Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => Politics and Law-Related News => Topic started by: unknownOne on June 26, 2011, 02:05:19 PM

Title: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: unknownOne on June 26, 2011, 02:05:19 PM
Quote
SAN DIEGO CBS 8 - A former local law student is suing her alma mater for $50 million, after she couldn't find a job.

The student, San Diegan Anna Alaburda, graduated with honors from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and passed the bar on her first try. She claims she has been unable to find full-time work as an attorney for the past three years. [continued ....]

http://www.cbs8.com/story/14831984/san-diego-law-school-grad-sues-her-alma-mater-for-50-million (http://www.cbs8.com/story/14831984/san-diego-law-school-grad-sues-her-alma-mater-for-50-million)
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Thane Messinger on June 26, 2011, 03:18:28 PM
SAN DIEGO CBS 8 - A former local law student is suing her alma mater for $50 million, after she couldn't find a job.

The student, San Diegan Anna Alaburda, graduated with honors from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and passed the bar on her first try. She claims she has been unable to find full-time work as an attorney for the past three years. [continued ....]


If she loses, will that be evidence that the law school didn't do its job?

= :   )
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on June 27, 2011, 12:11:23 AM
Unreal when will law students take some accountability for their decisions it is simply embarrassing. I find it very hard to believe this woman could not find anything for 3 years especially considering I know two TJSL grads that have found jobs and are doing fine. I am certain TJSL never told this student or any student that graduating and passing the bar would guarantee them a job. This type of story disgusts me and I hope the judge in this case rips her a new one. I really hope the judge whips out her personal statement she wrote detailing how she handles adverserity and overcomes challenges etc and says so what happened to you that would be classic.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Cereal_Killer on June 28, 2011, 09:11:09 AM
I understand that the girl is mad, and probably scared too. Who wouldn't be scared while staring at 150k in debt with no viable means to pay it down? But she has to take a long, hard look in mirror, and buck up.

Every student who attends a T4 school must comes to terms with the fact that it's going to be a struggle to find employment and his degree alone isn't going to open any doors. Consequently, finding a job out of a T4 school is more about networking and gaining real-world experience through clinics and externships, then how well one does in school. Sure grades matter, but not all honors graduates are created equal. Selection of elective courses can play a significant role in how you're viewed by a perspective employer.

I don't know if this is case with this girl, but imagine if she was able to achieve her "honors" status by racking up electives in classes universally known as "bunny courses," e.g., Law and Literature. If she competed for a job against a fellow TJSL who had a slightly lower gpa (and graduated without honors) but who focused her elective courses on, say, contract drafting and other practical skill courses, she would likely lose nine times out of ten.

Also, she complains that she sent out 150 resumes to no avail. This, too, needs to be qualified. If these were just template, unsolicited resumes, then 150 is nothing. However, if she sent a resume for each law firm along with a tailored cover letter (for example, she could've researched a recent case the firm worked on and discussed what she could have brought to the table, and so on), then 150 is significant. But if she just sent out 150 template resumes/cover letters, then she should have sent out hundreds (if not thousands) more. There are over 2700 attorneys and law firms listed on Martindale Hubbell in San Diego alone.

I think part of the problem is that most people fail to realize when they're unemployed searching for a job should be approached as a full-time job in itself. From the scant details that I've read about this case, I'm not sure she understood this.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Thane Messinger on June 28, 2011, 02:02:10 PM
Also, she complains that she sent out 150 resumes to no avail. This, too, needs to be qualified. If these were just template, unsolicited resumes, then 150 is nothing. However, if she sent a resume for each law firm along with a tailored cover letter (for example, she could've researched a recent case the firm worked on and discussed what she could have brought to the table, and so on), then 150 is significant. But if she just sent out 150 template resumes/cover letters, then she should have sent out hundreds (if not thousands) more. There are over 2700 attorneys and law firms listed on Martindale Hubbell in San Diego alone.

I think part of the problem is that most people fail to realize when they're unemployed searching for a job should be approached as a full-time job in itself. From the scant details that I've read about this case, I'm not sure she understood this.


