Loan help for unemployed

November 11, 2009
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In a story in the Nov. 11 issue of Indiana Lawyer, recent law school graduate Amanda Whipple wished for assistance in repaying student loans for unemployed attorneys who volunteer at nonprofit or legal services organizations. Amanda may get her wish, if the American Bar Association has anything to say about it.

The ABA is lobbying the Obama administration and Congress to extend relief to recent law school grads who haven’t been able to find a job because of the recession. The ABA proposal doesn’t stipulate that unemployed attorneys have to volunteer their time at any legal services organizations or nonprofits.

The proposal would allow students to defer paying on their federal loans for as long as three years. But this isn’t a novel idea, since people with federal student loans are already able to defer payments under certain circumstances for up to three years. What is different about the ABA’s proposal is its suggestion that students be allowed to get federal loans to pay off their private loans. They’d then be able to defer those federal loans.

The ABA’s Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Profession and Legal Needs, which made the proposal, is also seeing if the amount of money a law student can borrow from the federal government could be increased and make that retroactive.

Law school grads have some of the highest amounts of student loan debt, so it makes sense this is an issue the ABA would want to address. If this proposal catches on in Congress and the Obama administration, I expect other professional organizations representing doctors, teachers, and any other group of people with student loans to also lobby for federal help.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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