No guarantee of success

Woman who sued her law school over employment prospects loses at trial

Anna Alaburda. (Coley Brown/The New York Times)

Anna Alaburda, the law graduate who sued her law school claiming they had convinced her to enroll using misleading graduate employment statistics, the first such case to make it to a trial, saw her case rejected by a San Diego jury on Thursday.

The 37-year old said that the Thomas Jefferson School of Law used exaggerated data on how many of their graduates were able to find employment after graduating and claimed she was unable to find a full-time job as a lawyer after graduating in 2008, while being some $150,000 in student debt. Invoking California state fraud protections, her lawyer Brian A. Procel argued that the school failed to disclose that their employment figures were based on a small pool of graduates and included jobs as a pool cleaner, waitress or sales clerk. Thomas Jefferson’s lawyer, Michael Sullivan, stood by their employment figures, telling the jury: “I’m not here to tell you a law degree is a guarantee of career success, is a guarantee of riches. It’s not. No degree is.”

The jury voted nine to three to reject the claims of Mrs. Alaburda, who declined to comment after the case. Her lawyer told The New York Times he hopes this case might help prospective students to “have access to better information when deciding to attend college or graduate school.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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