Excellent points.  I graduated into a dismal market (in 1991), and while I had OCIs (which became suddenly even rarer as firm after firm cancelled) I also had to scramble to line up my own interviews, including paying for a trip with money I didn't have to, essentially, create my own interview tour.  And this with, yes, law review, top school, etc.  Interestingly, it was one of these interviews that paid off, in a firm I almost didn't contact.  (And, yes, nowadays there's no excuse for anything less than a semi-custom CV and letter for each firm.)  Had I had the skills in OCI that I had to develop for the self-generated interviews, I might have bought a ticket to Boston or New York rather than Honolulu.  Although looking back I am happy it worked out as it did, it was a stressful time.  But it was far less stressful for me than for others.

I write that only to say that it's easy to react negatively when someone lectures about finding a job, etc, etc.  But, it really is true.  If it's a full-time job, chances are you'll be fired . . . and hired into a job you do want.

Not only should looking for work be taken very, very seriously, but it's important to be brutally honest with yourself about interviewing skills.  In a good market, so-so interviews can work, sort of.  But even then, those top jobs tend to go to those who are, yes, top candidates . . . but also to those who act like top candidates. 

There's an excerpt by a law partner about interviewing in a book, the Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job.  The parter provides a measure of this brutal honesty.  That book was written for a seemingly different age, but, paradoxically, it's even more important now to develop those skills for finding and landing an interview, and then actually interviewing well.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Hamilton on June 28, 2011, 03:27:54 PM
I hear what you guys are saying, but on the flip side I think folks are awfully quick to dismiss someone speaking out about having difficulty finding a job as being lazy, feeling entitled, or simply not trying hard enough.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on June 28, 2011, 10:16:17 PM
It does suck that she is having trouble finding a job, but as Thane said it is HARD! Honestly, if you think finding a job is hard wait until you have to actually work and deal with crazy clients requests etc. Honestly 150 resumes over 3 years is nothing. I sent out over 1,000 (approximately) during my 2L got interviews at 30 places and only 8 job offers. That is 992 failures and less than 1% success rate, but that is the world we live in. You have to hustle and this whole difficulty finding a job is not only applicable to law school. Lets not forget it is a "GLOBAL" recession and even if it wasn't nobody hands out jobs.

I honestly think the fact that she is asking for $50 million dollars just shows how delusional she is. Then her complaint is the employment numbers were skewed? Really? I imagine if she paid attention in her first year contracts class she would have learned about "puffery." Now if TJSL said "student name" we guarantee you a job at graduation if you attend TJSL then maybe she would have case. However, I cannot imagine any school anywhere saying that not even Harvard. Thane just described what happened when he started out and he was on law review at University of Texas a top school. I imagine he sent out more than 150 resumes and it sounds like he put significant effort into finding a job. I imagine there were some rejections along the way, but eventually he succeeded and I am sure in the first few years of his career there were some failures and maybe even a lay-off or firing. That is just what happens in "any" field.

These types of stories blow my mind. Even the New York times articles blow my mind that students simply cannot take any accountability for their decisions. They were "tricked,"? Really did TJSL go to this student's home and say you MUST come to our school and stay all three years. No. She made a decision as a college graduate, that did decently on the LSAT, and I am sure wrote a detailed personal statement explaining how hard working, dedicated, and determined she was. The school decided to let her in and she was given a legal education. Not only that she passed the bar. Again if she paid attention in 1st year contracts she woudl realize she entered into a contract and the consideration was money for legal education. TJSL got their money she got an education. No law school guarantees you a job and no educational institution anywhere in any field guarantees you a job. With the exception of Westpoint & Annapolis as I understand it.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Hamilton on June 29, 2011, 06:58:37 AM
"puffery?"  Thats where a claim is impossible to substantiate or no reasonable person would believe the claim - "world's greatest law school" comes to mind as an example.  Employment stats are significantly different.  In recent years many have come to realize that the law school employment numbers are "innacurate" at best, and fraudulent according to many; however, tough to argue that no reasonable person would/should believe the so-called STATISTICS published by a school.  Would you spend $150K on a law degree from a school if it advertised an employment rate of 30% with an average salary of $60K?  That's a lot different than 95% and average salary of $90K.

WRT the $50M claim - you know better than to say she is being "delusional."  You aim high and negotiate/settle for something less. 
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on June 29, 2011, 08:58:04 AM
Yes you do aim high, but 50 million? Really.. The most she possibly lost was 150k in tuition, 3 years of full-time work and if we are VERY GENEROUS lets say would have made a 100k a year so that is 450k lost. She is asking for 100x more than the most generous number of actual damages she could be awarded. So that is delusional 5 million is probably a reasonable number. This is like asking for the death penalty for stealing a candy bar. This 50million dollar is ludicrous.

