It's the first time a case like this has gone to trial.
Anna Alaburda is taking her law school to court for allegedly misleading prospective students.
Alaburda graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2008 and passed the state bar exam soon after. Eight years later, she has yet to find a full-time salaried job as a lawyer and she’s suing the school for providing students with inaccurate employment statistics, the New York Times reports. There have been numerous similar lawsuits, though Alaburda’s is the first to actually make it to trial.
She filed the lawsuit in 2011 claiming that the school made its employment data look more promising by including jobs such as part-time waitressing, misleading potential students into thinking that their job prospects in the legal sector were more favorable than they actually were. Alaburda said that she wouldn’t have enrolled had she known the statistics were inaccurate. She’s requesting $125,000 in damages.
Thomas Jefferson claims that it filed the data required by the American Bar Association’s accrediting body. Following abundant negative attention surrounding inaccurate employment data, the ABA has altered its requirements in recent years for more accurate reporting. A former Thomas Jefferson employee also supposedly said that she felt pressured to inflate the statistics.
The school’s defense is expected to argue that Alaburda wasn’t adversely affected since she had been offered, and rejected, a full-time job at a law firm with a $60,000 salary shortly after graduating. Alaburda argues that she received “only one job offer” out of over 150 resumes she sent out, and it was “less favorable than non-law-related jobs that were available.”