Another warning to students contemplating taking on massive debt in this economy:
The ABA Journal recently reported on the plight of Hassan Johnathan Griffin, a recent graduate of Ohio State University Law School. He has $170,000 in law school debt, in addition to $16,500 in credit card debt. He is working part time at the public defender's office for $12/hour. As a result the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Ohio Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness, finding that Griffin has "neglected his personal financial obligations" in that he has "chosen" to work part time for the PD rather than pursue full time employment. Thus, he failed the character and fitness portion of the bar.
Are you there Common Sense? It's me, Rose. This is wrong on so many levels.
First, and most obviously, why should anyone drop $170K on training to become a lawyer (ha!) when they are going to be punished for that debt by being refused admission to the bar?
Second, do we honestly think this guy would be working part time for $12 an hour in the hopes of being promoted to a full time PD if there were other options available to him? Seriously, who would do that? Why wouldn't you just take a high paying job until the PD's office starts hiring again if that is really your dream job?
Third, I would say the title is misleading. This law grad has a plan to pay back his debt, it just hasn't played out yet because of the miserable job market. Instead of refusing people admission to the bar on these grounds, why don't we deal with the excessive number of toilet law schools? If we take on the over-saturation of the legal market, attorneys would not have to work part time for $12/hour.
Jobless Juris Doctor
Above the Law