Then lets go to her actual argument. Assume they did say 90% of students were employed. My school told me similar numbers, but I was going to be spending 3 years of my life and a lot of money so I asked the simple question. " what does employed mean." They said we have a detailed sheet, but the career person is out to lunch do you need to see it. I could have said no and just assumed it would be fine, but again I was going to be paying 100k & spendign 3 years of my life so I said I will wait. I then got the detailed figures and technically 90% was right, but looking a little deeper I saw the "puffery". The actual full-time employees was in the neighborhood of 35-40% then 20% had contract/temp jobs another 10% or so were in academia (which might mean the law school hired them) etc etc, but I saw the realities based on these figures and took the risk. When you make 150k investment you should do some of your own research. When you buy a house do just take the owner's word of it is a good house, good neighborhood, blah blah, now hopefully you ask at least one question.

Here is employment info from TJSL's website http://www.tjsl.edu/sites/default/files/files/Employment%20Statistics%20for%20Website%207-14-10.pdf now they put their numbers a little out of context, but if your paying 150k and three years of your life and read the fine print you will see they are not hiding anything.

They claim 84.7% of people were employed ok fine, but I am paying 150k so maybe I will read this 2 page document to see the real facts. Lets see only 58.1% are employed in law firms maybe I should look to the 10th line of the first page. Then I realize out of these 58.1% people employed in law firms 36.6 of these people are at firms of "unknown size" and that means of the 58% of people working in law firms they only actually know where 22% of the class actually is.. It is a bit misleading, but they area  business putting things in the best light. If you take the time it took me 4 minutes to figure it out you will see they are not hiding anything. aAgain law students take no accountability for themselves and all you have to do is look and you will see the real numbers.   

Now ss going to a tier 4 school or any law school for that matter a risk? Absolutely, but the people taking these risks are not stupid and I knew when I attended my tier 4 there was a real possibility of things not working out and they still might not, but if it doesn't I knew the risks and I won't go pointing the finger at everybody else. Instead I will take accountability for my decision.  I was a college graduate, I wrote a detailed personal statement about how I overcome obstacles, I had Letters of recommendation from bosses, professors etc. Nothing in my application indicates I am unable to make a decision for myself and that is what I have done. End of story. I hope the judge in this case brings out her application I think that would be classic. If she did write an incohrrent PS and all of her LOR's said she was an idiot then maybe she should win her lawsuit, but I find that scenario unlikely.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: FalconJimmy on June 29, 2011, 09:41:51 AM
WRT the $50M claim - you know better than to say she is being "delusional."  You aim high and negotiate/settle for something less.

Actually, although I don't think she's totally full of ****, I thought the 50 million claim was insane.  If she could have reasonably looked forward to a 40 year career, is she really trying to say she would have made 1.25 million a year?  Even if you include the time value of money, or that she would have invested the lion's share of her income, there is absolutely no possible way to justify $50 million.

Yes, you go in high and negotiate, but frankly, the $50 million is illustrative, IMHO.  This is a person who really has their head up their ***.  Go to court with a demand for $50 million and you're going to turn off everybody, the judge, the jury, everyone.

As for employment stats, in defense of the schools, what are you supposed to do if a person gets employment outside the law?  Treat it like a "walk" in baseball when computing batting averages? 

What if the person gets a job as manager of a public relations firm?  Was that because of the law degree?  Would ANY graduate degree have sufficed?  (In which case, frankly, the school of law should get the credit, just as the college of fine arts should get the credit if the person had gotten the job with an MFA.)  Was it because the person was the cousin of the CEO? 

How is the law school supposed to differentiate all that?  Are they REALLY supposed to try to figure all that out?

Here's another unusual, but very real-world example.  I own a business.  Before the recession, we used to do 7 figures in annual sales and I didn't once contemplate going to law school.  I was too busy walking the course at the local country club every day.  (If we'd done 8 figures, I could have afforded a cart.)

I am getting a law degree, now.  If my business never improves, I will probably end up in the practice of law.  If it does?  I may very well just hang the JD on the wall as a very expensive novelty.

Should the school get rewarded for that?  Not really. 

Should they get punished, though?  Because I will not be "working in the law"?  I say no.

We all know that law school is largely a vocational school with only one true purpose:  to prepare a person to make a living as an attorney.

