Tag Archives: money matters

Do-gooder? It’s gonna cost ya.

[insert frowny face here]

Elle Woods, Harvard Law Grad. :p

So I recently heard that Harvard Law is no longer going to cover the tuition of aspiring public interest lawyers. If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you know that I graduated from law school. If you’re a close reader, you know that I spent my time in law school focused on public interest law, aka the kind of law that helps people who cannot access the legal system in a proportionate, just and affordable manner. The other side of Big Law and six-figure salaries. Apparently, the recession strikes again. Harvard had been offering scholarships to law students that committed to work in public interest for 5 years after graduation. The program, in existence for less than two years, is kaput. Not only has Harvard succumbed to the economy, but I guess way too many students were taking advantage of it. It’s sad to see a program like this go. My legal education was financed by a similar program.

Temple Law has the Rubin-Presser Scholarship which covers 2 out of the 3 years of tuition for students willing to commit to working in the public interest after graduation. Temple is still offering the scholarship and, as far as I know, they plan to continue. You don’t have to be Alan Greenspan to know that Harvard has a much larger endowment than Temple, but the reason TULaw can offer this scholarship year after year is probably because they only give it to three select students each year. You’d think before cutting the program altogether, Haaaavaaaad would have implemented alternative strategies (offer half tuition, limit the recipients per year, you know… get like Temple).

It’s a shame but I can’t really get TOO boo-hoo for anyone that graduates from Harvard. It sounds mean, even a bit salty, but still. While the work is rewarding, many public interest lawyers are “sacrificing” in one way or another to do the work they believe in. After receiving the same training, spending the same money and taking the same licensing exams as any other attorney, you’ve got to call it a sacrifice to willingly accept a third of the pay and half of the prestige than your peers. Ivy League law grads, however, can afford to work in the public interest, knowing that the institution on their degree gives back some of that prestige (to a certain extent) and may even garner a better salary in some places. They’ll be alright, for sure, but I hate that there’s yet another obstacle inhibiting those who want to be “do-gooders” from going out and saving the world (without going broke in the process).

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Filed under Legal Pad, Routine Ramblings, The Legal Profession

I need to put ads up on this blog

or SOMETHING. I need to start a side hustle ASAP.

Just got a letter from the Dean of Student Affairs at my law school telling all the students that because of the financial crisis ass-raping America, it’ll probably be easier to find Bin Laden than to get a Bar Loan in 2009. Thanks, USA.

Although it may seem early to be thinking about graduation in May, we have some important information to share with you that we strongly encourage you to think about NOW.  There are expenses associated with taking the bar exam, which include application fees, charges for bar review courses and, most importantly, living expenses for bar study time.  We strongly recommend that students not work during the time that they are studying for the bar exam.

Bar exam loans from private lenders have been an important resource for our graduates.  Due to the current crisis in the banking industry, some lenders have found it necessary to terminate the bar loan or place limits on the availability of the bar loan.   Although we continue to hope future news will be good, there is some real concern that more lenders will make cut-backs to their student loan programs which will further limit bar loan availability.

The Law School Financial Aid staff has posted important information about the current bar loan situation. If you will be graduating in 2009, I strongly encourage you to review this information and ACT NOW to plan to meet your expenses while studying for and taking the bar exam.

Oh boy. When this particular dean uses caps and the words “strongly encourage” more than once, it’s about to be a problem.
See, a Bar loan is pretty important. For a few months, you’re expected to study for the Bar exam. You have to take a review course which will cost over a thousand dollars. You have to live, because you can’t really work at all during the months before the exam. Of course you have to PAY to take the damned exam which can be more or less depending on in which state you choose to practice. If there was already concern around a Bar loan because of regular credit issues, finding a co-signer, etc., well today you’ll have even more trouble. Banks are holding on to their cash pretty tightly and some are canceling their Bar loans altogether!

So yeah, I’m going to need to start collecting $$ from yall. Trying to be a lawyer means I can’t do any morally questionable things to earn money between now and May so you’ll just have to do your part.

Ugh. I hate my life sometimes!


Filed under Now I'm pissed, School Daze, What kind of fuckery?