SAN DIEGO - A woman has lost her civil lawsuit against a San Diego law school in which she claimed she was unable to get a job after graduation and that it inflated employment data for its graduates as a way to lure students to enroll.
A San Diego County Superior Court jury ruled in favor of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Thursday, awarding Anna Alaburda no damages. The jury decided the law school did not misrepresent employment statistics.
Alaburda graduated from Thomas Jefferson in 2008. Her lawsuit stated that even though she graduated with honors, she had been “unable to secure a full time job as an attorney.” Alaburda filed her lawsuit in 2011, claiming she would not have enrolled in the school had she known the school's statistics were misleading.
In her testimony last week, Alaburda said she filed the lawsuit to “stand up for myself and others.”
Alaburda left the courtroom immediately after the verdict was read Thursday. Her attorney had no comment.
The lawyers for Thomas Jefferson School told 10News they were “pleased” with the verdict.
In her lawsuit, Alaburda claims the Thomas Jefferson School of Law provided information that was “false and misleading.” She said the school included all post-graduate employment in its numbers, including if a student works as a part-time waiter or convenience store clerk.
She said she did get an offer in 2009 at a law firm as a consumer bankruptcy attorney in a probationary position. However, she turned down the position because it seemed “predatory” and there were “a lot of red flags.”
A friend advised her that the law firm was “not a good place to work.”
She eventually found work after graduation at a legal publishing company, where she worked for six months. Alaburda said the company ended up laying off many of its employees.
In 2011, Alaburda read a New York Times article that said Thomas Jefferson misrepresented employment figures. It was after reading that article that she decided to move forward with a lawsuit.
She was seeking $125,000, which covers her tuition and lost wages.
Alaburda said during testimony she took responsibility for things she can control.
“I was a very hard worker,” Alaburda said.
She said she would not take responsibility for Thomas Jefferson “being dishonest about their employment figures.”
Alaburda, who is married with two children, said she worked at several law firms under temporary positions reviewing documents.