Another Reason Not To Go Solo: Malpractice

Top defense lawyers Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld give us another reason not to try to go solo: malpractice. The two lawyers messed up and missed a deadline a few years ago and got sued by a client. They had to pay $900,000 to the client. Ouch. That had to hurt.

For those of you considering solo practice and thinking about saving some money by skimping on malpractice insurance, you might want to think again.

ABA Must Have Missed This

Carolyn Lamm of the ABA wrote a response to the great op-ed that Mark Greenbaum wrote for the LA Times a few weeks ago. Greenbaum took the ABA to task for not exercising greater control over law schools. The ABA responded and Above the Law rips them a new one (www.abovethelaw.com). Here is what the ABA’s Lamm said about law schools reducing enrollment:

He fails to acknowledge that in fact existing law schools have reduced voluntarily class size and therefore despite a minimal increase in the number of accredited law schools (7% over a 5 year period) first year enrollment grew by only two percent. Hardly producing a “flood of graduates”.

I guess Carolyn Lamm doesn’t read my blog, or check with the law schools to see how many students they admitted this year. Had she checked or read my post on December 29th, TTT Dean Matasar is a Hypocrite, she’d know that NYLS admitted an ADDITIONAL 250 students this year, for a total of 750, up from 500. Looks to me like Greenbaum knows what he is talking about, and the ABA is still clueless.

IBR, Leave the Country, Or Be Invisible In the US?

There seem to be four ways recent JDs are dealing with their school debt: paying, income based repayment (IBR),leaving the country, and becoming invisible (all cash) and staying in the US.

This is a tough decision, and everyone has to do what makes them happy; everyone has a different pain threshold. I could not deal with hiding out in the US, the fear of being found out would outweigh any joy of not paying my loans. However,if you have the stomach for it, there is an excellent book that will help you, How To Be Invisible by J.J. Luna, is full of useful tips for eluding just about everyone, sort of a guide to a modified witness protection program.

Leaving the country seems like a good idea, and I know a few of my former classmates that went that route; some went to Europe, others Israel. But what if 20 years from now, you want to come back? Hopefully, 20 years from now it won’t matter and there will be loan forgiveness for those who couldn’t find a job in the legal profession. Not likely to happen, but you never know.

That leaves paying and income based repayment (IBR). For those of us without a Big Law job or a winning lotto ticket, IBR is the way to go. IBR has calculator on their website which lets you plug in your salary, your debt amount, interest rate, etc.

The 2009 Sleazy and Horny Lawyer Award goes to:

It’s a tie!! Lunch Bozo and ’07 Grad have the dubious honor of winning the 2009 Sleazy and Horny Lawyer Award. Congrats, and here’s hoping 2010 brings you a kick in the balls.

And TomtheTemp of the great blog, Temporary Attorney: The Sweatshop Edition, has awarded the 2009 Beastly Behavior Award to none other than Dick Matasar, Dean of NYLS and loan shark / pimp for Access Group. Congrats, Tricky Dicky!

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