Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego did not mislead a graduate who said the institution made false promises about her career prospects, a jury found Thursday. Former student Anna Alaburda claimed that the college used inflated job placement data -- mainly by including part-time and nonlegal work obtained by graduates -- to lure her to the school, according to the Associated Press. She claimed that she was owed $125,000 in damages to make up for the fact that she’s been unable to find a full-time job as a lawyer, despite having graduated near the top of her class in 2008. Alaburda also pointed to the fact that she has $170,000 in student debt, but the Superior Court jury rejected her arguments, 9 to 3.
Law school graduates from various campuses have made similar claims to Alaburda’s in recent years, and some have received settlements as a result, but her case is believed to be the first to go to trial, according to the Associated Press. Michael Sullivan, a lawyer for Thomas Jefferson, reportedly acknowledged "isolated mistakes" and "clerical errors" in the data, but said there was no evidence that the school lied. The American Bar Association has since required more transparency in reporting jobs data.
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