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Feeling ripped off, law school grad gets her day in court

In 2011, he estimated that of the 45,000 law school grads each year, almost 45 percent can't get
jobs that require a law degree.
She owes $170,000 in student loans, paying interest of about 8 percent, according to The New York
Times. Just ask Anna Alaburda, who, 10 years after she graduated in the top tier of her class, still
can't find a job as a lawyer.
University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos has studied the legal job market and found that
it's been shrinking partly because of outsourcing and computer automation.

There's no shortage of law school graduates who can't find jobs in the legal profession. Still, as in
other similar cases, Alaburda was denied class-action status, which would have led to a higher
award, should she prevail.
Delaying law school won't improve the likelihood of graduating into a booming economy, said
Simkovic and McIntyre. In her 2011 lawsuit, Alaburda said she would never have enrolled at Thomas
Jefferson had she known the law school's data on graduate employment and graduation rates were
misleading. Procel. That could be a mistake, according to researchers Michael Simkovic and Frank
McIntyre, who argue it's impossible, given current information, to "time" getting a degree to
coincide with a better job market.
The blame for that failure isn't hers, she maintains -- rather, the fault lies with her alma mater.
Five years after beginning her legal fight, Thomas Jefferson School of Law will be the first law school
in legal history to go trial to defend its public employment figures, according to Alaburda's attorney
Brian A. Median pay in 2014 was $115,000 a year, or about $55 an hour.
Alaburda, who hasn't spoken publicly about her ordeal, has yet to secure the steady, high-paying
career that many attend law school to pursue. In other words, more people are waiting for the job
market to improve before embarking on a law degree.
Alaburda isn't the first law-school graduate to sue her former law school over an inability to get a job
in the legal profession, but her case is the first to go to trial. On average, the real rate is about half

Despite the cost, a law degree can more

than make up for its cost, increasing
earnings $30,000 to $60,000 annually over
a bachelor's degree alone. The harsh
reality is that many students now in law
school are never going to work as lawyers,
he said.
The 37-year-old is to appear in a San
Diego courtroom, where Alaburda will tell
the court that Thomas Jefferson School of
Law in San Diego sold her a bill of
damaged goods by misrepresenting the employment statistics of its graduates, suggesting that many
more of them have legal jobs than actually do.. The average cost of a law degree at Thomas Jefferson
at the time of Alaburda's enrollment was about $137,000 -- then among the highest in the nation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for lawyers will grow 6 percent in
the 10-year period ending 2024, about average for all professions, with an additional 43,800 jobs
added. But in recent years fewer students are willing to take on the debt that comes with attending
law school.
For its part, Thomas Jefferson said Alaburda's claims are "meritless," and noted that it has "a strong
track record of producing successful graduates, with 7,000 alumni working nationally and
At the time, Campos said that almost all law schools report employment rates of 80 percent or more
by including non-legal, part-time and temporary jobs. Others filed by students with similar
grievances toward their schools have been dismissed before going to trial.
Alaburda is pursing her legal claim in California, which has strong consumer protection laws. But it
will shorten the number of years of higher post-law school earnings, and increase the number of
years of lower earnings with just a bachelor's degree.
Enrollment at law schools has dropped dramatically since 2010, falling nearly 30 percent, largely
because questions among students about the value of a law degree. She's held a series of part-time
positions, mostly temporary jobs reviewing documents for law firms. Should she prevail in her suit,
law schools may finally have to provide more transparency into employment statistics and just how
many graduates are actually using their hard-earned -- and expensive -- law degrees.
The judge in the case has allowed Alaburda's claim to proceed, despite efforts by the law school to
derail her