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January 7, 2012

ABA President Robinson Stresses Support for Law Students and Young Lawyers

ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III

ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III

The _ recognizes the challenges facing concerned law students who have yet to begin their careers and the frustration of those lawyers who are searching for work in this tough job market.

To meet the expenses of my own law school education, I sold my car and worked as a night watchman from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., attending law school full time each day, so I could get a law degree.  I know first hand what it’s like to face financial obstacles in pursuit of a legal career that does more than pay the bills — it fulfills a lifelong dream.

I respect the dedication and good judgment of young adults who are pursuing their own dreams in the legal field.  A law degree develops critical thinking skills and cultivates the creativity in problem solving needed to successfully access a world of opportunity.

The ABA is dedicated to helping people make an informed choice about entering our legal profession, and to providing law students and lawyers with the resources they need to sustain a fulfilling and successful career.

The ABA is committed to providing prospective law students with better and more transparent information about law school debt and legal employment in a clear, timely fashion.  The ABA has changed and improved its annual questionnaire to law schools, requiring them to provide specific answers about where and by whom their graduates are employed and what types of jobs they hold.

The ABA is also providing career tools and opportunities for law students and lawyers, including an online career center, job board and the most up-to-date information about trends in the field of law.

No graduate-level degree provides better preparation for serving others and succeeding in the world at large than a degree from an ABA-accredited law school.  Embarking on a legal career requires the commitment of time and resources.  The ABA has the highest respect for individuals willing to make that commitment, and since 1878 has been supporting them in their decision to dedicate themselves to the service of others with the benefit of a legal education.

Learn More About:  Law StudentsRobinson, BillYoung Lawyers

Comments (4)

  • ABA-Zabba
    9:24 PM January 11, 2012

    Mr. Robinson, With all due respect, I believe that you are out of touch with the realities that face current and recent law students/graduates. This is evident by your statement:
    “To meet the expenses of my own law school education, I sold my car and worked as a night watchman from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., attending law school full time each day, so I could get a law degree. I know first hand what it’s like to face financial obstacles in pursuit of a legal career that does more than pay the bills — it fulfills a lifelong dream.”

    I urge you to read this article: http://constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1410:can-you-work-your-way-through-law-school&catid=42:news&Itemid=71 to learn that it is no longer possible to make the “sacrifices” you made in order to finance your law school education. I personally worked 30-45 hours a week during school (against ABA regulations 20 hour limit, mind you) at a modest wage, which allowed me to barely pay any of the interest accruing on my “education” loans. Not to mention that when you graduated law school, there most likely was a fraction of the amount of accredited schools in existence,less competition among entry level attorneys, and as noted above, less of a financial burden. You have shown through previous comments that you have no empathy for what me and many others, members you supposedly represent, are going through. To call it our fault is an abomination and I expect an apology for that. Besides an apology, I respectfully ask you to resign your post as President of the ABA immediately, as you are out of touch with a vast majority of your constituents. We have no confidence in your leadership and deserve better from our organization. If not, I look forward to watching you testify in front of Congress and will applaud when they strip the ABA of its accrediting authority, showing what kind of a sham organization it really is.

  • Inconvenient Truthteller
    11:32 PM January 11, 2012

    I can accept the fact that I was denied admission to the bar after three attempts. I’m not cut out to be a lawyer. I’ve moved on with my life.

    Nevertheless, I am perpetually depressed that my decision to complete law school (despite misgivings I had after the first semester) and attempt to become a lawyer has resulted in perpetual reminders of my failure in the form of seemingly interminable student loan payments. I can even accept paying the exorbitant sum I naively and foolishly borrowed for my failed attempt to become a lawyer. (A sum that was much greater than the burden the esteemed Mr. Robinson carried, adjusted for inflation.) I am current on my all my student loans and intend to remain so.

    What I can not accept is the ABA’s continued refusal to accept the obvious fact that there is an excess of supply of lawyers and potential lawyers. This is caused by an overbundance of law schools, fueled by easily obtained student loans. Have educators learned nothing from the collapse of the housing bubble?

  • Non-diverse Profession
    6:32 PM January 20, 2012

    I graduated from law school five years ago. I have searched for a legal practice or law related job ever since. I work at a job that someone with a bachelor’s degree could do. No employers appreciate my “critical thinking skills,” rather they just look at the “JD” degree and assume “overqualified” or “doesn’t want to work here – just looking for a law job and biding time.” I’m also a female law school grad that saw job after job being given to white male JD grads rather than myself. I was led to believe that the law was a “diverse” profession where all qualified applicants would be given an opportunity to prove their worth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ABA should just stop saying anything at all about how they “support” new law school grads, or how the law is such a fabulous profession where everyone has an equal opportunity to excel. I struggle to pay for my expensive law license, to pay for expensive CLE courses that are required to keep the expensive law license, and to just keep going and paying my enormous student loan debt month after month. The thought of being dead sometimes seems appealing after this long struggle where I will pay literally for every day of the rest of my life for the mistake of taking out enough student loan debt to complete law school. Better I should have worked at low wage jobs with no “critical thinking skills” that were so expensive and time consuming to acquire when they are not needed or appreciated.

  • ABA-Legal Student
    7:44 PM July 3, 2012

    Mr. Robinson I commend you on your effort to attempt appear sincere. However, you must understnad educational expectations from today and your time are extremely different. The cost of education is at an all-time high not to mention the cost of living. As students, the ABA dose not provide substansive support for aspiring legal studnents and lawyers. You should apologize to the entire bar and to the prospective students in the legal field for your lack of compassion! You are a horrible person and I do not respect your leadership in the ABA organization.