New Utah Lawyers May Be In For A Much Needed Break, Thanks To Some $2.2 Million In Donations

New Utah Lawyers May Be In For A Much Needed Break, Thanks To Some $2.2 Million In Donations

Being an attorney may seem like a glamorous profession, and it can be, but just like going after a medical degree, law school can be a formidable challenge. Even for the smartest aspiring attorneys, the grueling three years of coursework and interminable purchasing of case law books is enough to turn even the brightest and optimistic students into harrowed and overworked waifs of themselves. At least for a spell. After graduation, those who finish the gauntlet have a promising career of wealth and power ahead of them, right? Maybe not. One legal journal estimates that graduates will shoulder anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 in student loan debt once they cross the stage with their J.D., a figure that can take decades of pinching pennies to come out from under. But prospective Utah lawyers have been given a gift of hope recently that may make the task a little less burdensome for some, according to the article in the Deseret News.

The University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law will boost its program for loan forgiveness, thanks to a $2.2 million gift “from the estate of the late Rita E. Fordham.” The widow of a former University of Utah professor of law, Ms. Fordham stipulated that some of the funds be used “to help law school graduates employed in the public and public interest sectors repay their student loans.” Not only is the University grateful, but young students with dreams of being Utah lawyers may now be able to indulge their fancies of working for the state a little more responsibly, financially.

The average state public defender salary in Utah begins at about $38,845 annually (about $2,450 a month, after taxes). If, like Salt Lake City-based attorney, new students graduate from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, they’ll probably be facing payments of around $1,151 a month, unless they can secure extended or income-based repayments. Utah lawyers going into the public sector clearly don’t have quite the same motivation to take on all that debt with the promise of at least some loan-forgiveness program at the end of the tunnel.

But even with loan forgiveness programs promised after graduation, the incentive for the best and brightest of Utah’s law students to enter into the public domain doesn’t seem to be much. For most Utah lawyers, the uphill path to financial solvency after so much student debt comes only with private law firm affiliation. So who is in our courtrooms, prosecuting atrocities on behalf of the state or defending the hapless citizens who can’t afford counsel?

Hopefully, with Rita Fordham’s gift to the law school at the U, more of the most clever and driven Utah lawyers will be enticed to serve the public for reasons other than the purely noble cause. Addressing relevant contemporary public policy and legal issues in the state is something that is needed on an ongoing basis, and having the talent and clear-headed ambition to pursue justice within the state’s system is in the interest of the well-being of the state at large. Many thanks, indeed, Ms. Fordham.

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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

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Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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