Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lawsuit Against Fourth Tier Trash Pit Thomas Jefferson School of Law Proceeds to Trial, in March

Belated Happy New Year: On January 7, 2016, the ABA Journal published a Debra Cassens Weiss piece that was headlined “Judge refuses to toss suit over law school’s employment stats; trial is set for March.” The full text follows:

“In a Dec. 28 decision, Judge Joel Pressman of San Diego allowed the students’ claims and set a March trial date, Above the Law Reports. “Never before has a law school been forced to actually stand trial for allegedly inflating its employment statistics,” the blog says. “This is historic.” 

The four plaintiffs allege the school violated California law regarding unfair business practices, false advertising and consumer protection, and committed the torts of intentional fraud, negligent misrepresentation and negligence. 

Pressman said there are triable issues of fact as to whether the four plaintiffs reasonably relied on the employment statistics in deciding whether to attend the school, and whether the statistics were inaccurately reported. 

“Plaintiffs have all stated they believed that the employment statistics in U.S. News & World Report reflected the status of graduates who either worked in a professional capacity, worked as attorneys or worked in law-related jobs,” Pressman wrote. 

“The ‘methodology’ section in U.S. News & World Report is not necessarily dispositive,” Pressman continued. “It states: ‘Employed graduates includes those reported as working or pursuing graduate degrees.’ This does not necessarily render plaintiffs’ interpretation unreasonable. A reasonable consumer would not believe employment figures included any and all employment, which would render the figure meaningless in the context of a legal education. A reasonable consumer expects the employment figure to include graduates who work in law-related jobs.” 

Lawyers for the students told Above the Law they plan to present evidence that the school reported different numbers to U.S. News & World Report and to the National Association for Law Placement. The lawyers also allege the school had a practice of reporting graduates as employed as long as they had any job at any time since graduation.” [Emphasis mine]

Don’t expect the judge or jury to rule in favor of these former students. Especially, since this is a fourth tier garbage heap. The school’s attorneys ought to be able to successfully argue that these morons should have done their due diligence, i.e. performed basic research.

Other Coverage: On January 7, 2016, Above the Law posted a Staci Zaretsky entry that was labeled Thomas Jefferson School Of Law To Stand Trial For Allegedly Inflating Employment Statistics.” Check out the portion below:

“In May 2011, Anna Alaburda, a 2008 honors graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, filed a class-action lawsuit against her alma mater, alleging that the law school had commited fruad by publishing deceptive post-graduation employment statistics and salary data in order to bait new students into enrolling. When her complaint was first filed, she claimed that despite graduating at the top of her class and passing the California bar exam, she was unable to find suitable legal employment, and had racked up more than $150,000 in student loan debt. 

Almost five years later, after acquiring three additional class plaintiffs, inspiring dozens of other class-action lawsuits against law schools, and surviving several motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, it seems that judgment day has finally come for Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Plaintiffs Anna Alaburda, Jill Ballard, Daniela Loomis, and Nikki Nguyen prevailed on all issues in the latest the law school’s latest motion for summary judgment, and the case has been set for trial in March. 

While many other law schools have been taken to court over issues similar to the ones presented in the Alaburda case, never before has a law school been forced to actually stand trial for allegedly inflating its employment statistics. This is historic. 

The operative complaint contains counts for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, and violations of various California statutes (including laws against unfair and deceptive business practices and false advertising). In considering each cause of action, Judge Joel M. Pressman found for the plaintiffs time and again, overruling each of Thomas Jefferson Law’s arguments.” [Emphasis mine]

While I do not expect much to come of this case, it is still significant. No other suit against an ABA-accredited diploma factory has made it to this stage. The law school pigs will need to produce documents during discovery. However, in the end, there is no escaping the fact that this in$TTTTiTTTTuTTTTion of “higher learning” is consistently rated in fourth tier wasteland, by USN&WR. This clearly shows that law students are not “sophisticated consumers.”

