Paul L. Caron

Friday, January 24, 2020

Court Cites Student Loans As Reason To Deny Bar Admission To New Lawyer

Adam S. Minsky (Forbes), Court Cites Student Loans As Reason To Deny Bar Admission To New Lawyer:

For one recent graduate of law school [Cynthia Marie Rogers (J.D. 2019, Capital University Law School)], ... student loan debt played a major role in the Ohio Board of Bar Commissioners denying her admission to the Ohio bar to practice law as an attorney there.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, Rogers graduated from law school with over $300,000 in student loan debt. Her husband also has significant student loan debt, and the Court noted that together, their combined balance is nearly $900,000.

The Board was concerned about the size of their debt, as well as testimony from Rogers where she stated that neither she nor her husband were repaying their loans because their income was too low to require making payments. ...

[T]he Board found that her testimony that she “knew there was no way for twenty years that I would ever be able to pay all that back” to be “troubling,” particularly in light of her statement that she intended to work only part-time in legal services once she became a licensed attorney. The Board ultimately denied her admission to the Ohio bar, finding that she “openly neglected financial responsibilities, and knowingly incurred a substantial amount of student loan debt that she admits will probably never be repaid.” ...

The Board invited Rogers to reapply for admission in 2024.

(Hat Tip: Naomi Goodno.)

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


It looks like the loans were only part of the problem. The article stated that she failed to disclose all of the numerous lawsuits she had filed in the past, and that she had a pattern of financial irresponsibility unrelated to student loans. Lack of candor in the application process is always a problem.

Posted by: @JD | Jan 29, 2020 4:49:24 PM

My wife, who is a REAL Native American, thinks Liz is nuts. Whatever happened to JFK's "Ask Not" speech? How about the snowflakes serve a tour in the military before asking for free stuff?

Posted by: Smitty | Jan 27, 2020 8:57:07 AM


At most Senator Warren's plan would get rid of either $50k or $100k of that student loan pile. Not sure if it the forgiveness is per person or per household.

If owing vast sums of money and filing many frivolous lawsuits are the criteria here, I guess Trump can give up hope of ever being a lawyer in Ohio.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 25, 2020 8:17:44 AM

Pull that off with three hundred *million* dollars and some would find you a corporate "restructuring" genius...

Posted by: Anand Desai | Jan 24, 2020 8:53:22 PM

Let's see if I get this right. This couple has a huge debt from law school and the quickest way they can repay it is by working as lawyers. Yet Ohio isn't going to let them practice law. Does it think they will be able to repay those loans waiting tables in a coffee shop?

That reminds me of when G. K. Chesterton pointed out that London arrested people for sleeping under bridges and considered their "crime" particularly serious because they had no money to sleep anywhere else.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Jan 24, 2020 4:08:49 PM

Good for Ohio. We have too many deadbeats, even in the professions. Liz Warren, take note!

Posted by: Smitty | Jan 24, 2020 12:36:31 PM

Out: Million Dollar Degree
In: Million Dollars in Student Loans
Trending: Kafka's parable "Before the Law"

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 24, 2020 10:38:35 AM

Sounds like other reasons were more important than student loans, and maybe the student loans didn’t even matter.

“ The Board also noted that she had filed nearly 60 civil lawsuits during the course of her lifetime, many of them frivolous, and she failed to disclose this full history to the people who had recommended her for admission to the bar”

Posted by: Other reasons | Jan 24, 2020 8:36:59 AM

If one digs deeper it becomes apparently there is MUCH more to the story, like 60 lawsuits she filed on behalf of herself and others. The court said:
"This applicant is 59 years old and has been disabled for a large portion of her life due to injuries incurred in 2001 when she was trying to cut down a tree on rental property. She has learned to "work the system“ effectively. The applicant lives in federally subsidized housing, has ignored debts she is not able to pay until they disappear, and with her husband has amassed almost $900,000 in student loans that she admits they will never repay. The applicant has filed multiple legal actions with little regard for their merit, or for the expense and inconvenience they may cause others."

Posted by: Dean Burri | Jan 24, 2020 7:06:48 AM