Anna Alaburda: Law Student Sues School Because She Couldn’t Find A Job In 10 Years

Anna Alaburda is suing the Thomas Jefferson School of Law because she could not get a job after she graduated. Alaburda graduated in the top tier of her class about a decade ago and has yet to find a full-time job as a lawyer.

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law student paid more than $150,000 to garner her degree before going on to pass the California State Bar Exam. Anna Alaburda claims the law school misrepresented job prospects for its students, according to lawsuit details shared via the Daily Mail. The law school graduate is suing for $125,000 in damages.

Anna Alaburda, 37, is not the first law school graduate to fail to secure salaried employment as an attorney or the first university student to sue a school after not being able to find a job. What makes the California woman different than all the others who have found themselves in the same situation is the fact that her lawsuit will actually see the inside of a courtroom.

Alaburda’s lawsuit against the Thomas Jefferson School of Law claims that the school inflated its employment data to entice students to enroll, the New York Times reports. Brian Procel, the attorney for the attorney filing the lawsuit, said that this case is the first time a law school will be forced to defend its graduate employment data under oath. Despite efforts by the law school to have the case thrown out, San Diego Judge Joel Pressman ruled the lawsuit will move forward.

Anna Alaburda, who has a law school debt of about $170,000, stated that she has only been able to find temporary employment reviewing documents for law firms and part-time work since graduating from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and passing the bar exam.

In the lawsuit she filed in 2011, Alaburda maintains that she would not have chosen the California law school if she had known at the time the employment data provided by the school was misleading. The law school’s dean, Thomas Guernsey, claimed in a release that Thomas Jefferson has a “strong track record” of generating law school graduates. Guernsey also stated that about 7,000 alumni are currently working as attorneys on both the national and international stage.

Anna Alaburda was reportedly offered a full-time job with a law firm shortly after she graduated from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She said that she turned the position down because she was offered only a $60,000 annual salary.

The disgruntled student went on to maintain that the position was not favorable and paid less than the professional jobs outside of the legal realm that were available about 10 years ago. Alaburda also stated it was the only offer she ever received after sending out her resume to more than 150 law firms.

About 15 similar lawsuits against law schools have reportedly been filed in the past several years — only Alaburda’s remains active. Most of the lawsuits claim that the schools named in the legal actions inflated their employment data by counting alumni working on unrelated and low-level jobs among the fully employed. Several of the failed attempts to sue colleges were filed in New York, Michigan, and Illinois.

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