Archive for March 22, 2010

Student Loan Relief for DOJ Attorneys

So, should you be a Department of Justice attorney you’re in for a treat. The Department of Justice has a program to help reduce your student loans, with several exceptions: http://www.justice.gov/oarm/aslrp/poliy.htm#b. The DOJ wants to recruit and retain basically tier-1 law graduates. However, even if you qualify  “funding does not permit selection of all qualifying attorneys for participation in the ASLRP.” Wow, it almost reminds me of the pro bono/not for profit/public interest incentive student loan program–basically almost non-existent, so many hoops to jump through, and should you qualify you will get only a certain portion applied to your student loans.

Looking at most of the DOJ attorneys who do not qualify are, yes you guessed it “temp attorneys” o.k. not in the sense implied but call it excepted service, contractual, temporary,  appointment etc. Factually, excepted service is not permanent employment, GS-level (nor do you qualify for interdepartmental vacancy transfers), or contractual, it is code for “at will” employment. Even in the federal government short-term attorneys are the dregs of the legal field.

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management ( http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/studentloan/HTML/QandAs.asp) multiple federal agencies may use this program to benefit its employees. So why doesn’t the federal government implement a program where it contributes to the repayment of your student loans, should one be employed in the private sector and make less than $65,000, paying interest on the student loans, let alone the unemployed are left to once again fend against Sallie Mae all by their lonesome. One could only fathom the number of restrictions that non-federal employee would have to fulfill should a program like this be implemented. What’s convenient for you is that you don’t have to, because well, they just do not exist.

A Short Article: ‘Thinking about law school?’

subject to copyrighthttp://www.unews.com/thinking-about-law-school-1.1259408

Thinking about law school? By Evan Helmuth Published: Monday, March 8, 2010

The author of this short piece is basically warning 0Ls to not go to law school in particular and to think twice about any other graduate school program. Everyone in my generation, and I suspect others, has been socialized to think of an M.B.A., a J.D. or any number of different graduate degrees as being both prestigious and valuable.

Reality sometimes has a rude way of intruding on our notions that conflict with it.

The financial melt-down of 2008 changed a lot about the legal industry, along with a lot of other industries…

So so true. Attorneys’ families are still unable to understand how an attorney isn’t working, on the verge of homelessness or otherwise not living the ‘high life.’ Generations X, Y and whoever else inherited the debt of the earlier generations. The earlier generations lost their retirement, IRA funds and social security due to corruption and the economy. One cannot reasonably convince themselves in the midst of all this evidence that getting into excessive educational debt will benefit you long term. Maybe the U.S. job market will just turn all the department, convenient stores and restaurants into one huge educational campus. Many intelligent youth have been told by their parents how special they are, that they will make it big, and make “us proud,” that the smack of reality is probably causing nervous breakdowns across the country. Some of the educated stated “I did everything right.” Well, I also noticed a woman on one of these talk shows last year say the same thing. She stated that she waited to get married to have children, her and her husband obtained “good jobs” and they waited until the time was right to get a house. Guess what? Unfortunately, they lost everything. I don’t want to say that it doesn’t matter whether one “does things right.” I will say just know that the system doesn’t care too much and as you have witnessed or experienced, the rug will be pulled right from under you.My favorite quote in the column:

“It makes little sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an M.B.A. or J.D. if there are no transactions being done for attorneys to write and no businesses for M.B.A.’s to consult or manage.”

Touché.  Learn a foreign language, relocate abroad (somehow), pay off your consumer debt (though I have no solutions concerning those wretched student loans). It’s done. The younger generations should consider themselves graced they even get the warning, the children born during the later 1970’s didn’t.