However, in the grand scheme of things the people who educate will argue until they're blue in the face that education serves a broader purpose than just preparing you for a vocation. 

With the current cost of law school, that's easy to forget.  However, in my case, I should have the ability to write a contract, or at a minimum, to read a contract without the need for an attorney to interpret it for me.  Heck, if I get hit with a nuisance lawsuit, informing opposing counsel that I am an attorney and I will vigorously fight the suit at every possible level could be worth tens of thousands of dollars per occurrance.  (Face it, 9 times out of 10, the settlement is something like $4,000 to $8,000, which defense counsel advises his client to pay, because the cost of litigation would easily exceed that.  Once I take cost of representation off the table, plaintiff's counsel will know that I don't have to fear a mountain of legal bills... they'll look for easier money, elsewhere.)

So, even if I'm NOT an attorney, going to law school would provide considerable benefits. 

Shoot, when I got my MBA, I didn't get a raise or even a new job.  I just kept the one I had.  Then, within 6 months, a couple of calls from recruiters let me get another $15,000 from my current employer.  So, even the purely economic value of a degree may not be evident until months or even years later.

Personally, I think this lawsuit is idiotic.  I hope the school annihilates her.  It shouldn't be profitable to be stupid.  Anybody who goes to law school these days who thinks it's a guarantee of ANYTHING is an idiot.  Really.  If you're not going to a T14 school, and you don't understand that you may not even be EMPLOYED at graduation, then you've got some serious, serious problems with your abilities of logic.

From a policy standpoint, what's the answer?  To shutter the doors to all but the T14 schools?  If you don't have an impeccable GPA and LSAT, then no law school for you? 

Going to a lowly ranked school is a crapshoot, but for some people, that's all the want:  a way to start trying to kick the door down, themselves. 

She went, took her chances and if she'd gotten a 20 million dollar contingency on a personal injury verdict, she probably would not have felt that she had to pay a portion of it to her law school.  Things didn't work out for her.  Too bad, so sad.  Vote for people who will make student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy and move on.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: FalconJimmy on June 29, 2011, 09:47:20 AM
They claim 84.7% of people were employed ok fine, but I am paying 150k so maybe I will read this 2 page document to see the real facts. Lets see only 58.1% are employed in law firms maybe I should look to the 10th line of the first page. Then I realize out of these 58.1% people employed in law firms 36.6 of these people are at firms of "unknown size" and that means of the 58% of people working in law firms they only actually know where 22% of the class actually is.. It is a bit misleading, but they area  business putting things in the best light. If you take the time it took me 4 minutes to figure it out you will see they are not hiding anything. aAgain law students take no accountability for themselves and all you have to do is look and you will see the real numbers.   

Biggs, I don't agree with everything you say on here, but your desire to do serious analysis and write about it is impressive.  I highly suspect that you'll do very well in your career.  I hope upon graduation that you stay in touch on these boards and let us know how you're doing.  I am impressed with you and I suspect a lot of other folks are, too.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Morten Lund on June 29, 2011, 05:04:03 PM
I graduated into a dismal market (in 1991)... 

That is part of the key right there.  This is 2011.  If she graduated in 2008, give or take, then she graduated in the beginning/middle of the worst job market the legal profession has seen since 1991 - at least.  She came out at a time when most firms were busy firing associates as quickly as they could - the idea that she had any reasonable expectation of employment in that environment is ludicrous.

... and that is for graduates of any law school.  I graduated a couple of years after Thane, but things were still slow when I was looking for work.  We both went to pretty good law schools, and what Thane describes was not unique.  I certainly did not have employers falling over themselves to hire me (I recall stacking rejection letters up in the windowsill - it was a very tall stack before I got even an inkling of interest).  Several of my classmates graduated without jobs, and many more had the job they could get, not the job they wanted. 

And that was then - things are far worse now, and know that most current graduates from top schools are quite grateful for any job, and cannot afford to be picky.  And if graduates from the top schools are struggling to find jobs, on what planet are T4 graduates likely to get any job other than what they basically create for themselves?

