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Will More Law Schools (See: Thomas Jefferson) Admit Employment Stats?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 25, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Remember Anna Alaburda, the litigious law graduate who started the Thomas Jefferson Law class action lawsuit?

Alaburda graduated from Thomas Jefferson Law in 2008 with honors. Despite the prestige associated with Thomas Jefferson Law (they're ranked "unranked"!), she was unable to find a legal job. Disgruntled and probably a little miffed that her attorney dreams went unfulfilled, she decided to file a class action lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson Law, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Thomas Jefferson Law has now responded to Alaburda's allegations, and in their demurrer, they simultaneously kind of diss Alaburda - while dissing themselves.

In the demurrer, Thomas Jefferson Law points out a crucial mathematical error that Alaburda must have made when she was perusing the U.S. News law school ranking page.

Apparently, their number for "Percent Employed 9 Months After Graduation" has been higher than their number for "Bar Passage Rate." The statistics have been like this since 2004.

The discrepancies are relatively large. In 2006, 77% of Thomas Jefferson grads were employed 9 months after graduation, but only 47.2% of them passed the bar.

Logically, Thomas Jefferson points out, this means that there had to be graduates who were working in non-law jobs because passing the bar is a prerequisite to being an attorney.

Essentially, they cite to her "alleged failure, as a college educated, prospective law student, to consider the obvious implications of a bar passage rate that is significantly lower than the 'percent employed' rate..."

The fact is that most prospective law students tend to rely on some form of statistics before making their decision to enroll. Maybe it's time for law schools to release their own employment statistics - including ones that aren't inflated by non-legal jobs?

Whatever the case, perhaps it's true that Alaburda should have mentally crunched some numbers when looking at the U.S. News statistics - and before she started the whole Thomas Jefferson class action suit. But really, isn't it kind of bad for the law school's reputation to point out the fact that their bar passage rate is just a little bit on the lower end of the spectrum?

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