Thomas Jefferson School of Law

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Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Established 1969
School type Private, Non-profit
Dean Thomas Guernsey[1]
Location San Diego, CA, US
Enrollment 650 Full-time; 240 Part-time (approx.)[2]
Faculty 103 Full-time and adjunct[3]
USNWR ranking Rank not published[3]
Bar pass rate 54.7% (ABA profile)
Website Thomas Jefferson School of Law
ABA profile Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL), is an independent law school in San Diego, California. It offers a Juris Doctor and three Master of Laws programs, including one that is exclusively online,[4] as well as a combined J.D./M.B.A. with San Diego State University. Its law program is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

History[edit]

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law was originally founded in 1969 as the San Diego campus of the Western State University College of Law and operated as such until 1995. It became independent in 1995 and received approval from the ABA in 1996.[5] It joined the Association of American Law Schools in 2008.[6]

In January 2011, TJSL opened a new campus located in the East Village district of downtown San Diego. The campus is an eight-story 305,000-square-foot (28,300 m2) building complies with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Gold Certification requirements and has classrooms, a two-story law library (containing 1,250,598 volumes), offices, collaborative work areas, and a legal clinic.[7][8][9][10][11] A variety of fossils found during construction, including mammoth and whale bones, were donated to the San Diego Natural History Museum.[11][12]

Academics[edit]

The program offers Master of Laws (LL.M.), JSM and JSD "Doctor of Laws or Juridical Science" degrees. Certificate Programs in International Financial Centers, United States Taxation, E-commerce, Anti-Money Laundering & Compliance, and Trusts and Estate Planning are available.[13] Faculty for the program are generally part-time and populated with industry professionals from around the globe.[14]

Bar pass rates[edit]

The American Bar Association/Law School Admission Council lists a first time bar pass rate at 54.7%.[2]

TJSL has announced its students had a 60% a first time bar pass rate for the February 2012 California bar exam.[15]

The July 2012 first time taker pass rate for TJSL was 52% for the California bar exam.[16]

The school reported out of state bar passage as of February 2012 as:[17]

  • Arizona (18/26 = 69.2%)
  • Colorado (7/9 = 77.8%)
  • Florida (9/11 = 81.8%)
  • Illinois (19/22 = 86.4%)
  • Nevada (14/19 = 73.7%)
  • New York (12/17 = 70.6%)
  • Ohio (7/9 = 77.8%)
  • Texas (10/13 = 76.9%)
  • Washington (13/17 = 76.5%)

Rankings[edit]

The ranking of the School of Law by U.S. News & World Report is not published, as U.S. News does not publish the ranking of schools that fall below 145.[18] The School of Law is not ranked in National Jurist's rankings of the top 80 law schools in the United States.[19] According to the law professor blog The Faculty Lounge, 28.8% of the Class of 2012 was employed in full-time, long-term positions requiring bar admission, ranking 192nd out of 197 law schools. [20]

Student Debt & Tuition[edit]

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average indebtedness of 2013 graduates who incurred law school debt was $180,665 (not including undergraduate debt), and 92% of 2013 graduates took on debt.[21] This information is useful to consider given that only 28.8% of 2012 graduates obtained full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers) within 9 months after graduation.[22]

2012-13 Tuition:[23]

  • Full-time: $42,000
  • Part-time: $31,500

Law School Transparency calculates that the total debt-financed full cost of attendance for full-time students who do not receive tuition discounts (scholarships) to be $257,905.[24]

Admissions[edit]

Students begin classes in January or August, attend the three-year, full-time program or the four-year, part-time program, and accelerate graduation one semester by taking additional classes during the summer. Day and evening classes are offered.