I am not quite ready to call her out for not trying hard enough, but I am more than ready to call her out for being delusional about the job prospects of any fresh law grad today, let alone one from Jefferson.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on June 29, 2011, 05:31:47 PM
Has the job market in any field at any time ever been easy for a recent grad? I remember reading books about entering college in 2002 saying how tough the job market is for recent college graduates. Then in 08 when I applied to law school I read the same thing about graduating law school in books etc. The simple fact of the matter is that finding jobs sucks especially when you are starting out. I can't imagine any firm in any profession saying YES a recent graduate with no real experience I can't wait to spend time, money, and effrot in hopes that it will work out.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: unknownOne on June 29, 2011, 06:23:53 PM
Am I the only one who visited countless law firm websites while applying for positions in a particular state and wondered where all the new people were when viewing the attorney profiles? (particularly after taking into account how many people take the bar in that state every year?) 




 
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on July 02, 2011, 10:08:50 PM
There are plenty of recent hires at various firms and I personally know upwards of 20 recent graduates from all levels of school that are working as attorneys. So young associates are being hired, but as Thane & Morten's stories above state it is HARD! Morten went to Yale f***ing Yale and he had a stack of rejection letters.  Thane went to University of Texas and was on Law Review and he had numerous rejections. I am in the top 10% of my class at a low level school and I have been rejected a tremendous amount of times, but I have also been offered several jobs and have had numerous jobs through my academic career. Many of my classmates have had the same experience and so have people I have worked with from Hastings, USF, and Santa Clara. 

The plaintiff here needs a dose of reality and needs to realize TJSL is probably the only place that wants her to succeed and she has burned her bridge. This is just simply absurd and I can't believe someone intelligent enough to pass the bar thought this was a good idea. I am guessing she never had a job prior to going to law school, but I could be wrong. All I know is that when I graduate from law school I know I am on my own and whether I succeed or not is up to ME. I take accountability for my decisions and so does anyone that chooses to attend an ABA school.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: jack24 on July 04, 2011, 10:31:40 PM
Bigs:
I haven't read this whole thread, so maybe you've already addressed this.
I understand that the individual lawsuit seems ludicrous, but don't you think law schools should be accountable if they know full well that their employment numbers are deceptive?  In most states there are twice as many graduates as there are open jobs. Of the national class of 2009 as a whole, only 65% of graduates had jobs requiring bar passage at nine months after graduation. Tuition has nearly doubled in the last ten years even though inflation hasn't been nearly as high. (Not to mention the fact that legal salaries are going down quickly).
Law schools are money makers because they can raise tuition at will due to the ridiculous amount of demand and the class size at most law schools has little to nothing to do with employment prospects.
Not to mention the fact that the 2nd and 3rd year of law school could be easily self taught effectively and more than 75% of law students feel the need to pay a private company $3000 for bar prep after graduation.
Is it so hard for you to imagine that some law schools out there are being at least reckless, if not intentionally deceptive?

I was on law review and moot court and I graduated in the top quarter of a T2.  I had two great internships during law school and neither employer hired any graduates due to the recession.  I have great letters of recommendation and some good contacts, I've applied at countless jobs and sent out hundreds of letters.  I have two part time jobs in the legal market and I've been networking with everyone who will talk to me. (My part time jobs count in the plus column of the employment statistics at my school, by the way).
Now I'm fairly sure I'll have a legal job lined up before the 9 month mark, but I'm easily in the top third of all candidates out there. 

Times are tough, yes, but law schools are laughing all the way to the bank.

(P.S., my relatively small school brings in close to six million dollars a year in tuition after you subtract grants and scholarships.  They could easily self finance student loans with a 0-3% interest rate which would save every student tens of thousands of dollars.)
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on July 04, 2011, 11:58:46 PM
Bigs:
I haven't read this whole thread, so maybe you've already addressed this.
I understand that the individual lawsuit seems ludicrous, but don't you think law schools should be accountable if they know full well that their employment numbers are deceptive?  In most states there are twice as many graduates as there are open jobs. Of the national class of 2009 as a whole, only 65% of graduates had jobs requiring bar passage at nine months after graduation. Tuition has nearly doubled in the last ten years even though inflation hasn't been nearly as high. (Not to mention the fact that legal salaries are going down quickly).
Law schools are money makers because they can raise tuition at will due to the ridiculous amount of demand and the class size at most law schools has little to nothing to do with employment prospects.

