Anna Alaburda, pictured, graduated with honors from TJ, owes $150K, and has never found full-time legal work. Her undergrad degree is from NYU.
She is suing on behalf of herself and other individuals who were students at TJSL. There are potentially more than 2,300 members in the Class.
The Complaint itself reads like a contemporary, well-researched, articulated, and documented scamblog post, replete with citations to unfavorable news coverage. Indeed, in some places it's a little too breezy. Some choice excerpts:
"For more than 15 years, TJSL has churned out law school graduates (my emphasis)"There are five counts.
"In order to attract students despite these dismal figures, TJSL has adopted a practice of misrepresenting its post-graduation employment statistics."
"At the end of the day, TJSL is more concerned with raking in millions of dollars in tuition and fees than educating and training its students."
"In order to attract larger numbers of prospective students, law schools nationwide have adopted the practice of inflating statistics and presenting misleading figures to U.S. News & World Report, as well as the American Bar Association ("ABA"). Students are unaware that these statistics are false and misleading, and they frequently rely on the false statistics in deciding which law school to attend."
"Law schools are also believed to be manipulating post-graduation employment statistics, as well as median salary information for their graduates."
"This method has been described as a "bait and swtich [sic]" as to prospective law students."
"What should students expect in exchange for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt they incur in student loans in order to receive a diploma from TJSL? In 2007, TJSL's bar passage was 35.6 percent, among the lowest in the country; and the most recent figures reveal that TJSL's passage rate remains under 50 percent, well below the state average."
"TJSL's average student indebtedness in 2010-2011 was $137,352, which is among the highest in the nation...."
"On information and belief, TJSL provides false and inaccurate information directly to U.S. News & World Report with the understanding that the false and inaccurate information will be disseminated to the public."
"In other words, if graduates accept part time employment working as a waiter or a clerk at a convenience store, they are considered to be "employed nine months after graduation."
- Violation of Business & Professions Code §17200 et seq. - Unfair Competition Law ("UCL") for unfair and fraudulent business practices
- Violation of Business & Professions Code §17500 et seq. - False Advertising Act
- Fraud - engag(ing) in a pattern and practice of knowingly and intentionally making numerous false representations of material fact, and material omissions, with the intent to deceive and/or induce reliance
- Violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act - misrepresentation of post-graduation employment rates
- Negligent misrepresentation - making material representations and omissions with no reasonable grounds for believing them to be true
One aspect of the Complaint I found fascinating is the reference to the faculty and staff being members of the California bar and implying they breached their ethical responsibilities. I think this would be a fertile second front to open up in California and other states: File ethics complaints against law school administrators.