Underemployed Law Grad Puts Degree to Use and Sues Alma Mater

Student seeks damages due to 10-year underemployment.

Getting justice from someone who wronged you is a wish most people only dream about, but imagine that someone was a something.

One woman is living the dream of many an unemployed or under-employed millennial. Anna Alaburda, 37, is suing her law school after a decade of failing to find a long-term job. Alaburda was a brilliant law student who had everything going for her — she even graduated at the top of her class at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2008.

The charge being brought up by the former law student is fraud. In her suit Alaburda claims the Thomas Jefferson School of Law inflated their employment numbers for graduates in order to get high enrollment for its law program.

Ms. Alaburda incurred over $150,000 of student loan debt in order to receive her law degree from the San Diego university. After passing the California bar exam, Alaburda sought full-time employment at over 150 law firms only to be offered a job by one paying $60,000 a year, which Alaburda turned down.

Thomas Jefferson University's legal team attempted to get the case thrown out due to the fact that Ms. Alaburda was offered a position at a law firm, but instead chose to turn it down. The reason for the turn-down: the $60,000-a-year salary. Alaburda claims the job was less favorable than other non-legal jobs at the time.

Though not widely heard of, many students actually sue their former universities for prolonged unemployment; this however was the first case of its kind ever to make it to trial.

In a 2004 U.S. News and World report, Thomas Jefferson Law School reported that 80 percent of their graduates found employment within nine months. According to Ms. Alaburda and her legal team, this couldn't be further from the truth. Alaburda is currently seeking $125,000 in damages.

It is not yet known what the results of this case will be, but this may set a legal precedent for others seeking to right the wrongs of unscrupulous and deceiving institutions of higher learning.

An old proverb says beware of Greeks bearing gifts (this is, of course, said in this context with the utmost respect), it looks like now the same can be said for universities.

Whether it be a statistical ranking or the prowess of their marketability, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

(Photo: ABC 10)

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