TJSL was listed with a "B+" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[25]

Post-Graduation Employment[edit]

In 2013, the National Law Journal reported the college has the worst unemployment rate after graduation (31.5%) amongst all law schools in the country.[26]

Employment Outcomes: According to the law professor blog, The Faculty Lounge, based on 2012 ABA data, only 28.8% of graduates obtained full-time, long term positions requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers), 9 months after graduation, ranking 192nd out of 197 law schools.[27]

24.2% of the Class of 2011 were known to be employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs (excepting solo practitioners) nine months after graduation. 54.2% of the Class of 2011 were employed in part-time or short-term jobs, unemployed and seeking employment or pursuing additional education. The employment status of 3.8% of the Class of 2011 was unknown. 0% of the Class of 2011 obtained a federal clerkship. 0.8% of the Class of 2011 were known to be employed in law firms of 101 attorneys or more. 5.1% of the Class of 2011 were known to be employed in full-time, long-term government or public interest jobs. 0% of the Class of 2011 were employed in school funded jobs. [24]

In January 2011, a New York Times article about the inability of many recent law school graduates to get jobs discussed Thomas Jefferson's claim that 92% of the class of 2009 was employed within nine months of graduation.[28] The school's claim was based on a survey of the class of 2009. (Under ABA rules, 25% of graduates who do not participate in employment surveys are counted as employed.).[28] In the New York Times article, the school's Associate Dean for Student Affairs attributed the average debt level to the school's admittance of immigrants and those who are the first in their family to attend law school – people who are statistically more likely to lack individual or family resources.[28]

U.S. News & World Report has reported that the average Thomas Jefferson student graduates with $131,800 in debt and 95% of students graduate in debt.[29] On March 22, 2012, U.S. News & World Report included Thomas Jefferson in its list of "10 Law Schools That Lead to the Most Debt." [30] The Wall Street Journal also ran a story in June 2012 listing TJSL as one of the 'bottom five' schools for 2011 graduate employment.[31]

TJSL has been recognized in recent reports for transparency about graduate employment. In 2012 the National Jurist ranked TJSL as one of the top 15 law schools in the country in transparency, and gave the school an "A" in transparency.[32] Also in 2012, Law School Transparency reported that TJSL was one of only 23% of law schools which received a perfect score for transparency.[33]

Lawsuit against TJSL[edit]

On May 26, 2011, TJSL graduate Anna Alaburda filed an initial class action complaint[34] against the school for unfair business practices, false advertising, fraud, violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and negligent misrepresentation, accusing the school of intentionally misrepresenting its post-graduation employment and salary statistics to attract new students. Alaburda, a graduate of New York University and an attorney admitted to the State Bar of California in 2008,[35] estimates the class size to be 2,300 students, and she seeks over $50,000,000 in damages and restitution.[36] While at TJSL, she graduated with honors.[37]

The school has filed a demurrer in the case contending, basically, that Alaburda is simply suffering buyer's remorse.[38] In the wake of this lawsuit, 20 more law schools have since been sued over similar allegations.[39] Many of these lawsuits have since been dismissed for lack of merits.[40] The ABA Journal has reported that Alaburda was actually offered a $60,000-a-year job from a Southern California law firm shortly after graduation, but she turned it down because they would not pay her bar dues.[41]

In 2012, plaintiffs filed a statement from former TJSL employee Karen Grant, that the school had directed her to falsify employment information during 2006 and 2007.[42] TJSL and Dean Hasl stated that Ms. Grant's claims were false, and that "TJSL policy has always been to report accurate employment data."[43]

On May 21, 2013, the judge hearing the lawsuit denied plaintiff's motion to certify the lawsuit as a class action case.[44]

Center for Solo Practitioners[edit]

Since Fall 2012, TJSL has operated a lawyer incubator program called the Center for Solo Practitioners. The incubator provides space and support for selected alumni who are going into solo practice. It is also intended to help serve under-represented communities.[45]

At the 2013 annual meeting of the American Bar Association, the Center for Solo Practitioners was honored with an ABA award in recognition of "successful implementation of a project or program specifically targeted to solo and small-firm lawyers."[46]

Additional programs offered[edit]

Intellectual Property Fellowship Program[edit]

