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Author Topic: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!  (Read 1418 times)

financialandtaxguy

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Hi Fellow Online/Distance Law Students and Grads,

Read an excerpt from Calbar newsletter i.e. "ejournal" regarding a lawsuit brought against Thomas Jefferson School of Law (below in quotations).  For me it reiterates the fact that traditional brick & mortar law school tuition rates are ridiculously high and many students get into a lot of debt and false hopes in return.  The online/distance law school mode is revolutionizing legal education back to reasonableness  in cost, content, and teaching methods. 

"Anna Alaburda has brought the ivory tower discussion about law school transparency to the real world. More and more institutions and people -- the ABA, U.S. News & World Report, Sen. Barbara Boxer -- have spoken about the need for more detailed figures from law schools regarding the employment records of their graduates. But Alaburda, a 2008 honors graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego who passed the bar and can't find a job, has filed suit against her alma mater."

Here's the link for the full article http://calbar.org/newsletters/lawstudents/html/2011-06_alaburda.html

passaroa25

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 03:33:21 PM »
How is it possible that someone passed the bar exam, but cannot find a job?  It doesn't make sense.  However, I don't believe that she would not have enrolled in law school had she known that some law grads have a hard time finding a job as an attorney.  Many people become attorneys (instead of paralegals) because of the prestige.  I, myself, feel like an idiot for aiming for a paralegal career.  However,  I know that paralegals are more employable than attorneys, simply because they make less money while having the same set of skills.
Angie

Cher1300

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 11:53:19 PM »
It is difficult to believe, but I wonder how many other graduates in 2008 entered law school in 2005 not knowing the recession was going to happen.  She was top of her class but ended up with 150K in debt?  I don't know the details of the case, but a lot can change in three years concerning employment stats.  I'm assuming the lawyer who took on this case has more information than we do.  Otherwise, almost any 2008 graduate from a mediocre law school who couldn't find a job may have a case against their school.

Cereal_Killer

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 11:37:14 AM »
I, myself, feel like an idiot for aiming for a paralegal career.  However,  I know that paralegals are more employable than attorneys, simply because they make less money while having the same set of skills.

There's nothing wrong with the paralegal profession. With some experience and expertise in a particular area of law, you could easily make 50K or more per year. A lot of attorneys don't even make 40K. I worked as a paralegal for a number of years. When I left, I was making 80K. I'm not bragging. I just want to you know there are some paralegal jobs that pay exceptionally well---in particular, corporate and intellectual property law are two well-paid specialities.

jack24

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 12:39:04 AM »
How is it possible that someone passed the bar exam, but cannot find a job?  It doesn't make sense.  However, I don't believe that she would not have enrolled in law school had she known that some law grads have a hard time finding a job as an attorney.  Many people become attorneys (instead of paralegals) because of the prestige.  I, myself, feel like an idiot for aiming for a paralegal career.  However,  I know that paralegals are more employable than attorneys, simply because they make less money while having the same set of skills.

The same set of skills lol. 

Cereal_Killer

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 08:08:37 AM »
I wouldn't be so quick to laugh.

While the skill sets are not identical, a good paralegal will have a lot of the same skills as an attorney. For instance, a paralegal knows how to research, read, and brief cases, draft memoranda, and so forth. Also, a paralegal will know the black letter in a number of legal specialities, for example, he'll know the elements and affirmative defenses for all intentional torts, negligence, statutory torts, and strict liability. Now, of course, if you ask a PI paralegal a question about securities law you'll likely get a "deer in the headlights" look in response.

Naturally, an attorney will know more law than a paralegal, ceteris paribus, and will have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the law.  But a paralegal who has worked in one area of law for a number of years will easily holds his own with most attorneys---especially a newly-minted attorney. A ten-year paralegal at V20 firm will run circles around most new, HYS attorneys.

In addition to the skills a paralegal shares with an attorney, he will surpass an unexperienced attorney in many other categories. For example, most attorneys haven't the faintest clue how to go about ordering core medical records, e-filing pleadings, or inputing raw data into litigation software, such as Summation.

A solid paralegal is a smart attorney's best friend. I wouldn't be so quick to discount the comparison of skill sets.





fortook

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 11:03:00 AM »
It amazes me how fast and easily these threads get off track.  I was a paralegal too.  Didn't pay too well and the poop always falls downward.

But on to the topic at hand:  Tommy J being sued.  Frivolous, maybe, but addressing the proliferation of law schools and their respective attitudes to their alums is worth exploring.  There are for profit schools now.  Schools with employment stats at less the %50 and tuition rates that are skyrocketing past the prices of a decent mortgage.

Do I think online schools are the answer, well no; they are even more parasitic than the brink and mortar for profits, but bringing light to the problem may not be such a bad thing.  The air time this suit brings may benefit us all.  I'm not saying Tommy J is a bad school, btw.  I casually knew a Tommy J grad and he was fine.
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IrrX

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 12:02:57 PM »
How is it possible that someone passed the bar exam, but cannot find a job?  It doesn't make sense.  However, I don't believe that she would not have enrolled in law school had she known that some law grads have a hard time finding a job as an attorney.  Many people become attorneys (instead of paralegals) because of the prestige.  I, myself, feel like an idiot for aiming for a paralegal career.  However,  I know that paralegals are more employable than attorneys, simply because they make less money while having the same set of skills.

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jack24

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 03:42:37 PM »
I wouldn't be so quick to laugh.

While the skill sets are not identical, a good paralegal will have a lot of the same skills as an attorney. For instance, a paralegal knows how to research, read, and brief cases, draft memoranda, and so forth. Also, a paralegal will know the black letter in a number of legal specialities, for example, he'll know the elements and affirmative defenses for all intentional torts, negligence, statutory torts, and strict liability. Now, of course, if you ask a PI paralegal a question about securities law you'll likely get a "deer in the headlights" look in response.

Naturally, an attorney will know more law than a paralegal, ceteris paribus, and will have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the law.  But a paralegal who has worked in one area of law for a number of years will easily holds his own with most attorneys---especially a newly-minted attorney. A ten-year paralegal at V20 firm will run circles around most new, HYS attorneys.

In addition to the skills a paralegal shares with an attorney, he will surpass an unexperienced attorney in many other categories. For example, most attorneys haven't the faintest clue how to go about ordering core medical records, e-filing pleadings, or inputing raw data into litigation software, such as Summation.

A solid paralegal is a smart attorney's best friend. I wouldn't be so quick to discount the comparison of skill sets.

My paralegals were great at my last job.  They were absolutely fantastic and they were knowledgeable.  I'm laughing because the only reason a paralegal has the same set of skills is if they have a lot of experience, like the hypo you presented.  That's funny to me for two reasons:  1) Just more proof that law school is useless and 2) paralegals always complain that they are underpaid and lawyers are overpaid, yet most of them stick with the profession instead of going to law school.

calgal27

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law Grad sues TJSL over misleading stats!
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2011, 05:38:44 PM »
I made $50k a year as a paralegal doing eminent domain closings for the County.  This job was a cake walk.  I left to do other things.  They hired another attorney to replace me and they paid her $45k a year.  I find that quite amusing.  With my legal background and education, I can get a job anywhere... even in this recession.