Jack,

Short answer is yes and earlier in this thread I put TJSL's employment stats up. They do accurately state the numbers, but in a misleading way. If you take the time to really read into the numbers you will see they are not hiding anything. Are the schools providing misleading information yes, but they are not lying it is puffery just like everything else. Bring in my basketball career here every school that was recruiting me told me about players that made it to the NBA from their school. 99% of college players don't make it, but it sure is nice to hear someone did and they mislead when they recruit you in b-ball. Coke misleads with their taste tests. Gatorade misleads with their nutrition information it is only 50 calories per serving, but a bottle is somehow 2.5 servings this could on all day. You have to take whatever numbers you get from someone trying to sell you something with a grain of salt. Law schools are selling legal education and they are going to put everything they have in their best light.

Then I am sure when you are sending your resumes you exaggerate a bit on your resume as does everybody else. I know I do that I am not lying, but I am selling myself. I highlight my academic awards and A's and from law school and try to not mention the one C- I got in law school. Everybody everywhere is engaging in puffery and law schools are no different.

Now is the price absolutely absurd and I do I think it is a potential anti-trust suit the ABA has engaged in yes. It is ludicrous that law school tuition at every ABA school is going up 2,000 a year and the price is absurd. I hope someone sues them for it and another poster I believe Thane said Massachuetts school of law won a settlement against the ABA for this. In all honesty I think congress should get involved and make law schools do an accounting of what they are spending tuition on. They are releasing federal funds for these loans and should know why a school like Southwestern, Cooley, GGU, Santa Clara, La Verne, etc costs nearly 40,000 per year not including books. There is a real problem there.

However, with all that said I know this scam is going and I choose to enter it. I asked my school for employment info and saw through the B.S. in reality 25% of the class has a full-time paying job and based on recent graduates I know that seems right. My schools claim 87% employment, but that is a croc because unpaid internships count. As you said your part-time jobs count as employment and it is technicallyA you couldn't have your current jobs unless you went to law school.

Your situation is not unique to the legal profession many people starting out have to get part-time jobs slowly work their way up etc. Thane and Morten who have posted went to Yale and University of Texas and they did have some fancy jobs waiting for them. They got rejected and I am sure started their careers slowly. That is what will happen to you more than likely you will do these jobs it will suck for a few years, but then eventually it will work out. However, it may not. That is just the risk anyone takes when going to law school or any form of education and you can't sue when things don't go your way. Education is a gamble and if you bet and lose you deal with it.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: Hamilton on July 05, 2011, 07:04:37 AM
Law schools are puting out deceptive numbers if they ignore non-responses.  Who do you think is not responding?  Also, people like me skew the numbers - I responded, had my pre-law career, and making decent money.  So my numbers show up as not only employed immediately out of law school, but at a high salary.  My questionaire did not parse whether it was law-related or not.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on July 05, 2011, 08:56:50 AM
Yes they are I don't think anybody is disputing that. However, what industry doesn't use misleading facts when trying to sell something. The numbers are misleading and you need to ask in-depth questions about what the employment numbers really mean. When you are going to spend 150k and 3 years of your life you should do more than just take the law schools word for everything. It is basically as big an investment as buying a house and if the seller of the home said it is a great neighborhood, great schools, easy access to the freeway, all these vague statements you probably wouldn't take their word on it. Instead you would go there a few nights see what is like then, check out the school, drive around, and verify the information for yourself. This is what most people do when buying a house and spending 100,000 and generally much more. I don't understand why people think law school is any different.

Then I have to reemphaize the point that law students are not idiots. Anyone at an ABA school is a college graduate, with a decent GPA, they were smart enough to score in the 50th percentile of test takers, which consists of college graduates that have a decent GPA, they got letters of recommendation, and to top it off they write a detailed personal statement about how they deal with adversity, overcome challenges blah blah. If you meet all these requirements you are intelligent enough to be accountable for your decisions and not just blindly take someone's word that is trying to sell you a 150,000 product.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: jack24 on July 05, 2011, 01:54:02 PM
Bigs:
I think you always make great points, but you said the lawsuit is ridiculous/ludicrous.  I think this is probably somewhere around the median as far as claims go.

There is one more interesting factor.  Law schools are more capable of seeing the future a little better than most students.  For example, consider a student who started law school in 2009.  In 2007, my lawschool had nearly 100 OCI employers, but that number was cut in half in 2008.  The law school had published the 2007 number according to normal standards.  As people were submitting applications in early 2009 based on the 2007 numbers, the law school knew full well that the economy was tanking and the numbers would look very different.

Is there fraud? Misrepresentation?  Reasonable reliance?
Maybe not... but there's still a reasonable claim/argument.