In 2009, TJSL initiated an Intellectual Property Fellowship Program[47] for students with undergraduate or advanced degrees in the hard sciences or engineering. The William Mitchell College of Law Intellectual Property Law Institute ranked TJSL 15th nationwide for its Intellectual Property course offerings.[48]

The TJSL Center for Law and Intellectual Property has course offerings in copyright, patent, trademark and unfair competition law as well as cyberspace law, biotechnology law and bioethics, telecommunications and media law, and sports and entertainment law.[49]

Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA)[edit]

The law school has an Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA)[50] which offers Continuing Legal Education credit. Programs include an Intellectual Property Career Day presented in cooperation with Thomas Jefferson’s Career Office.[51] IPLA has also presented a Patents in China event in cooperation with IP law firm.[52]

International law[edit]

The Center for Global Legal Studies[53] offers a specialized program in international law. In 2007, the Center inaugurated a summer study program at Zhejiang University College of Law in Hangzhou, China.[54] TJSL also offers a summer study program in Nice, France.[citation needed]

Social Justice Center[edit]

The Center for Law and Social Justice[55] is a research and teaching program in areas of public policy and law relating to civil rights, civil liberties, international human rights, and equal access to justice. Courses include traditional courses in civil rights, civil liberties, international human rights, employment law, and courses that address current issues such as gender and controlled substances law. In 2010, TJSL presented distinguished speakers whose own scholarly work relates to social justice concerns, co-sponsored by UCLA School of Law’s Critical Race Studies program, at the 10th Annual Women and the Law Conference.[56]

Graduate Tax and Financial Law LLM Program[edit]

The "Diamond Law School Graduate Tax and Financial Law LLM Program – Online" was founded in 1998, by Professor William H. Byrnes.[13] The curriculum includes International Taxation, Offshore Financial Centres, anti-money laundering, wealth management, compliance (regulation) and E-commerce.[57] The Diamond program offers the degrees of LL.M., JSM, and a research doctorate JSD.[14]

Notable people[edit]

Alumni[edit]

  • Roger T. Benitez 1978 – Federal Judge of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California
  • Bonnie Dumanis 1976 – First openly gay or lesbian DA in the country.[58] Also the first Jewish woman DA in San Diego
  • Duncan Hunter 1976 – Republican member of the House of Representatives from California's 52nd, 45th and 42nd districts from 1981 to 2009 and 2008 presidential candidate
  • Jessica King 2001 – Wisconsin professor and former Wisconsin state senator
  • Lillian Lim 1977 – Former California Superior Court Judge and the first Filipina judge in the U.S.
  • Leslie Alexander – A former stock trader from New Jersey who owns the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Houston Rockets.

