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Law Student Organizing Loan Forgiveness Drive

Student loan forgiveness is a familiar concept for lawyers. As I've written before, many law schools and even Congress have devised loan forgiveness programs to ease the debt burden for graduates working in low paying public interest or government jobs. But Robert Appelbaum, a 1998 Fordham Law school graduate who currently works in the Brooklyn District Attorney's office has a new approach to loan forgiveness.  According to Business Week, Appelbaum started a Facebook group back in January that advocates for cancellation of student loan debt to stimulate the economy. Just two short months later, Appelbaum's group has more than 138,500 members, many of whom are urging their representatives in Congress for new laws that would cancel student debt.

Appelbaum left law school with $80,000 in debt and a starting salary of $36,000 a year. He put his loans in forbearance for five years (which increased his debt to $100,000) As a result, more than a decade out of law school, Appelbaum is still paying off his education. Though I appreciate Appelbaum's dedication to the DA, at the same time, it might have made more sense, financially for him to have gone to the private sector -- or perhaps into a federal office (where the pay is higher) to pay off some of his loans. Of course, in this economy, that's no longer an option.

So what's your view? Should everyone shoulder the debt when lawyers can't repay their loans?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on March 26, 2009 at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (20)


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