 
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on July 05, 2011, 04:21:03 PM
We are all entitled to our opinions and I respectfully disagree. I don't think any school is capable of really seeing into the future any better or worse than a student. For example I knew many people in the aerospace engineering business (missile design) that were doing quite well for themselves during the Cold War. Once that suddenly ended that whole profession took a huge dive then came back when Iraq started. How could any aerospace engineering school predict when a war will end or begin.

Same with the law for example after Gideon v. Wainwright criminal defense attorneys became much more in demand. There had been no public defender office in existence prior this decision and suddenly states had  fully staff public defender offices I am sure this was GREAT for law schools, because 1,000's if not 100,000 of jobs opened up nationwide. Some legislation could pass helping lawyers or screwing lawyers in the next year nobody can say.

We can bring this into the medical field what impact will it officially have on Doctors and nurses again nobody knows if it will even be constitutional let alone the actual effects it will have. 

I could go on and on citing things that change and that is the point of education it lasts a lifetime. Any profession there will be ups and downs etc etc and you assume the risks for good times and bad when you choose to get a degree. I am sure at some point the legal market will pick up and then decline again. I will cite to Thane's post discussing the abysmal job market in 1991. I was 7 then, but I am sure there was a rescission and it later picked up. I imagine Thane and Morten have had ups and downs in their career just like everyone else. Just like you,  me, and the plaintiff in this case will have.

So I think it is absurd to begin with and then the fact that she is asking for 50 million is absolutely ludicrous. Her actual damages at most would be $400,000 and from my understanding of some 14th amendment cases I read an award of 100x more than the actual damages woudl be unconstitutional. Cases Print PDF - West Reporter version     Print and Email     Quick Print to attached printer     Print     Email     Download     Other delivery options menu 
KeyCite Yellow Flag - Negative Treatment       
   
BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore
517 U.S. 559

State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell
538 U.S. 408

In state farm they basically said you can't have punitive damages more than 9x the amount of actual damages. They wanted to have some kind of restriction on punitive damags and the most generous actual damage award this girl could receive is 400,000. TJSL tuition is 33,900 right now. It has gone up every year so she likely paid slightly less, but just being generous she spent 100,000k in tuition over three years. The living costs are living costs and the school derived no benefit from it so I don't see how she could sue for that, but even lets give her that and it is another 75k, but I think that argument fail, but I will again just be overly generous that is a net loss of 175,000. There is an interest on this I understand, but I have already been overly generous in that award.

Then the question becomes what else would she have done over those three years. In all honestly probably struggled to find a job as an entry level college graduate just like she is doing now. However, we will again be extremely generous and say she could have made 100k annually over those 3 years. So just being astronomically generous her actual damages totaled $475,000. and she is asking for more than 100x this ridiuclously generous figure. Which just shows incompetence really I found this case law in a matter of seconds and just common sense should tell you it is not a 50 million dollar claim.

Then to further hurt her argument what is she going to do if she wins. Will she give up her membership to the bar? Or will she then continue to practice as a lawyer. I don't think that would be justified if she sues her school for then continues as a lawyer from the education she received? If she was saying I will give up my bar membership in exchange for a full refund maybe that is reasonable and I don't think that woudl be fair, but she is essentially asking for $50,000,000 dollars and I am assuming acting as on a lawyer on her own behalf based on the education she received from the school she is suing.
 
I am sure the school will make the completely legitimate argument that it was a contract with the consideration being money for education. You can't even have punitive damages for a breach of contract and certainly not an award of 100x more than the most liberal actual damages award you could be given. It is simply absurd I don't know what else to say. Maybe maybe if she was top of the class and she didn't pass the bar she could have a claim and again maybe, but she graduated and passed the bar and has the ability to be a lawyer. She could go out and get a client as a solo practitioner she has the rights of every other attorney whether they went to Harvard or Cooley if you passed the bar you can be in court. Her school gave her that option and know that things aren't going perfectly in her clearly delusional mind based on her 50 million dollar request she is taking no accountability for herself.

So what I am trying to say in my long and rambling rant I think this girl is a moron. However, that is my two cents and everybody is entitled to their opinion.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: jack24 on July 05, 2011, 04:40:21 PM
I agree the damages she's seeking are ludicrous
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: unknownOne on July 08, 2011, 01:05:14 AM
I think the reason she's suing for $50 million is because she's seeking class action status and needs the publicity generated for this purpose.

