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ABA committee formed to study law school cost and debt

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Former Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer has been appointed to lead a special task force to examine the cost of legal education and the spiraling loan debt of students.

The American Bar Association has formed the Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education to look at the cost of attending law school as well as the financing of law schools, student loans and educational debt. It will also review how law schools use merit scholarships, tuition discounting and need-based aid.

Pointing to the increase in tuition and debt loads coming at a time when job opportunities are limited, ABA President James Silkenat said the organization must conduct a thorough examination of costs and financing of legal education. He asked task force members to conduct a comprehensive study of the complex economic and political issues involved and produce sound recommendations.

Convening a task force specifically to untangle the money issues was the recommendation made by the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education when it issued its final report in February. The group, led by retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard, found the questions surrounding the financing of legal education were too big for them to tackle and advised a separate committee be formed just to examine those concerns.    

Archer, an attorney, served two terms as mayor of the Motor City from 1994 to 2001 and as an associate justice on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1986 to 1990. He was also ABA president from 2003 to 2004. His current responsibilities include service on the board of InfiLaw, a consortium of independently owned and operated ABA-approved law schools.

He will lead a 13-member task force comprised of practicing lawyers, judges and law school deans.  
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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