Honors Grad Working as Doc Reviewer Sues Law School, Says She Was Misled by US News Stats

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A woman who says she graduated with honors from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2008 and passed the California bar exam but cannot find a decent legal job has sued the institution, contending that she was tricked into attending by employment statistics TJSL provided for the annual U.S. News & World Report law school survey.

Anna Alaburda, who racked up $150,000 in student loans and is now doing document-review work when she can find it, says she decided to attend the law school after reading the magazine’s 2003 law school survey, reports the National Law Journal. It stated that 80 percent of the school’s graduates were employed.

She “reasonably interpreted these figures to mean that the vast majority of TJLS graduates would find employment as full-time attorneys,” the lawsuit states, alleging that “the foregoing statistics were false, misleading, and intentionally designed to deceive all who read them.”

Filed by attorney Brian Procel of Miller Barondess, the suit seeks class action status and compensatory damages of $50 million for a claimed class of some 2,300 TJSL attendees.

Beth Kransberger, who serves as the law school’s associate dean for student affairs, tells the legal publication there was no misrepresentation and says TJSL followed guidelines set by the American Bar Association when reporting its employment statistics..

“We’ve always been accurate in what we report, and we’ve always followed the system given to us by the ABA,” she says. “This lawsuit is very much about a larger debate. This is part of the debate about whether it’s practical to pursue a graduate degree in these difficult economic times.”

Legal Ethics Forum provides a link to a copy of the San Diego Superior Court complaint (PDF).

Related coverage: “ABA Weighs Required Disclosure of Law School Job Stats, More Rigorous Reporting” “Villanova Says Inaccurate LSAT and GPA Data Were ‘Knowingly Reported’ to the ABA in Prior Years” “US News to Law Deans: Please Don’t Fudge Your Numbers”

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