Friday, April 17, 2009

Pay your Student Loans or Risk Losing Your Ability to Practice Law

PAY YOUR LOANS OR ELSE. Behind on your student loans? It could affect you more than you think. It could even prevent you from being able to practice law. In Februrary 2008, "anonymous" passed the bar. Unfortunately he or she had $430,000 in student loan debts going back to the hey day of Reagan and Huey Lewis. The New York Appellate Court today considered the debt an indication that "anonymous" had no character. See the decision here The court states that "under all the circumstances herein, we conclude that applicant has not presently established the character and general fitness requisite for an attorney and counselor-at-law". Kind of a Catch 22 situation. If he had a job, he could pay the loans. The economy aside, even current members of the bar are not excluded. The National Law Journal and ABA Journal reported that Houston lawyer Frank Santulli III wasn't deemed trustworthy enough to retain his law license after he failed to comply with his repayment plan. The appeals court thought that if he was bad enough not to pay his loans, he could “harm a client, obstruct administration of justice or violate the disciplinary rules." Imagine if this rule applied to everyone. Miss a mortgage payment, get a divorce = lose your job for lack of character.

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