Anna Alaburda, 37. is suing Thomas Jefferson School of Law for “false advertising” because she can’t find a job.
Alaburda claims that, following her 2008 graduation, she was unable to find a job as an attorney, and is, therefore, suing the school for $150,000 in tuition and lost wages.
The plaintiffs lawyer said Wednesday that his client, Alaburda, could not find a job because she “relied on false employment figures provided by the school.” The school’s attorney claims that the employment statistics provided were “overwhelmingly accurate.” He also alleges that Alaburda was offered two jobs post-graduation, but rejected them in favor of a legal publishing job.
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According to the local news station, the two lawyers have very different views of the situation:
Eventually, Alaburda got a $60,000 job offer from a San Bernardino law firm and took a $70,000-a-year job with a legal publisher, her attorney said.
Procel said Alaburda never considered filing a lawsuit until 2011, when she read a New York Times article on TJSL employment figures.
“She relied on those employment figures,” Procel told the jury. “She went there under false pretenses.”
Procel said Alaburda is seeking $125,000 in damages for tuition and lost wages and an order preventing TJSL from misleading students.
But Mike Sullivan, the attorney for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, said Alaburda did not suffer any damages. The attorney said Alaburda went to TJSL because it was the only law school where she got accepted.
Once there, the plaintiff was awarded a $20,000 scholarship to help with tuition, making her total debt $32,000 after three years, Sullivan told the jury.
Alaburda decided not to work during her first two years of law school and within two months of graduating, had two job offers in the legal field, the attorney said.
Sullivan said the process of gathering employment data for graduates is “difficult” and a “challenge” for the school, but said there was “not a pattern of mistakes” by TJSL.
Other lawsuits of a similar nature have been dismissed, with the Judges claiming that the students should know that employment is not guaranteed.
What do you think of this case? Should she be awarded damages for being misled? Let us know in the comments!