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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.