Anna Alaburda enrolled in law school expecting to get a job. When she didn’t, she sued.
The 27-year-old graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law had her day in court last week, claiming that her alma mater misrepresented the employment statistics of its graduates.
According to the school’s 2004 statistics, over 80 percent of students found full-time employment nine months after graduation.
Alaburda, who spent over $150,000 in tuition at the school, felt deceived when she was unable to find a job after graduation. Her lawsuit claimed $125,000 in damages, for both tuition and lost wages.
The jury rejected her claims.
Alaburda, who did not represent herself in court, is not the only unhappy law school grad to sue her alma mater. According to The New York Times, over 15 similar lawsuits have been thrown out of court in recent years. Alaburda’s was the first to actually make it in front of a jury.
While Thomas Guernsey, the dean of Thomas Jefferson, celebrated the jury’s decision, others believe Alaburda may have had a legitimate claim.
Kyle McEntee, executive director of the nonprofit Law School Transparency, told The Times, “At the time, law schools systematically deceived students with misleading statistics, with the blessing of the American Bar Association.”
The most recent employment statistics of Thomas Jefferson tell a different story than those Alaburda saw in 2004. For the Class of 2014, only 87 graduates found themselves in full-time jobs requiring a J.D.–in other words, 29 percent.
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