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Former law school career services employee admits to falsifying employment data, says she was ordered to do so

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A former assistant career services director at Thomas Jefferson School of Law has admitted in a sworn statement to fabricating graduate employment data, and claims she was ordered to do so by her boss, the director of the of the office. Law School Transparency broke the story this afternoon:

Grant alleges that her fraud was part of a deliberate scheme by the law school’s administration to inflate its employment statistics. She also claims that her direct supervisor, Laura Weseley, former Director of Career Services, instructed her on multiple occasions to improperly record graduate employment outcomes and justified the scheme because “everybody does it” thus “it is no big deal.” TJSL could face sanctions from the American Bar Association as severe as losing accreditation.

Grant was Assistant Director of Career Services at TJSL from September 2006 to September 2007, during which she was tasked with tracking and recording employment outcomes of recent graduates. Grant is a licensed California attorney and made her sworn declaration on August 2, 2012 in connection to the class action lawsuit filed by Anna Alaburda, et al. against TJSL in 2011. (Complaint; Original Story.)

Specifically, Grant admits that she “routinely recorded currently unemployed students as ‘employed’ if they had been employed at any time since graduation,” which is a violation of both ABA and NALP reporting guidelines. Graduates should only be recorded as employed if they are employed as of February 15. Exhibit B, A handwritten note by Karen Grant from a meeting with Laura Weseley on Oct. 16, 2006.

TJSL denies both Grant’s allegation that she was ordered to falsify data, and that the data Grant submitted was false. In an email to LST, Rudy Hasl, the school’s dean, also questioned Grant’s motivations:

“The law school stands behind the accuracy of the data that we submitted to the American Bar Association.” Sources report that Grant was terminated in 2007, though when asked for clarification, Dean Hasl would not comment on internal personnel matters beyond suggesting that LST “do a due diligence analysis … including the reasons for her departure from the School of Law.”

I’ll have more on this story shortly.

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