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San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million

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unknownOne:

--- 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 ....]
--- End quote ---

http://www.cbs8.com/story/14831984/san-diego-law-school-grad-sues-her-alma-mater-for-50-million

Thane Messinger:

--- Quote from: unknownOne on June 26, 2011, 04:05:19 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 ....]

--- End quote ---


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

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bigs5068:
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.

Cereal_Killer:
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.

Thane Messinger:

--- Quote from: Cereal_Killer on June 28, 2011, 11:11:09 AM ---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.

--- End quote ---


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.

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