Average Law School Indebtedness: By the way, US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those unfortunate souls who comprise the TJ$L Class of 2014 who incurred debt for law school - as $172,445. Hell, 91% of this school’s 2014 cohort took on such foul debt. That is THE LARGEST FIGURE of any school that furnished data to this dead magazine!

Conclusion: TTTThoma$ Jeffer$on Sewer of Law is a FOURTH TIER TRASH HEAP that charges its students/willing rape victims ridiculous sums in annual tuition. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the amount for those enrolled full-time is $46,200. These idiots then walk away owing outrageous amounts in student loans. How is that for logic and critical thinking, bitch?! These graduates are expected to compete for legal jobs in the LEGENDARILY GLUTTED California lawyer job market. Simply put, these young men and women have essentially no shot at attaining a relatively secure middle class lifestyle – while comfortably repaying their student debt. But at least the commode was able to spend $90 million on a new building in downtown San Diego, according to this San Diego Free Press article. And that’s what really matters to the cockroaches who operate this filth pit.


  1. First comment in epic post...OMG...thank you Nando. Preach on brother.

  2. Excellent news. The trolls will come out and screech about "research" and "personal responsibility," so there will be No Sympathy for these young people as was stated.

    However, TJSL is now put in the position of saying "well, our stats were technically accurate, but no one should have reasonably relied on them." I'm looking forward to them trying to wiggle out of that vise, regardless. It's bad press for them and law schools on the

    Speaking of No Sympathy, I work in the Construction Law arena, however, and you would be surprised how many of those self-same "No Sympathy" Boomers screech like harpies when they haven't been paid on a job. Ignore the fact that their work was defective, where is my bail-out? But I digress.

  3. Hopefully, the bad press will be all it takes for TJ$L's bondholders to just take their losses and fold. I'm not a California attorney, so I won't even speculate on the outcome of this case. I am hoping, though, that this will be the final nail in this fourth tier cesspool's coffin.

    Here's to the scambloggers! Here's hoping that 2016 will be the year we see a few of the worst actors in the business finally go out of business.

  4. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 14, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Even if these plaintiffs prevail against this law school, it will not have the desired "impact" we (you) are seeking. A gut punch or a wake up call to the legal academy or the ABA. Why? Because it's "only" California, the land of fruits and nuts and Hollywood. Not real. There are dozens of unaccredited and accredited law schools in Ca. TJLS is an outlier. What is needed is a successful suit against Marshall, Valpo, NYLS, Touro, SIU, Cooley and even the U of I at Urbana Champaign. These schools represent the "middle," not some hinky dinky outlier California school.

    1. Have to disagree-as it stands now, no school has had its blatant falsehoods aired in court. If it leads to the collapse of this TTTT, so much the better. As it stands now, no accredited law school-not one-has closed. For the dominoes to fall, there has to be a first-so here's to TJ being #1 at something!

  5. The crap part about this lawsuit is that even if Plaintiffs win, TJLS is likely judgment proof. Creditors own the building. Will likely just fold up TJLS and start up TJLS part 2 in the same building that they own. We've got vampire law schools. This could be our very first zombie law school.

    1. The creditors would have the damn sense not to start up another law school. Their "investment" in Thomas Junkerson has left them with scars to show their grandchildren.

  6. The Judge may not rule in their favor, but the jury might.

    I remember sitting through a medical malpractice trial where the doctor (a hear surgeon) clearly did NOT do anything wrong. All the credible witnesses vouched for his professionalism, and kept on repeating statistics of adverse post-surgical complications. In other words, the difficulties the plaintiff experienced post-surgery were nothing unusual given his medical condition.

    Regardless, the plaintiff's lawyer managed to divulge the size and cost of the doctor's summer home, and the jury found him to have committed malpractice --- when he clearly did NOT!!

    I do not want to come across as some racist that is stereotyping people, but it should be noted that the trial took place in a rather urban, crime-filled area, thus the jury was selected from residents of said county. In other words, the jury was comprised of people who have historically been shafted by the elites of society.

    In this world of "haves" and "have nots," it's not unreasonable to expect a jury finding in favor of the former students. There are a lot of angry people out there.

