003 indicating that 80% of TJSL graduates were employed after nine months. She “reasonably interpreted these figures to mean that the vast majority of TJLS graduates would find employment as full time attorneys. . .”

Wall Street Journal Law Blog has the full story.