Suits like this one aren’t exactly uncommon. However, one actually making it to a trial is.
Updated March 25, 11:00 a.m.
Sometimes, dreams must come to an end. Which is exactly the case for … per The New York Times.
A jury in San Diego on Thursday rejected claims by a law graduate, Anna Alaburda, that the Thomas Jefferson School of Law enticed her to enroll by using misleading graduate employment figures.
A jury voted nine to three to reject her claims.
Originally published March 11, 9:16 a.m.
Usually, the judge reads the petition of the plaintiff in a whiny voice, laughs, then throws it across the desk with a big red stamp that reads “dismissed” on it, or at least that’s how I imagine it goes. When I applied and somehow got accepted to law school, people were excited for me, but literally no one told me that spending approximately $50,000 per year for private law school was a good investment. Hell, my law school even required all incoming students to take an entire seminar on employment and earning statistics to cover their asses, conveniently after we had already paid for the first semester. People may have been willfully blind, and I’ll even lump myself in that category, but it was definitely no secret.
I could have gone straight to work after undergrad, debt free, and likely (definitely) made more than I have thus far as an attorney. (I wasn’t an English or Poli Sci major, which helps. No offense. My dad always referred to those as, “More tea, Sir?” degrees, and I’m inclined to agree in a lot of circumstances.) But nope. I wanted to be prestigious or some shit. I wanted to have the trump card that said, “Dear Local Facebook Attorney, I am actually an attorney, and you are, in fact, not. I win.” After six years at a party school, I wasn’t exactly bringing Harvard Law worthy application features to the table. I didn’t even attempt to mitigate my law school expenditure by applying to a more-competitive-than-normal public school. There was only one in my state, and going out of state didn’t really appeal to me, though it probably should have. I applied to exactly one school, because I figured if they didn’t want me (my money), no one would. The rest is exorbitant student loan history.
All of this, I’m sure, sounds pretty depressing, but let me clarify– I do NOT regret my decision. I’m not going to put a “100%” in front of that “do not” or anything, because if you ask me what percentage I’m feeling 10 days in row, you’re going to get 10 different answers. But overall, I’m glad I went, and I’m glad I’m an attorney. I do have some issues with how nationalized student loans are issued and managed, but that’s a conversation for a different day when you’re in the mood to hear me yell and use excessive profanity. JK. I always yell and use excessive profanity, but I’ll leave the administration of student loans topic be for today.
So, back to this chick who sued her law school. She claims that the school inflated their employment rates by including all employment in their figures instead of just legal-field employment, which, yeah, that’s shitty. $150,000 and three years of your life to end up working at the local watering hole, serving up drinks to the new crop of law students spending loan money to forget that they’re $150,000 in debt isn’t exactly something anyone expects when they excitedly tell their friends and family that they’re going to law school.
However, in this case, Ms. Alaburda is claiming that TEN years after she graduated in the top-tier of her class that she still cannot find a full-time, steady job as a lawyer, which I have an extremely hard time buying into. Yea, maybe your law school inflated statistics or weren’t explicit in disclosing the full spectrum of jobs that the statistics consisted of, which the school should be held accountable for, but, at the end of the day, you’re still an attorney who passed a legitimate bar exam. People are always going to need people who actually understand the law, even your Uncle Gary who is a news comment section Constitutional Law scholar. Uncle Gary’s 5th offense public urination and intoxication charge isn’t going to take care of itself. But hey, if you’d rather spend your resources suing your law school and convincing yourself part-time paralegal work is all that’s available to you, by all means. That just means more Uncle Garys for me.
I’ll be interested to see the outcome of this case, as it is the first of its kind to actually make it this far. I’ll also be interested to see how many other law grads it will be encouraged to take a ride on the slippery slope train. Regardless, I’m a bit torn on this issue, as, having been a seemingly unemployable, highly-indebted law grad, I can see both sides. However, my bills, unfortunately, don’t pay themselves, so my alma mater can rest at ease knowing I’ll be spending my time and energy on the Uncle Garys of the world instead. (I apologize in advance to anyone with a law-abiding uncle named Gary.).
[via CBS News]
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