Lawyer’s bar application rejected over unpaid student loans

Lawyer’s bar application rejected over unpaid student loans

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

While it is often regarded as a tough slog for legal students in Australia, spare a thought for one US law graduate whose crippling student loans have made him ineligible to become a…

While it is often regarded as a tough slog for legal students in Australia, spare a thought for one US law graduate whose crippling student loans have made him ineligible to become a lawyer.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Robert Bowman, 47, a determined student who had persevered with his legal education despite crippling injuries and four attempts at the New York bar exam, has been denied his dreams after a panel of five judges decided his unpaid student debts made him an unsuitable candidate for the bar, reports The New York Times.

The judges ruled that Bowman, "has not presently established his the character and general fitness requisite for an attorney and counselor-at-law", due to his US$400,000 student debt, a ruling that came despite a bar review committee of his peers recommending approval for his 'remarkable persistence'.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Bowman's rejection raised the eyebrows of The New York Times, with the paper pointedly comparing Bowmans "unusual rejection" to previous cases when the judges had "overlooked misconduct like lawyers' solicitation of minors for sex, efforts to deceive judges and possession of cocaine", declaring that Bowman must have "crossed some unspoken line" in not paying off his debts.

Cruelly, Bowman's plan to pay off the debt, by working as an attorney, has now been foiled.

In Folklaw's opinion, if Bowman can't get a practicing certificate from the bar, he should at the very least be made an honorary graduate of the School of Hard Knocks.

Lawyer’s bar application rejected over unpaid student loans
Intro image
lawyersweekly logo
The Women in Law Awards is the benchmark for excellence, recognising the empowering women influencing the Australian legal profession, celebrating the female leaders, role models and future champions of the industry. Register for the waitlist today for the opportunity to attend this remarkable awards ceremony and network with top legal professionals and fellow peers.
Visit womeninlaw.com.au