    Of course, the judge may subsequently nullify that verdict, but that's another story ....

  7. someone elaborate on the reasonable reliance

  8. If the AAMPLE grads can go out and make a decent living, then we should not feel sorry anymore for the new law grads that fall for shady graduation stats that law schools were putting out.

    What's next? We can sue universities for having flawed employment data for basic certificate programs, associate, and bachelor's degrees. This case as no merit.
    Since the beginning of time, higher education has always been a gamble.
    (Think calculated risk).

    Market conditions have changed, but the fundamentals are still the same. You must watch and observe your environment. Trust me, there is still a living in law, you just have to adapt, and adjust expectations.

    The new law grads who give up and complain are the one's who do not understand how to hustle hard.

    The game is to be sold.....Not to be told....

    1. Oh look it's the AAMPLE fool. Providing a path to a J.D. for people too stupid to get in through Cooley's regular admissions process. Combine their borderline illiteracy with hundreds of thousands of debt and you have a DYNAMO formula for a self-run business in a glutted market.

    2. How are the fundamentals the same? Most of the old staples of solo attorneys can now be done by yourself without much difficulty and clients game the glutted market to drive prices down into nothingness, which they still refuse to pay.

      At this point, solo attorney is a notch above scrivener in terms of career plans. Watching and observing will tell anyone who's not an idiot to stay the hell away from law.

    3. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 14, 2016 at 4:28 PM

      Damages. Too speculative. Why didn't the plaintiffs seek employment from the San Diego County Public Defender or District Attorney? Both chief attorneys graduated from this school. One more thing, I went to a real law school and I haven't been a blazing success...

    4. He is a fool-but now he's a rhymin' fool-Dougie Fresh is no doubt jealous...

    5. If universities want to be treated as car dealerships, where they owe zero duty to the customer, and their sole objective is to milk the customer, then the concept of federal student loan guarantees needs to go away. Schools should be treated as businesses and they shouldn't be receiving tax dollars on this scale or in this way.

      The fact that a few AAMPLE graduates succeed is meaningless. There are a few successful everything. The question is will a law degree more likely than not improve the life of a person who isn't rich, and the answer is a resounding no. Even if what you say is true, if a person truly has enough "hustle" and salesmanship ability, then he or she will make a much better living in sales and marketing. Moreover, if they really have a penchant for a zero sum game with high rewards, then they should try one of the many available MLM schemes out there. In fact, I would bet good money that if I replaced "AAMPLE" and " law school" with "Amway" or some other MLM, I would find the substance of your speech in most MLM conventions in America; ofcourse, Amway and the otter MLM schemes aren't receiving federal tax dollars the way law schools do.

      With respect to adjusting expectations, I agree, but not financial ones. People need to adjust their expectations regarding prestige. If they want a good living, and they don't come from a wealthy family, then they need a job with political protection. Those jobs are available in the big cities. They aren't prestigious, they aren't sexy, and they have their own set of difficulties, but I'll take a six figure salary, six figure pension, and job security over most options today, and certainly ill take that over practicing law.

    6. Dear AAMPLE Shill,

      Do you have any data to support up your claim that "AAMPLE grads can go out and make a decent living?" What is the probability of that happening? How’d Infilaw work out for Mark Tetzlaff? Your claim is similar to the lottery’s “you’ve got to play to win” line.

      Let me answer the question for you, AAMPLE Shill: No, you don’t have any data, you fucking moron. AAMPLE Shill, why don’t you just go away?

      As for the jobs: the best estimate that we can find for median income for Infilaw graduates who had either a JD-required or JD-advantage job is under $43K. This is difficult to find because of Infilaw’s clear pattern of withholding its graduates’ financial outcomes.

      AAMPLE Shill, do you stand by the claim that “AAMPLE grads can go out and make a decent living?”

