New York Bar Denies Applicant Based on Large Student Loans
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An aspiring lawyer who has racked up excessive student loans has been denied admission to the New York Bar based on his debt. Robert Bowman’s student loans date back to 1983 and total close to $500,000. His case is unusual because he spent 10 years in college due to an accident that hospitalized him and put him in rehab for six years, and nearly cost him his leg. After college and law school, his debt total was around $230k but steadily grew while he prepped for the bar, which took him 4 tries to pass. In the meantime, another accident nearly cost him his good leg.

At this point, his debt is growing by close to 10k per month and Bowman says his only hope of repayment comes from being a lawyer. The character fitness committee of the New York Bar commended Bowman for his perseverance and recommended his admission to the Bar, but a panel of 5 judges took the unusual step of disregarding the recommendation and rejected his application.

It’s true that Bowman’s case is unusual and most students don’t have loans as excessive as that when they graduate, but with the cost of tuition going up around the country and the availability of legal jobs declining, this seems to be a dangerous precedent to set.



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