July 2, 2012
Recent Law Grads as "Indentured Servants" to the US Government
Remember the practice of indentured servitude? -- Travel, lodging and training in exchange for three to seven years of labor in colonial North America before being released from an employment contract for immigrating to the New World. Back then, that was how the American Dream was sold to the working class poor of the Old World.
There's a new American Dream now. Get a professional education to become a member of the working class poor. For recent law grads this has become a new form of indentured servitude -- long term debt for student loans that may be difficult if not impossible to repay. I don't believe reforming the Bankrupcty Code is the answer unless it is coupled with holding the legal academy accountable for being the beneficiaries of federal loan monies. Still, this video seems appropriate just ahead of our Independence Day holiday.
From the YouTube caption:
June 13 (Bloomberg Law) -- Paul Campos, professor of law at University of Colorado at Boulder School of Law, talks with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia about the rising unemployment and debt levels for recent law school graduates. Campos says years of rising tuitions at law schools and declining employment opportunities have created a generation of educated young people who lack the means to earn enough to adequately service their student debt. Given these circumstances, Campos contends that a law degree currently has a negative net present value. Campos also claims that the student debt crisis for young lawyers is symptomatic of a larger social trend and presents a 'recipe for social turmoil.' In terms of how these trends could be reversed, Campos feels reforming the US Bankruptcy Code to make student loans dischargeable would be an important step in the right direction.