      With respect to cost: the majority of the class took on full tuition and living expenses. (TJL$’ 509 states that 57% received grants, but 11% of 1Ls were military and presumably receiving the post-9/11 GI Bill, which is actually deferred compensation but labeled a “grant” for income tax purposes. Thus, 46% received grants from the school, and 54% paid full freight.) Full freight is $72K per year for TJL$ , including cost of living, which totals roughly $220K over 3 years when considering that tuition rises approximately 3% annually. Tack on 6% for loan interest and you have a recipe for ETERNAL INDEBTEDNESS.

      AAMPLE Shill, do you still stand by the claim that “AAMPLE grads can go out and make a decent living?”

      So, AAMPLE Shill, do you have any numbers to support your claim? Like ANY at all? Why should anyone believe you if you’re too lazy to support a single assertion? Admittedly, analysis of Infilaw’s outcomes is imperfect. But this is because Infilaw purposefully obfuscates their students’ outcomes. In all likelihood, the employment will be lower and the debt will be higher for anyone now considering an AAMPLE shithole.

      P.S. for you vets at home: The unpleasant truth is that schools don’t give a single nanofuck about your veteran status unless they can claim that more students are receiving “grants.” Nor do employers place weight on veteran status (beyond what they would for sharing a hobby, obscure hometown, or undergrad). If you think your protected status as a veteran will help you in the legal field, retake your LSAT until you can go somewhere that doesn’t use AAMPLE.

    7. EVerything embraced my Mr. AAMPLE is fatally flawed, starting with
      "If the AAMPLE grads can go out and make a decent living..."
      Each post of his contains this, and he never supplies any evidence, ever, to support it. Who says they are making a living? The best guess is they aren't-they're just mired in a quagmire of debt.
      What Mr. AAMPLE posits is at best economic Darwinism-and if the system were clean, there might be some merit to that. But the TTT system isn't clean; the TTTs run no risk because the taxpayers are funding them and the students don't bear any initial risk because the taxpayers are funding them(they are ruining the rest of their lives, but that's another issue). The students are gambling with someone else's(the taxpayers') money, and the TTTs are gladly collecting it-and to keep it coming, they embellish and exaggerate and yes, even lie, to keep the $$$ flowing. It's about as perverse a system as there could be; there's no equivalent of competition or economic survival of the fittest-all survive because they're ripping off the taxpayers.
      Mr. AAMPLE's ramblings are both uninformed and inane.

    8. No, that's not true. As a rule, "higher education has NOT always been a gamble. The average liberal arts college grad of the 1950's and 1960's, maybe into the mid '70's, was pretty much assured of at least placement into what once was the giant middle class of this country. SInce around 1980, that has all changed. Nevertheless, completely wrong to assert higher ed was ALWAYS a gamble. It was not.

      The only thing I CAN say is that it's true that, thanks to the scamblogs like this hallowed one, the kids now KNOW OR SHOULD KNOW going in that, for many if not most of them, lol school now truly is the greatest of gambles!

    9. "With respect to adjusting expectations, I agree, but not financial ones. People need to adjust their expectations regarding prestige. If they want a good living, and they don't come from a wealthy family, then they need a job with political protection. Those jobs are available in the big cities. They aren't prestigious, they aren't sexy, and they have their own set of difficulties, but I'll take a six figure salary, six figure pension, and job security over most options today, and certainly ill take that over practicing law."

      2:10 AM is entirely correct.

      Also 10:29 and 12:21

      The students are gambling with taxpayer money. The schools hold up those few who are successful while the rest are doomed to financial servitude because they are ultimately responsible for the bill - barring any loan forgiveness miracles. And PSLF is being lobbied at as we speak..

      The system isn't clean. It's all about the money:

      Finally, the truth about ALL education. This is why I've been calling it the Education Scam for years now. If it's this blatant and early, does anyone believe college today - where 50% of grads are back living with their parents - is any different? The degree has been entirely de-valued coupled with systemic changes including offshoring of both blue and white-collar jobs at an ever-increasing pace.

      So, college will crush you for $100 grand and then you'll get socked with another $150k or thereabouts for around $300k of debt (living expenses, etc.) when you're done.

      And - you haven't even left the starting gate for the job market! These greedy Boomers and Hackademics have willingly, knowingly, and gladly ruined your financial future before you ever started.

