|Busy young lawyers are fortunate to be preoccupied by the demanding nature of their new careers. With so many obligations to consider, there is hardly time left over to fret about impending student loan payments. Yet, given that a law school graduate’s average debt is now more than $100,000, financial planning should be on the forefront of young lawyers’ minds.1
Heather Jarvis graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law in 1998. Her plan was to become a criminal defense lawyer, but her student loans coerced her otherwise. Like so many young lawyers whose parents were unable to finance an education, Jarvis faced an enormous amount of student loan debt that was to be paid off in $1,200 monthly payments over 30 years.
According to Lending Tree, the average monthly payment for a 30-year mortgage is $1,061.2 That means the cost of education is now roughly equal to the cost of purchasing a home, and many Americans must commit to that investment without a guarantee for financial reciprocation. In other words, America has a student loan crisis.
Jarvis deviated from her criminal defense track to pursue a facet of public interest with which she could personally resonate—advocating to reduce financial barriers for young professionals and striving to prepare graduates for successfully undertaking their own financial circumstances. She makes her knowledge available as a resource to the legal community through her blog askheatherjarvis.com, where users can easily navigate frequently asked questions and trending debt topics. Her advice is candidly honest and empathetic—“I got no love for (most) debt buyers”—making her an optimal and reliable support system for financial advice.3
Ohio State Bar Association members now can listen to Jarvis’ financial planning advice through a free online OSBA CLE seminar, Getting a Grip on Your Student Loans, while earning two CLE hours.
Her lesson expands on emerging fiscal topics including:
Do not miss out on this opportunity that, unlike other aspects of your education, is available to you at no cost.
- Student loan repayment options;
- Forgiveness provisions;
- Consolidation; and
- President Obama’s Pay-as-you-Earn plan.
1 http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_aid_indigent_defendants/initiatives/loan_repayment_assistance_programs.html.2 http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/01/03/what-does-average-home-owner-pay-mortgage.3 http://askheatherjarvis.com/blog.