Author Topic: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit  (Read 9418 times)


Sofa King

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MgoSam

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 08:33:10 AM »
This is what gets me, it's clear that she should lose her case, but it isn't like her case is completely without merit. This is how the school has responded.

"Meanwhile, TJSL Dean Thomas Guernsey said the jury affirmed that the school didn't falsify its postgraduation employment statistics.

"Today's decision by the jury further validates our unwavering commitment to providing our students with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to excel as law students, pass the bar exam and succeed in their professional careers," the dean said in a prepared statement."

And this is from a "law school" dean. He does, or should, know that's not what the jury is saying. That's like people saying that they are declared 'innocent' when the jury comes back with "NOT GUILTY."

Making Cookies

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 08:37:38 AM »
Standard issue doublespeak. ;)

Jack

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 09:12:16 AM »
The fact that she lost her case implies that she's a bad lawyer, which in turn implies that the law school trained her poorly, which in turn implies that she should have won. But if she had won, that would have implied that she was a good lawyer and therefore should have lost.

Don't you just love paradoxes?

I think this case might have been a good opportunity to execute the Chewbacca Defense.

bobechs

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 10:16:21 AM »
The fact that she lost her case implies that she's a bad lawyer, which in turn implies that the law school trained her poorly, which in turn implies that she should have won. But if she had won, that would have implied that she was a good lawyer and therefore should have lost.

Don't you just love paradoxes?

I think this case might have been a good opportunity to execute the Chewbacca Defense.

And your super-spidey senses tell you she represented herself....how?

Kashmani

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 10:29:15 AM »
While the case was likely decided correctly, in my view this person does not deserve to be called out on the wall of "shame and comedy."

I am a practicing lawyer who is financially successful, but I have seen first-hand how a lot of people who graduated in the past five years struggle. It would be easy to dismiss those struggles by saying they should have done their due diligence and seen that there was a lawyer glut, but I have yet to meet anyone who is not a lawyer advise someone not to go to law school. Parents will encourage their kids to go to law school. Aunts and uncles will encourage their kids to go to law school. The reality is that there are not a lot of people who will tell a 22-year old that this might be an imprudent idea.

The case highlights that for many people, law school is something they do if they do not know what else to do with their lives, and they do not have the skills to become an entrepreneur. Law school cannot promise "employment" any more than medical school can promise "employment". It entitles you to hang your shingle and practice, which requires a lot of hustle. And law school teaches none of the practical business skills required to do this. It is clear that this person did not think that she might be able to make a living taking legal aid certificates, closing house deals, or taking anything that comes through the door. And lawyers are some of the most risk-averse people - law school does not tend to attract the budding entrepreneurs. And graduating from law school only to be the overeducated equivalent of a motor rickshaw driver hustling for clients among crazy competition is always a shock to the system.

To me, the bigger question is how we train someone who has no life experience to critically evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of entering the profession. Most 22-year olds have no idea what the working world is like. They also have no idea what legal practice is like. And law schools are being used as the golden geese of universities - attracting obscene tuition for minimal overhead and subsidizing other programs. They certainly have no incentive to tell the truth.

To redeem this thread, could we consider the discussion of how we can get prospective law school entrants to conduct an appropriate cost-benefit analysis before they f*** themselves over?

Jack

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 10:35:13 AM »
The fact that she lost her case implies that she's a bad lawyer, which in turn implies that the law school trained her poorly, which in turn implies that she should have won. But if she had won, that would have implied that she was a good lawyer and therefore should have lost.

Don't you just love paradoxes?

I think this case might have been a good opportunity to execute the Chewbacca Defense.

And your super-spidey senses tell you she represented herself....how?

You don't need super-spidey senses to tell a joke (but apparently you do need them to recognize one)!

bobechs

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2016, 10:53:55 AM »
Ah, but do your non-spidey-senses extend to recognizing a joke about a joke?

chesebert

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2016, 11:13:39 AM »
While the case was likely decided correctly, in my view this person does not deserve to be called out on the wall of "shame and comedy."

I am a practicing lawyer who is financially successful, but I have seen first-hand how a lot of people who graduated in the past five years struggle. It would be easy to dismiss those struggles by saying they should have done their due diligence and seen that there was a lawyer glut, but I have yet to meet anyone who is not a lawyer advise someone not to go to law school. Parents will encourage their kids to go to law school. Aunts and uncles will encourage their kids to go to law school. The reality is that there are not a lot of people who will tell a 22-year old that this might be an imprudent idea.