      THAT is America today. Land of Scams.

      It's one scam after another, one after the next.

      Lastly, the kids shouldn't be held responsible. They are brainwashed at each step through the System because keeping them in = PROFIT.

      Learn a trade, quit after high school. Avoid the Scam! The Guilded Age veneer has worn completely off and we see the job market for what it is: The PPC take ALL because in this economy, there is no Surplus for the "average" grad.

      You are, quite simply, signing on to a 95-5% losing, rigged game with Higher Ed.

  9. What's this? A shit law school relying on stupid students to fill enrollment may have puffed up employment stats so they could get more dummies enrolled? That's been going on for decades.

    In fact the skool should make that argument in court. It's an industry standard to inflate employment numbers.

  10. Personally I think the government should face criminal penalties, from Arnie Duncan to Nancy Pelosi all the way down. Someone has to explain why these loans were approved, and why in many cases there is a clear conflict of interest.

    I would throw most of these people in jail for life, with the low level flunkies that were involved in the scheme taking shorter jail sentences.

    But I know this is a pipe dream. Wall St. didn't even get a slap on the wrist for their criminal activity, so why would academics and bankers involved in this bullshit get punished either?

    Maybe they'll trot out some minority dean like they trot out random minority hedge fund managers every several years and throw them in jail. But that's about the extent of punishment we'll see, and even that is just so doubtful. The only minority dean I can even think of is Dougie Fresh Pondscum. And he's gotten in pretty late on the game.

    1. What makes Dougie Fresh Pond Scum a minority? Certainly not race: he's as white as the drifting snow.

    2. I assumed he was black because of his obsession with "hip hop, race theory and the law."

      I guess that was a bad assumption on my part. Turns out he's just another one of the limousine white liberals busy taking advantage of minorities.

      So I guess he won't be the fall guy.

      Is there even one minority out there to throw under the bus?

    3. Well, Alexander of Indiana Tech would have been a good one to throw under the bus, but he suddenly "resigned" two years ago.

    4. Don't forget Athornia Steele from Nova with his ridiculous comparison between the scambloggers and the wicked witch of the West; he's minority.

      Although, of course, I'd like to see ALL these scamdeans get properly punished for their role in this mess, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever.

  11. None of the attorneys in the firm defending TJSL, is a grad of TJSL. Why am I not surprised?

    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 15, 2016 at 3:12 PM

      Because they desire the assistance of Independent, Impartial counsel. HA HA HA HA HA HA, HOOT, SNORT, SNORT, LOL

  12. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 15, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    Warning Warning Danger Danger. The Prawfs and deans are posting on the Tax Prof law blog, Paul Carron that the average salary for attorneys is 130K. They are citing to the BLS, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those statistics do no include Solo income. Solo account for 50% of the profession. IRS data, used by Paul Campos suggest an average solo makes around 40K, if that.

    1. Well, that number is close to the BLS number-but of course is inflated a bit. If you want real heartburn, take a look at the ABA's stats on salaries, and they damn well know better.
      Nope, it's been attributed to many(I'll give it to Mark Twain):

      There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.

      This is why accurate, per school information is so important-it makes it much harder to corrupt the numbers(although the schools try mightily.

    2. I had a look at TaxProf and found a link to this interesting article from ATL from about a week ago, which coincidentally also references TJSL:

      This women is stupid. Theres no kind way to put it. She must have seen articles warning people not to go to lawschool, but because they conflicted with her special snowflake lawskool dream, her brain simply shut them out.

      She decided to go to TJSL because of data and because TJSL has a pretty campus. There is no saving someone like her sadly. In a sane world nobody would give her money for law school in the first place.

    3. She is too dumb to attend law school. She never should have been admitted.

  13. The horror...THE HORROR! TJSL is still in operation.

    The picture above is pretty bad too.


    Back on January 24, 2011, the NaTTTional Juri$TTT featured a staff article labeled “Thomas Jefferson classes begin in new, historic building.” Here is the full text below:

    “Thomas Jefferson School of Law began classes in their new downtown San Diego building on Jan. 18. The $90 million building sits on top of centuries-old history, as workers found the remains of a mammoth, estimated at 300,000-years-old, during construction.

