Blog Archives for February 2012

Negotiating with the Department of Education – Part II

February 29, 2012

During the second of three sessions of week-long negotiations, the Department of Education has accepted a number of proposed changes that would make student loan repayment easier for struggling borrowers.  One particular proposal gaining much attention from the negotiation is the plan to create two different versions of the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan.

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Unaccompanied Children Must Be Protected

February 27, 2012

Each year, tens of thousands of children cross the United States border—most travel alone or with strangers. Many are fleeing violence, sexual abuse or abandonment and are seeking protection and asylum here; others come to be reunited with family members living in the U.S. On their journey, these children are vulnerable to rape and assault, and an alarming number of them become victims of traffickers and smugglers. Once here, these children must be protected from further abuse and trauma.

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Student Loan Ranger: Student Loan Debate Rages On

February 23, 2012

The growing chorus of concern over the rapid growth of student debt is being heard in the hushed and hallowed halls of Congress and at some of our nation's foremost educational institutions.

In Congress, where the move for reform has recently been incremental, the latest concern is that the interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans will double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1.

In response, Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island have introduced legislation in the House and the Senate to prevent interest rates on these student loans from doubling this year and to permanently cap Stafford student loan interest rates at a reasonable and consistent 3.4 percent for low-and moderate-income students.

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Celebrating Black History Month: A Profile of Thurgood Marshall

February 21, 2012

In celebration of Black History Month, we recognize the achievements of civil rights leader and the first African American Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, who worked tirelessly through his 55-year career to utilize the judicial system to extend civil rights to more Americans.

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Law School Transparency Weighs in on Reform

February 16, 2012

Law School Transparency (LST) is a nonprofit legal education policy organization. Its mission is to improve consumer information and usher in reforms to the current law school model. This week, the Student Loan Ranger (SLR) is interviewing Patrick Lynch, its cofounder and policy director.

Lynch is a licensed New York attorney with a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in Tennessee and a B.A. in Economics and English Literature from Fairfield University in Connecticut. He splits his time working for LST and providing policy support for environmental nongovernmental organizations in southern Chile.

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Becoming an advocate for Americans with disabilities

February 13, 2012

Jessica Duncan Felfoldi is a 2011 Equal Justice Works Fellow with Atlanta Legal Aid Society’s Mental Health and Disability Rights Project. Her fellowship project, sponsored by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, focuses on the civil rights of Georgia’s nursing home residents protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Below, Jessica shares the stories of two clients that she was able to help gain stability.

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Law School Student Debt Is Just Tip of the Iceberg

February 9, 2012

Your Student Loan Ranger was intrigued by a recent report from the Center for American Progress titled "What Can We Learn from Law School? Legal Education Reflects Issues Found in All of Higher Education." In a nutshell, the report argues that the failure of schools, students, and policymakers to respond as the cost of getting a degree climbs and the chances of getting a job that pays well enough to justify that level of debt diminishes is not unique to legal education. It is the highly visible tip of a growing iceberg of student debt that threatens all of higher education.

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Public Interest Careers Don't Have to Wait

February 6, 2012

Many students enter law school with high hopes of engaging in social justice work, indigent legal representation, and other forms of service to the public.  In due course, many of these public-interest minded law students are jolted by the reality that the forgotten signature on the promissory note has transformed into an increasing mountain of debt.  The pressure to repay these loans results in a race to secure high-paying jobs with large law firms.  Where the noble goals such as the defense of civil liberties or legal services for the poor can wait; collection agents won’t, or so the thinking goes.

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