The case highlights that for many people, law school is something they do if they do not know what else to do with their lives, and they do not have the skills to become an entrepreneur. Law school cannot promise "employment" any more than medical school can promise "employment". It entitles you to hang your shingle and practice, which requires a lot of hustle. And law school teaches none of the practical business skills required to do this. It is clear that this person did not think that she might be able to make a living taking legal aid certificates, closing house deals, or taking anything that comes through the door. And lawyers are some of the most risk-averse people - law school does not tend to attract the budding entrepreneurs. And graduating from law school only to be the overeducated equivalent of a motor rickshaw driver hustling for clients among crazy competition is always a shock to the system.

To me, the bigger question is how we train someone who has no life experience to critically evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of entering the profession. Most 22-year olds have no idea what the working world is like. They also have no idea what legal practice is like. And law schools are being used as the golden geese of universities - attracting obscene tuition for minimal overhead and subsidizing other programs. They certainly have no incentive to tell the truth.

To redeem this thread, could we consider the discussion of how we can get prospective law school entrants to conduct an appropriate cost-benefit analysis before they f*** themselves over?
I could be wrong but I believe medical students who pass the board are guaranteed (for all practical purposes) a job post graduation.

meghan88

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2016, 04:57:11 PM »
One fact that is pertinent is that she was 37 years old when she graduated.

Sad but true:  a lot of law firms do not like to hire older graduates.  They like 'em young and impressionable so that they can work 'em 80 hours per week.  Older grads don't quite fit the mold.

I narrowly missed being in the same boat - law school grad at 38, graduated in the top 25% of my class and couldn't get an interview at a firm to save my life.  Luckily, I had a basic understanding of technology because I'd worked in tech jobs before law school.  This helped me when I applied for in-house jobs.  Not as lucrative as private practice but there are other benefits such as more of a semblance of work-life balance, and I can wear jeans to work.

So unless she had something special in terms of background - e.g., experience in a particular industry, or strong language skills (Mandarin, Russian preferably), or some other quality that would set her apart, she was not very likely to succeed.  Not at a law firm, anyway.

I agree with Kashmani that anyone considering law school should do their due diligence first.

Abe

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2016, 08:34:40 PM »
I could be wrong but I believe medical students who pass the board are guaranteed (for all practical purposes) a job post graduation.

After post-graduate training (residency), yes you pretty much will get a job. Where in the country that is, your salary, and what type of practice varies widely based on your qualifications and the specialty training. Few doctors go into individual practices, they almost always join large groups or hospitals. Salaries can vary by 50% for some specialties depending on the local demand. Overall the job market is much better for doctors than lawyers right now.

LeRainDrop

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2016, 08:53:59 PM »
The fact that she lost her case implies that she's a bad lawyer, which in turn implies that the law school trained her poorly, which in turn implies that she should have won. But if she had won, that would have implied that she was a good lawyer and therefore should have lost.

Don't you just love paradoxes?

I think this case might have been a good opportunity to execute the Chewbacca Defense.

And your super-spidey senses tell you she represented herself....how?

You don't need super-spidey senses to tell a joke (but apparently you do need them to recognize one)!

LOL, I appreciated your analysis, Jack!

shelivesthedream

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2016, 12:53:36 PM »
One fact that is pertinent is that she was 37 years old when she graduated.

Sad but true:  a lot of law firms do not like to hire older graduates.  They like 'em young and impressionable so that they can work 'em 80 hours per week.  Older grads don't quite fit the mold.

I narrowly missed being in the same boat - law school grad at 38, graduated in the top 25% of my class and couldn't get an interview at a firm to save my life.  Luckily, I had a basic understanding of technology because I'd worked in tech jobs before law school.  This helped me when I applied for in-house jobs.  Not as lucrative as private practice but there are other benefits such as more of a semblance of work-life balance, and I can wear jeans to work.

So unless she had something special in terms of background - e.g., experience in a particular industry, or strong language skills (Mandarin, Russian preferably), or some other quality that would set her apart, she was not very likely to succeed.  Not at a law firm, anyway.

I agree with Kashmani that anyone considering law school should do their due diligence first.

She is 37 now but graduated "nearly a decade ago".

The worst thing about this case is that she was offered one law job but turned it down because it wasn't as good as non-law jobs at the time. Even if the school "promised" her a law job, it didn't "promise" her a well-paying or well-regarded or interesting or local or anything else law job. Or even multiple law job offers.

dsmexpat

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2016, 05:20:50 PM »
I'll believe that it was false advertising and if I bought anything for $150k that wasn't what it claimed to be I'd be pissed. If they say "X%" of our law degree graduates are employed there is a presumption that they're employed in something using the degree and that the degree has helped. Yes, technically a part time waitress position counts as employed, hell, so would babysitting etc. But companies who mislead should get called out on it.

meghan88

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2016, 05:42:19 PM »
One fact that is pertinent is that she was 37 years old when she graduated.

