Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ABA lobbies for debt relief for unemployed law grads

Recent and soon-to-be law grads are in a tough spot:  they took on a boat-load of debt to attend law school at a time when it was still a financially attractive, or at least sustainable, career move. But then the legal job market, like real estate, stocks and the economy in general, tanked big time.  Now newly minted lawyers - even those from the most elite schools - find themselves carrying lots of non-dischargeable debt but with no jobs to be had. 

The ABA is trying to help by lobbying Congress for some student loan deferment relief for the tens of thousand law grads who are stuck.

Neither the Obama administration nor Congress has gone along with a proposal from the American Bar Association to help some recent law school graduates defer their student loans. But that doesn't mean the ABA has stopped pushing.

ABA President Carolyn Lamm said last week that the association is still trying to build support for student-loan relief for recent graduates. The National Law Journal reported in November that the ABA was lobbying the Obama administration on the issue, highlighting the plight of graduates who went into debt but have not found jobs because of the recession.

"What we can't have is this situation of a generation of young lawyers squashed by debt," said Lamm, a Washington, D.C., partner at White & Case.

Lamm said that she or other ABA officials have met with aides on Capitol Hill, at the U.S. Department of Education and in the White House to press their case, so far without success. "Wherever we have an opportunity, we share our views," she said. "They're very interested in education. They're very interested in finding a way to help. I can't say that we've found a solution yet."

You can read the rest here.


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