    After the discovery, the San Diego Natural History museum excavated the fossils, but the school decided to keep a few pieces, incorporating some ancient shells into the terrazzo floors.

    The new facility brings more than just an interesting story to students. With 305,000 square foot the building offers three times more space than the old campus, which was previously separated into three buildings. Students will be brought further together by a new cloud computing network, where data and programs are more easily shared by users.

    “This is a building that supports the kind of academic program we've tried to foster at school — one that encompasses interaction between students and faculty, and between fellow students,” Dean Rudy Hasl said.

    The space includes 12 classrooms, two learning centers, two recording studios and a 40,000 square foot library. Hasl hopes that these latest changes will allow the school to expand from its current total of 990 students.”

    The bitches and hags figured that this HUGE expenditure would be a wise investment. The pigs thought that this would attract even more students. Imagine if the cockroaches had used some of those funds for student scholarships. At least in that case, those victims would not be graduating with $170K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt. Then again, the law school swine do not give one damn about these young men and women.

    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 16, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      Why such big coin for bricks and mortar? Is there something funky going on with the contracts? Many new court houses didn't cost this much to construct. Follow the money. Something is hinky here.

  15. Thomas Jefferson Skool o' Law is the Touro of the West!



    On December 18, 2015, Courthouse News posted a Bianca Bruno article that was entitled “Law School Strikes at Fudged Figure Claims.” Check out this opening:

    “A years-old case involving a former Thomas Jefferson School of Law student and the school that taught her how to sue moved forward Thursday, with the school claiming it didn't misreport graduates' employment figures.

    Former Thomas Jefferson School of Law student Anna Alaburda first took the school to court in 2011, claiming the school misreported employment data of graduates - a number she says was much lower. Alaburda says that had the employment figures been properly reported, she wouldn't have gone to the school.

    The American Bar Association requires accredited schools to report employment data on graduates, and the figures were published by U.S. News & World Report.

    Alaburda's lawsuit, filed in San Diego Superior Court, paved the way for other similar cases across the country where law students who couldn't find a job sued their alma maters claiming the schools glossed over the dismal employment prospects for new lawyers.

    Although she graduated with honors, Alaburda says she couldn't find a job after graduation and was tipped off to the school's "fraudulent practices" by a New York Times article which reported 95 percent of Thomas Jefferson's graduates are burdened with the highest student debt rate in the nation.

    In 2013, San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman refused to certify Alaburda's suit as a class action. Other plaintiffs include Jill Ballard, Daniela Loomis and Nikki Nguyen.

    On Thursday, Pressman heard arguments to consider a summary judgment motion filed by the law school in September.

    The law school argued they did not misrepresent the data reported to U.S. News & World Report, which used employment figures from 2003. Instead, the school said the graduates bore the burden of properly reading the employment figures - which also included part-time and non-law jobs held by graduates of the school.

    Alaburda and the other students offered a lengthy counter-argument, saying one of the school's former employees was directed by a superior to fudge employment data that had been self-reported by graduates. The employee reported unemployed graduates as employed and said her superior "implied it was her job to get the numbers higher," according to the students.

    Their attorney Brian Procel said "a school that misrepresents the employment data compromises the value of the degree."

    As if you could devalue a FOURTH TIER law degree any further. Hell, a two week supply of toilet paper is worth more than a JD from TTTThoma$ Jeffer$on Sewer of Law. I do not condone the pigs’ actions at all. However, these students also need to do some basic research into this major financial decision.

  17. "Basic research" is futile because all law schools self-report their employment outcomes. These numbers are so important to pre-law decision-making that they should be independently audited!
    That said, any law school's disparagement of its own self-reported numbers, is disingenuous at best.

  18. Hey Nando,

    Do you have an email that you can share? I really need to get a hold of you. It's regarding the suit against TJSL (sadly I was a former student). Need your help. Thanks.


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