Sad but true:  a lot of law firms do not like to hire older graduates.  They like 'em young and impressionable so that they can work 'em 80 hours per week.  Older grads don't quite fit the mold.

I narrowly missed being in the same boat - law school grad at 38, graduated in the top 25% of my class and couldn't get an interview at a firm to save my life.  Luckily, I had a basic understanding of technology because I'd worked in tech jobs before law school.  This helped me when I applied for in-house jobs.  Not as lucrative as private practice but there are other benefits such as more of a semblance of work-life balance, and I can wear jeans to work.

So unless she had something special in terms of background - e.g., experience in a particular industry, or strong language skills (Mandarin, Russian preferably), or some other quality that would set her apart, she was not very likely to succeed.  Not at a law firm, anyway.

I agree with Kashmani that anyone considering law school should do their due diligence first.

She is 37 now but graduated "nearly a decade ago".

The worst thing about this case is that she was offered one law job but turned it down because it wasn't as good as non-law jobs at the time. Even if the school "promised" her a law job, it didn't "promise" her a well-paying or well-regarded or interesting or local or anything else law job. Or even multiple law job offers.

True that - bad on her for turning that down.  27+ is still older than the norm, albeit slightly, for law grads.  And I don't care what the profession is, or how much you paid to get the piece of paper:  Life doesn't owe you anything, and sometimes it's a bitch.

LeRainDrop

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2016, 06:01:29 PM »
One fact that is pertinent is that she was 37 years old when she graduated.

Sad but true:  a lot of law firms do not like to hire older graduates.  They like 'em young and impressionable so that they can work 'em 80 hours per week.  Older grads don't quite fit the mold.

I narrowly missed being in the same boat - law school grad at 38, graduated in the top 25% of my class and couldn't get an interview at a firm to save my life.  Luckily, I had a basic understanding of technology because I'd worked in tech jobs before law school.  This helped me when I applied for in-house jobs.  Not as lucrative as private practice but there are other benefits such as more of a semblance of work-life balance, and I can wear jeans to work.

So unless she had something special in terms of background - e.g., experience in a particular industry, or strong language skills (Mandarin, Russian preferably), or some other quality that would set her apart, she was not very likely to succeed.  Not at a law firm, anyway.

I agree with Kashmani that anyone considering law school should do their due diligence first.

She is 37 now but graduated "nearly a decade ago".

The worst thing about this case is that she was offered one law job but turned it down because it wasn't as good as non-law jobs at the time. Even if the school "promised" her a law job, it didn't "promise" her a well-paying or well-regarded or interesting or local or anything else law job. Or even multiple law job offers.

True that - bad on her for turning that down.  27+ is still older than the norm, albeit slightly, for law grads.  And I don't care what the profession is, or how much you paid to get the piece of paper:  Life doesn't owe you anything, and sometimes it's a bitch.

Yup, she graduated in 2008, which was the start of the WORST times to be graduating from law school.  That was the year firms started delaying new-hire start dates and no-offering summer associates.  When she started law school, things were pretty rosy, but she graduated into a terrible law market.

MgoSam

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2016, 10:24:12 PM »
I wonder how realistic people are about their post-graduation law prospects.

I know that I was interested in law school, but then I look deeper into the field and realized just how few of them seem happy. Working for a big-firm just seemed like hell, and I didn't want to go through that. Also, if you want to be a make partner, the work can continue to be hard as it becomes a race to bill more hours to stand out and move up the ladder. And as someone that is scared of heights, I don't have any desire to climb a tall ladder.

Mac_MacGyver

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2016, 02:26:11 PM »
Perhaps her lack of opportunities fell on her resume or ability to interview and not on the law school. All we know is that she was offered 1 law related job out of 150 applications but it did not measure up to her expectations so did not accept the job. Perhaps take the law related job as it establishes a presence in the community and you can move about from a position within the field as opposed to being on the outside looking in.

Tabaxus

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2016, 06:33:15 PM »
Person was a moron to turn down the law-related job.  Awarded no points, may [insert deity] have mercy on her soul (or not). 

I feel bad for people who started law school before the 2008 flameout and graduated into that market, because the world really did change on a lot of people in a way where people who were already enrolled were screwed. I was almost one of those people--started in 2008 and came very close to being no-offered for summer jobs because my summer year was the worst year of the entire cycle (people can debate about whether C/O 2010 or C/O 2011 got hit the hardest--I'm inclined to say C/O 2010 had it worse than C/O 2011 did, because people had offers rescinded or first year layoffs, which is a career death penalty).