Faculty[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Press Release" Thomas Guernsey appointed Dean & President, April 3, 2013
  2. ^ a b "Thomas Jefferson School of Law". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: Thomas Jefferson School of Law"". Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "How to enroll in America’s first LLM Program". http://llmprogram.org.
  5. ^ "ABA Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ AALS Member Schools
  7. ^ TJSL Groundbreaking
  8. ^ "About the Central Library Project in Downtown San Diego" at Support My Library
  9. ^ TJSL New Campus
  10. ^ "Local Law School's New Campus To Open Tuesday Thomas Jefferson School Of Law Is Relocating From Old Town". New 10 Now. 19 January 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Sloan, Karen. "Thomas Jefferson Law unveils new home — on site of 300,000-year-old fossils", National Law Journal, 18 January 2011.
  12. ^ Powell, Ronald W. "Dig yields another big find", San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 February 2009.
  13. ^ a b "Advanced Diploma and Certificate Law Programs"
  14. ^ a b "LLM and JSD Faculty"
  15. ^ TJLS: Message from Dean Hasl May 23, 2012
  16. ^ "General Statistics Report July 2012 California Bar Examination" (pdf). Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ "The Latest in Disingenuous Statistics From a Law School No Longer Concerned With Its Credibility". Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Thomas Jefferson School of Law". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  19. ^ "Building a Better Ranking". National Jurist. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  20. ^ Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, 30 March 2013. Retrieved on 2 May 2013.
  21. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings
  22. ^ http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  23. ^ "Tuition". Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  24. ^ a b "Thomas Jefferson School of Law Profile". Law School Transparency. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  25. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011). "Most Diverse Law Schools (Diversity Honor Roll)". The National Jurist (San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines) 20 (6): 30–37 
  26. ^ http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202595077292&slreturn=20130315011254
  27. ^ Rosin, Gary. "Full Rankings: Bar Admission Required, Full-Time, Long Term", The Faculty Lounge, March 30, 2013. Retrieved on February 24, 2014, http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/03/-full-rankings-bar-admission-required-full-time-long-term.html. -- For the latest Employment Summary Reports from the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education, see http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
  28. ^ a b c (1/08/11) Is Law School a Losing Game? The New York Times
  29. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad_debt
  30. ^ http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/the-short-list-grad-school/articles/2012/03/22/10-law-schools-that-lead-to-the-most-debt
  31. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577486623469958142.html
  32. ^ http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress/nationaljurist0312/index.php#/20 (free reg required).
  33. ^ See ABA article about the report at http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/about_half_of_law_schools_post_incomplete_job_and_scholarship_data_group_sa/ ; see also http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/documents/Winter2012/Winter_2012_Index_Report.pdf and the corresponding data appendices.
  34. ^ San Diego Superior Court Register of Actions (Case No. 37-2011-00091898-CU-FR-CTL)
  35. ^ California State Bar Membership Records, Anna Alburda (now Anna Braff)
  36. ^ Alaburda v TJSL Third Amended Complaint September 15, 2011, at LawSchoolTransparency
  37. ^ Allyn, Richard (June 3, 2011). "San Diego law school grad sues her alma mater for $50 million". 760 KFMB Radio. Wo rldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  38. ^ AboveTheLaw.com TJSL Demurrer
  39. ^ Staci Zaretsky, Above The Law: Update (3/15/2012)
  40. ^ ABA Journal Update (11/12/12)
  41. ^ http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lead_plaintiff_in_job_stats_suit_against_law_school_turned_down_job_offer/
  42. ^ http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/10/24/law-school-falsified-jobs-data-ex-employee-says/
  43. ^ http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/10/26/law-school-responds-to-allegations-it-falsified-jobs-stats/
  44. ^ Sugarman, Saul (October 23, 2013). "Suit against law school suffers blow: Judge denies bid to certify class challenging Thomas Jefferson over jobs data". Los Angeles Daily Journal. 
  45. ^ http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Mar/29/law-incubators-help-new-attorneys/
  46. ^ http://www.abanow.org/2013/07/small-business-law-center-at-thomas-jefferson-school-of-law-to-receive-aba-solo-and-small-firm-project-award/
  47. ^ Intellectual Property Fellowship Program
  48. ^ William Mitchell College of Law Intellectual Property Law Institute
  49. ^ Center for Law and Intellectual Property
  50. ^ Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA)
  51. ^ First Annual IP Career Day
  52. ^ Patents in China
  53. ^ Center for Global Legal Studies
  54. ^ "China Summer Program – Zhejiang University Law School"
  55. ^ Center for Law and Social Justice
  56. ^ 10th Annual Women and the Law Conference
  57. ^ "Online LLM White Paper PDF"
  58. ^ Broder, John M. (2002-11-13). "In a First, a Lesbian Is Elected District Attorney in San Diego". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  59. ^ "Marjorie Cohn | Thomas Jefferson School of Law". Tjsl.edu. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 

External links[edit]

32°42′37″N 117°09′15″W / 32.71028°N 117.15417°W / 32.71028; -117.15417Coordinates: 32°42′37″N 117°09′15″W / 32.71028°N 117.15417°W / 32.71028; -117.15417