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Law School Closings and Changes to Student Loan Bankruptcy Laws May Be Ahead, Says Former Dean

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Law School Closings and Changes to Student Loan Bankruptcy Laws May Be Ahead, Says Former Dean

Apr 26, 2012, 02:24 pm CDT

Congress should reconsider existing bankruptcy laws that make discharging student loan debt nearly impossible and some law school closings are on the horizon.

Those were the predictions of Former University of Nebraska and University of Houston Law School Dean Nancy Rapoport while at the American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Spring Meeting this week, Bloomberg Law reports.

“You’ve got this sort-of class of law students who have up to $200,000 or more in nondischargeable debt, many of them can’t find work at all,” Rapoport, a professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, said in a Bloomberg Law video interview. She added that many of those graduates went to law school confident about job prospects that either weren’t true or no longer hold true. “They’re looking at this huge disconnect," she said. "Not only can they not make their loan payments, they can’t make their rent.”

Rapoport expressed her support for Congress to amend existing laws in ways that propose viable solutions to the student loan debt problem without creating future economic challenges that could occur if a mass amount of over-burdened carriers are able to easily discharge government loans. “But what’s not viable anymore, from any perspective, is going to be for people to be running around with this kind of debt that will haunt them for rest of their natural lives,” Rapoport said.

And, while Rapoport declined to name names, she did confirm her expectations for tougher times ahead for law schools not at the top of the rankings. “I expect some of them to close,” Rapoport told Bloomberg Law. “The issue is going to be which ones.”

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