January 13, 2011

YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL, YOU RAN UP A LOT OF DEBT, and now you can’t get admitted to the bar because having huge debts and no plan to pay them back fails the “character and fitness” test.

What the hell kind of legal education system are we running where we charge people more than they can afford to get a legal education, and then prevent them from being lawyers because they can’t pay off their debts?

Because it’s not like Hassan Jonathan Griffin was in a particularly unique situation when he went before the Ohio bar. A year and a half ago, we wrote about a man who was dinged on his character and fitness review because he was $400,000 in debt. That’s an extraordinary case. Hassan Jonathan Griffin owes around $170,000. He has a part-time job as a public defender. He used to be a stockbroker. He’s got as much a chance of figuring out a way to pay off his loans as most people from the Lost Generation.

If Griffin can’t pass C&F, Ohio might as well say that half of the recent graduates in the state don’t have the “character and fitness” to be a lawyer…

Yeah, that’s pretty lame. But it’s also a cautionary tale for people thinking of borrowing their way through law school.

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