Thousands of people in law school right now are disillusioned as to what their law degree will likely do for them.  It doesn't help if law schools are being misleading with their employment numbers.  The problem is, the ABA sets the guidelines for reporting these figures.  That would probably allow law schools to hide behind these guidelines by saying, "Well, we're within the regulations for reporting set by the ABA", even though they may be exploiting it in some fashion. 

We also have far too many law school graduates these days and there doesn't appear to be any effort to curtail that.  The largest law school in the country, Cooley, just opened three satellite campuses on top of its main campus.  So, on top of its main campus being the largest in the country, it is now the equivalent of four law schools in and of itself.
Title: Re: San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million
Post by: bigs5068 on July 08, 2011, 10:02:48 AM
If she is seeking class action status then maybe the damages aren't as ludicrous as I thought. The media is good at leaving details like that out, but if that is the case I will give her a little more respect.

In regards to the law schools opening up that is true, but every profession is packed right now. I was just with a bunch of people that studied aviation very random, but they were telling me how many pilot schools there were and how screwed up the system is. Apparently you need 2,000 hours of flying, but you have to find someone to give you the 2,000 hours because the school doesn't provide the 2,000 hours and most of them said it was a really messed up system and it was UNFAIR. I might be completely misreporting this, but they were all saying how competitive and hard it was, but there are people that are pilots.

The week before I was with a bunch of teachers complaining about the layoffs budget cuts blah blah. How hard it is for new teachers to get hired. My really good friend is in nursing school and she and all her classmates say how hard it is to find jobs and how unfair the system is.

So the point is every profession is messed up and HARD. It is very very difficult to start out in any profession and Morten and Thane have posted from their own personal experience as lawyers saying it is HARD. Morten went to Yale and said he had a STACK of rejection letters. Thane went to University of Texas and was on law review again he was rejected over and over. Eventually they got their careers started, but I am sure neither of them will say it was easy.

So point of the rant and everything I have ever posted on this site and in response to retards that post on third tier reality and JD underground is law school is no different than anything else. Law school is actually much more open that most programs they at least keep statistics. I would love for undergraduate schools to even attempt to report employment statistics. Or MBA's  here is UCLA's MBA career service website not even a mention of employment stats. http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x902.xml. There is no ABA or anything that I am aware of in that profession keeping any kind of tabs on employment.

A few more examples.
http://nursing.yale.edu/ Yale nursing school doesn't even have a career services office so they are not reporting employment.

http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/services/career-fair-schedule Stanford's career service website no mention of any type of employment statistics at all.

People assume getting a degree will open up all kinds of doors right away, but newsflash it won't. There are already literally millions of lawyers, doctors, teachers, pilots, businessmen, etc competing with eachother and recent graduates have to get into that mix and it is HARD.

I will again bring up my basketball experience and when I came in as a freshman after having a decent high school career I thought I was the sh**, but I was just a freshman and the sophomores, juniors seniors had been battling it out with eachother for at least a year before I got there. On top of that there were 4 other freshman competing with me. We all had to battle it out and I never sued the school for recruiting me and not giving me a starting spot right away. Instead we all had to fight for it and I put in a ton of work and a lot of time, but so did everybody else. For me it didn't work out as well as I would have liked, but that is life things don't always go perfectly instead  you have to work and earn work everything you get. Instead of whining and b****ing about how unfair everything is. Sadly I don't think many people get this.

To sum up my likely incoherent rant a degree in any profession is the BARE MINIMUM. You have not accomplished anything in any profession by getting a degree. It is great to have and it is the first step. However, you are going to have to pay your dues and it will take a long time. I am guessing Thane and Morten will attest to the fact that when they finally did get hired after numerous rejections they were not given a sweet corner office with 1,000,000 a year salaries and suddenly assigned to riveting 1st amendment cases. Maybe I am wrong, but I am speculating they started as associates doing the work nobody else really wanted to do. It probably took them years to get their careers started, but now they are authors and probably doing at least ok for themselves. Despite that they probably still have to deal with things that are not glamorous and fun every day. I am going to further speculate there are times when Morten and Thane lawyers from top schools that have been practicing for years do things they don't like to do.

So the law like every other profession is hard, takes a lot of times, and J.D. does not guarantee you anything. When you decided to attend form of higher education you make the choice to do so and are accountable for your decisions, but people seem to avoid this reality. Instead they sit around blaming everybody else, but that usually doesn't get them very far.