Podcast category: Law School

ABA Law Student Podcast

Student Loans: Saving Your Future After You Leap

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:

  • Law School Death Spiral
  • Long term repayment vs. short term repayment
  • Loan Consolidation
  • Pay As You Earn Programs
  • Refinance Options
  • Deferment
  • Forbearance
  • Return On Investment (ROI) for Education

Stephen J. Dash is the founder and CEO of Credible and a contributor to Slate. Prior to that, he was an investment banker at J.P. Morgan. In addition, he founded QC Media and was an Investment Director at MHC & Co.

ABA Law Student Podcast

Student Loans: Look Before You Leap

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.

ABA Law Student Podcast

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

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.

Bryan Tyson was appointed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal as the executive director of the Georgia Public Defender Council where he is responsible for overseeing the public defender system in his state. Prior to that, he was part of a team that advised the Georgia General Assembly during its 2011 redistricting process and was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General to assist in securing federal approval of all three redistricting plans. Among his many areas, Bryan has practiced in civil and appellate litigation, where he represented clients before the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jonathan Rapping is the president and co-founder of Gideon’s Promise, a training and support group for public defenders in the south aimed at creating greater access to justice for indigent defendants. He is also the director of the Honors Program in Criminal Justice at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where he teaches criminal law and criminal procedure. Rapping is the former director of public defender training programs in the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Louisiana. He is the recipient of the Lincoln Leadership Award from Kentucky’s Department of Public Advocacy, the Sentencing Project Award from the National Association of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists, and the Gideon’s Promise Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights.

Digital Detectives

Catalyst’s Free E-Discovery Practicum for Law Schools

Although electronic discovery is increasingly important for court lawyers, only about 30 law schools nationwide offer e-discovery courses. To address the gap, Catalyst, an e-discovery service provider based out of Denver, has developed a practicum that aims to give law students the necessary experience to enter the workforce with adequate fundamental knowledge. So how does the program work and why is it important for future lawyers?

In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Bill Hamilton, executive director of the UF E-Discovery Project at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, about their use of the Catalyst practicum. They discuss the curriculum’s components, the program’s pedagogical design, and what this means for the future of e-discovery education in law schools.

Topics include:

  • What a practicum is
  • Digital evidence and students using e-discovery software
  • Instructional videos, structured exercises, and quizzes with feedback
  • Catalyst’s interest in education and their cloud-based platform
  • Testing to strengthen retrieval capacity rather than as an assessment tool
  • Applying the case law to concrete situations
  • Grading process: low stakes testing and evaluation
  • The need for law schools to provide more practical training

Bill Hamilton is the executive director of the UF E-Discovery Project at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He teaches introductory and advanced e-discovery classes on campus and online.

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