99%

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, more and more law school graduates are trying to seek bankruptcy protection from their mountains of student loan debt. Bankruptcy? Really?

Now, we know that reading comprehension is tested on the LSAT, but apparently, once students complete the law school entrance exam, that skill goes right out the window. How do we know? Because law school graduates, who freely signed up for student loans as law students, are now trying to shirk their repayment responsibilities. They are the 99% (of people who sign on the dotted line and think nothing of it until it’s time to face the consequences).

All the documents these law school graduates signed and claimed to have read and understood prior to accepting their student loans — well, they had some words to say about bankruptcy. Important words. Here are some of them, pulled from my very own master promissory note:

We will discharge (forgive) your loan if: [y]our loan is discharged in bankruptcy. However, federal student loans are not automatically discharged if you file for bankruptcy. In order to have your loan discharged in bankruptcy, you must prove to the bankruptcy court that repaying the loan would cause undue hardship.

Aww, you think you’ve got an undue hardship, precious little snowflake? Well, think again….

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They took on six figures of (non-dischargeable) debt to go to law school, and now they hang their laundry in the street.

Most installments of Lawyerly Lairs, our inside look at the nests of legal eagles, involve residences (and occasionally offices) of utter fabulosity. Just look at our latest Lairs: a $5.9 million apartment on Park Avenue, a $4.6 million prewar coop on the Upper East Side, and a $1.7 million penthouse on the Upper West Side.

We realize that most Americans, or even most lawyers, don’t live in such luxury. And we’re interested in learning about how the other half lives. If you’d like to have your home featured in Lawyerly Lairs, even if it isn’t a million-dollar mansion, feel free to email us, subject line “Lawyerly Lairs.” (If you’re trying to sell your home, send us the listing; exposure to Above the Law’s large audience could be beneficial.)

We’ll get the 99 percent ball rolling with a look at two current law students who braved the brutal renters’ market here in New York. What school do they attend, and how did their hunt turn out?

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Is $160,000 a 'garbage' salary?

There’s an interesting post up on Constitutional Daily by The Philadelphia Lawyer. It’s a repack from a 2007 article arguing that salaries for first-year associates should go up to $190,000 a year.

And he’s right.

I know, I know — most Americans are still feeling the effects of a terrible economy. Occupy Wall Street is about to take pitchforks to those who are well-off in this country. Yada, yada, we’ll get back to the very sad story of America momentarily.

But you know who has done well over the last five years or so? Law firms. Especially Biglaw firms. Especially partners at Biglaw firms. Just look at the Am Law reports on profits per partner and revenue per lawyer. Firms are making money, more than they were in 2007.

Yet the associate salary scale hasn’t seen a raise for almost five years. And bonuses are down compared to 2007. Is it time for firms to start sharing the wealth?

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That headband looked much better on the Childlike Empress in Neverending Story.

* Next week, people in Mississippi are going to vote on whether a clump of cells is a “person.” Are we really going to put this into the hands of people who can’t even spell the name of their own state? [New York Times]

* If you’re a trial lawyer, even imaginary friends will do. [Underdog]

* Finally, something entertaining and informative from a law professor that doesn’t cost $100,000: a series of rich shorts to give junior associates enough basics to avoid embarrassment when corporate assignments are handed out at the firm. [YouTube]

* I really wish that this comedian would actually sue Kim Kardashian over her sham marriage. Seriously. Next time, try to stay married until I finish watching your two-part wedding special. [VICE]

* Have you guys been wondering about Juggalo Law’s whereabouts? This might explain his absence. [Hit & Run / Reason]

* I am the 1%. And by that, I mean that I’m probably in the 1% of people who do not give one damn about this social movement. [Actually You're the 47%]

Whenever I ask law school deans to explain their BS employment statistics, they just shovel more BS my way.

But maybe if students themselves asked where these figures come from, they’d get some straight answers.

One student, at a law school that at this point is undisclosed, asked her dean why the school’s employment statistics were clearly misleading. And it looks like the dean broke things down for her.

She used the information to tell another story of the 99%….

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President Barack Obama really thinks recent graduates are stupid. Seriously, he thinks that graduates out there suffering under crushing debt obligations in an economy where there aren’t enough jobs to go around are so dumb that they don’t even know what they want.

Educational debt has been a big part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Today, President Obama will announce “new” programs to help students in debt. At least, he wants the media to report these programs as “new.” Those who have been paying attention, such as debt-saddled law students, will recognize that there is very little “new” about these programs.

In fact, Obama seems to honestly think that students and recent graduates wouldn’t be so angry if they knew about all the programs already in place.

It’s all a bit patronizing. If the Obama administration had really been paying attention, they’d know that recent graduates want meaningful reform, not the piecemeal incremental efforts that we’ve seen so far….

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