After going through this week’s entries for Comment of the Week, it seems that many of our commenters really want an Above the Law T-shirt. There was some stiff competition (what up, Richard Brosner?), but in the end, we decided to address a topic that’s germane to anyone who has taken out a loan to attend law school.

Over Labor Day weekend, the New York Times had an interesting article about the apparent “ease” with which one can get student loan debt discharged through bankruptcy. And by “ease,” we mean that there’s a whopping 39% chance that you’ll receive a full or partial discharge, but only if you can show that you’re a lost cause to society without any semblance of dignity or hope for the future. Easy, right?

Well, actually, yeah. Because when you’ve got six figures of law school loan debt hanging over your head for a degree that you thought was going to be marketable and you’ve resigned yourself to a job as a sandwich artist at Subway just to make a buck, you’re going to lose hope pretty quickly.

And that’s exactly why our Comment of the Week was just so damn appropriate….

If you’ve ever seen the film Shawshank Redemption, you know that the tag line for the movie was, “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.” In the case of student loan debt discharged through bankruptcy, it’s your hope that will screw you. It’s only when you’re truly hopeless that your motion will be approved.

Kind of like what happened to Morgan Freeman’s character in the movie. Here’s commenter Red, Esq.’s take:

I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid law student who committed to repay all those loans. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That student’s long gone and this broke lawyer is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Undue Hardship? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and deny my motion, judge, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.

Well, that’s depressing. To end on a more positive note, there’s another lesson that can be learned from the movie: folks, just remember that you can crawl through a river of s**t and still come out clean on the other side.

Red, Esq., email us to get your T-shirt.

Earlier: Can You Show ‘Undue Hardship’ On Your Student Loans? You May Be Surprised.


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