Anna Alaburda, a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, in El Segundo, Calif., March 3, 2016. Alaburda, who has yet to find a full-time, salaried job as an attorney, on Monday, will go to trial as the first former law student to bring a case against a law school, charging that it inflated the employment data for its graduates. (Coley brown/The New York Times)
Photograph by Coley Brown — The New York Times/Redux
By Chris Matthews
March 25, 2016

Don’t blame your alma mater for massive student loans debt.

That’s what a jury in San Diego told Anna Alaburda a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, who left school with roughly $150,000 in debt but says she was unable to find employment as a lawyer.

According to a report in the New York Times,Alaburda argued that the school reported a higher percentage of its graduates landed jobs after graduation than was actually the case, and that she relied on the bogus data to choose to attend the school.” The jury disagreed that the school should be held liable.

Alaburda is one of many law school graduates across the country who have tried to sue their former schools for publishing what they argue were misleading statistics on graduates chances for high-paying employment after graduation, but the Alaburda case is rare in that it actually made it in front of a jury without being thrown out or settled.

Alaburda relied on California State anti-fraud statutes to argue that the school mislead her into believing that 80 percent of its graduates found employment as lawyers nine months after graduation. In fact, those statistics included graduates who found “such work as a pool cleaner, waitress or sales clerk,” according to the report.

Michael Sullivan, a lawyer for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law told the jury, ““I’m not here to tell you a law degree is a guarantee of career success, is a guarantee of riches,” Mr. Sullivan told the jury. “It’s not. No degree is.”


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