As the law becomes ever more complex and the legal market continues to shift and grow, entering the workforce can be incredibly intimidating to a current student or recent grad. Sifting through the options and finding the career path that is right for you can sometimes feel daunting for even the most well-prepared of students. In this installment of the ABA Law Student Podcast David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above the Law, joins hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke to discuss his path to success and provide tips that can help students shape their burgeoning careers.
David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law, a blog established in 2006 that provides news and commentary on the U.S. legal industry. Prior to this, he started Underneath Their Robes, a blog focused on the federal judiciary with pop culture magazine sensibilities. Before his career as a blogger, David attended Harvard College and Yale Law School. After school, he worked as a law clerk for Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, and a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey. in 2014 David published his first book, Supreme Ambitions: A Novel, to outstanding acclaim.
If you are one of the 40 million Americans who funded their education with student loan debt, you may be asking yourself now what? The bad news: you probably can’t get out of it with bankruptcy. The good news: with over 1.3 trillion dollars locked up in American educational loans, the country has a vested interest to pave the way for repayment. So what does that mean for you? Tune in to find out.
On this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke talk with Credible Labs founder and Slate contributor Stephen J. Dash. Together, they discuss first steps in the post-borrowing world of student loan debt.
Step One: Understand Your Situation
This means you should know how much you owe and to whom. In addition, you should budget out your total earnings and total expenses.
Step Two: Make a Plan
By investigating your options for repayment, you will be able to make an informed choice. Primary options like consolidation, pay-as-you-earn, and refinancing all have pros and cons. Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of each repayment program will empower you to make the right choice for your situation.
Step Three: Stick to the Plan
Some repayment plans allow you to make future changes. Once you decide on a repayment plan, do your best to stick with it. If your financial situation changes, communicate with your servicer to see what, if any, options are available.
Student Loan Issues Discussed In This Episode:
With lower starting salaries and higher tuition rates, today’s law students face tough decisions when it comes to financing their education. In addition to school rank, employment rates, and average starting salaries, future lawyers need to be aware of loan terminology and how it affects their future ability to pay. But how much do you have to know to make an informed decision? Unfortunately, there is a lot to consider, including your future area of law, fixed vs. variable interest rates, short term loans vs. long term loans, tax implications, federal requirements, and much more. The good news is, there are organizations and people who can help.
In this episode of ABA Law Student Podcast, hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke deep dive the treacherous waters of student loan debt with CommonBond CEO and Co-Founder David Klein. Together, they review many factors students should consider before signing one of the biggest contracts of their lives. In addition, they present a case study that may alarm some prospective borrowers.
David Klein is CEO and co-founder of CommonBond, a lending platform that focuses on lowering the cost of student loans for borrowers and provides financial returns to investors. Prior to CommonBond, David worked in consumer finance at American Express as director of strategic planning and business development, where he led a $250M annual business. David started his professional career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients in the financial services industry.
If you are in or plan to go into public service, you may have heard about public service loan forgiveness (PSLF for short). This economic incentive was intended to attract and keep employees in public sector positions such as district attorney or public defender by offering student loan forgiveness following a minimum period of service and on-time payments towards the borrower’s debt. The cost of this benefit is borne by the taxpayer and is aimed at making public work more attractive despite the relative low pay.
In recent times, the PSLF program has fallen under the scrutiny of budget cuts following the recession as Americans slog through the recovery period. Some critics believe that student loan borrowers in the public sector should pay for their own education especially with the relative job security and retirement benefits as compared to those in the private sector. Other critics state that not all public service positions should receive loan forgiveness and call for budgetary caps. But what would capping or eliminating public service loan forgiveness mean for our communities?
In this extended two segment episode of ABA Law Student Podcast, hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke interview Bryan Tyson, the executive director of the Georgia Public Defender Council and Jonathan Rapping, co-founder of Gideon’s Promise. In segment one, we hear from Bryan about the debt to income gap, his organization’s survey of public defenders about PSLF, and the increased importance of public defenders outside the practice of law. In segment two, we hear from Jonathan about student debt’s barrier to public service, the lifelong commitment of student loans, and concerns about poor people not getting justice in the event of PSLF cuts or caps.
ABA Law Student Podcast hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke sit down with Chris Jennison, the ABA Law Student Division’s representative to the ABA Board of Governors, to discuss the governing role of the ABA Board of Governors and how its actions affect the lives of law students and recent grads.
Since 2009, the Law Student Division has been able to vote on the Board of Governors and they are actively using that power to improve the plight of fellow students. Currently they are advocating for Interpretation 305-2 which would allow ABA accredited schools to let students receive both pay and credit for their externships. In addition, they are supporting the spread of the Uniform Bar Exam, which allows one exam score to be applied to multiple state bars in the states that participate. The net effect will make it cheaper and easier to get admitted to the practice of law in multiple states.
As for future initiatives, Chris discusses the Limited Licence Legal Technician program in Washington and increased student access to the American Bar Association’s various sections, divisions, and forums. Tune in to hear what’s being done about mounting student debt and the status of public service loan forgiveness.
On this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, Senator Lindsey Graham joins hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke. Together, they discuss getting through law school, being an advocate, and public service loan forgiveness. Tune in to hear about his early career and the importance of having your character tested in law school.
Surviving law school is difficult enough, but law students also need to be thinking about how to best prepare themselves for the future. In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke talk with Paulette Brown, current president of the American Bar Association, about her path through law school, advice she has for current law students, and legal initiatives she thinks might really interest young lawyers. Tune in to hear what qualities Ms. Brown would look for when hiring a lawyer who had just passed the bar.
Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke interview leaders and representatives from a few of the 64 ABA sections, divisions, and forums. In this round robin format, each guest makes a two minute pitch explaining how law students can benefit from potential networking, education, and career path opportunities in the following:
Young Lawyers Division
Tort and Insurance Practice Section
Law Practice Division
Antitrust Law Section
Criminal Justice Section
Armed Forces Law Committee
Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section
Animal Law Committee
Richard Conviser joins hosts Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke for a discussion about the history of BARBRI, why it was founded, and how it continues to help law students pass the most important exam of their career.
In this extended-play first episode of ABA Law Student Podcast, we start with an interview of our two hosts (Fabiani Duarte and Madison Burke) before cutting to their first episode recorded at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. While there, they discuss the ABA Law Student Division, its free membership, and how it’s helping law students around the country. Tune in to hear about their ambitions to provide paid externship credits, public service loan forgiveness, and debt counseling for those who need to take out student loans.