Bar association wants to help students graduate with less debt

Published 03/17 2013 10:13PM

Updated 03/18 2013 10:17AM

URBANA -- The state's bar association is trying to help law students finish school with less debt. The group released a 53-page report. It addresses the burden of debt for new graduates including those trying to open their own practices.

The average student graduates with more than $100,000 of debt. It's something many say they wish they wouldn't have, but knew to expect before starting the program.

"Both of my parents have cautioned me, 'you need to be careful about this,'" said first year law student Bryan McIntyre. "This is well over $100,000 in debt and that's not going to take an insignificant amount of time to pay off. But it never really deterred me."

"We want young lawyers as they come out of law school to have good management skills," said Illinois Bar Association president John Thies. "We want them to be able to hit the ground running as soon as they graduate."

The association recommends limiting how much students can borrow from the government and making sure funds are available for students-in-need. Law schools are also being asked to emphasize hands-on experience during the second and third years. The state plans to send the suggestions to a national task force.

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