Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lawyer disbarred for failing to pay student loans

Here is another wake up call for our students: pay your loans!

The National Law Journal is reporting today that the Texas Court of Appeals has revoked the license of a Houston lawyer who failed to comply with a plan to repay student loans and other personal debts. The court said the laywer's conduct showed he did not have the trustworthiness needed to represent clients.

I am not sure how common it is for a lawyer already in practice to be disciplined for failing to pay his debts, but I do know that it is very common for Character and Fitness committees to delay admission to candidates who have accumulated a high level of debt when seeking admission to the bar. The Committees often want to interview those candidates to make sure the candidates understand their obligations and to get some assurance that the candidate will have the ability to pay the loans. With the rising costs of legal education and the bad economy -- which means not very encouraging job prospects for so many graduates -- this could become a real problem for many.

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