But this law school?  Not one of those.  This place has always been very difficult to get a job out of, and anyone with any ability to do any research could have figured that out.  The fact that this person actually turned down a legal job out of this place?  Astounding. 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 06:35:21 PM by Tabaxus »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2016, 11:21:11 PM »
One fact that is pertinent is that she was 37 years old when she graduated.

Sad but true:  a lot of law firms do not like to hire older graduates.  They like 'em young and impressionable so that they can work 'em 80 hours per week.  Older grads don't quite fit the mold.

I narrowly missed being in the same boat - law school grad at 38, graduated in the top 25% of my class and couldn't get an interview at a firm to save my life.  Luckily, I had a basic understanding of technology because I'd worked in tech jobs before law school.  This helped me when I applied for in-house jobs.  Not as lucrative as private practice but there are other benefits such as more of a semblance of work-life balance, and I can wear jeans to work.

So unless she had something special in terms of background - e.g., experience in a particular industry, or strong language skills (Mandarin, Russian preferably), or some other quality that would set her apart, she was not very likely to succeed.  Not at a law firm, anyway.

I agree with Kashmani that anyone considering law school should do their due diligence first.

She is 37 now but graduated "nearly a decade ago".

The worst thing about this case is that she was offered one law job but turned it down because it wasn't as good as non-law jobs at the time. Even if the school "promised" her a law job, it didn't "promise" her a well-paying or well-regarded or interesting or local or anything else law job. Or even multiple law job offers.

True that - bad on her for turning that down.  27+ is still older than the norm, albeit slightly, for law grads.  And I don't care what the profession is, or how much you paid to get the piece of paper:  Life doesn't owe you anything, and sometimes it's a bitch.

Yup, she graduated in 2008, which was the start of the WORST times to be graduating from law school.  That was the year firms started delaying new-hire start dates and no-offering summer associates.  When she started law school, things were pretty rosy, but she graduated into a terrible law market.

A terrible law market which she proceeded to handle very poorly. If she got an actual offer out of 150 applications she was ahead of most.

I graduated with a tech degree in 1998, just as the dot-com bubble was bursting. At that time, I had ten years of work experience, part-time while I was in school, and two years of work experience as a faculty advisor. I still had to put out 200 applications of different kinds for every serious offer I received. Had I not flipped more than my share of burgers, started work at age 13, stashed half my cash, and kept my expenses low by living with compliant parents, I'd have been a very unhappy camper until I finally did land a "real" job in my field. I didn't have to take the first one that came along, either.

ormaybemidgets

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2016, 10:31:14 AM »
The article isn't clear about what kind of job she was offered:

Quote
The school defended itself by arguing that Alaburda had at one point turned down work...
Quote
She has sent her résumé to more than 150 law firms and received only one job offer, which “was less favorable than non-law related jobs that were available to her,” the suit says.

Her job offer could have been anything, a secretary, a paralegal. It could have paid less and had worse hours than a non-law job. There are a lot of "law jobs" out there that do more harm than good, career-wise.

On the other hand, TJLS is INFAMOUS, although I'm not sure if it was so well-known in 2005. 

MgoSam

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2016, 12:50:16 PM »
Had I not flipped more than my share of burgers, started work at age 13, stashed half my cash, and kept my expenses low by living with compliant parents, I'd have been a very unhappy camper until I finally did land a "real" job in my field. I didn't have to take the first one that came along, either.

And I'm guessing that you enjoy your job all the more having had to earn it.

Reminds me of this line in a song, "It took awhile to get me in And I'm gonna take my time"

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: That lawyer who sued her law school loses suit
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2016, 02:37:06 PM »
Had I not flipped more than my share of burgers, started work at age 13, stashed half my cash, and kept my expenses low by living with compliant parents, I'd have been a very unhappy camper until I finally did land a "real" job in my field. I didn't have to take the first one that came along, either.

And I'm guessing that you enjoy your job all the more having had to earn it.

Reminds me of this line in a song, "It took awhile to get me in And I'm gonna take my time"

I'm still at the same company nearly 18 years later. Good fit is an amazing thing, and because I wasn't under immediate pressure to get a job "now-now-now", I was able to screen out companies that were unstable, badly managed, bait-and-switching, or otherwise not my idea of a safe place to trust my immediate future. Having worked for companies that *were* unstable, etc., made me very aware of what was or wasn't good management.