The ISBA's YLD Executive Committee is currently assessing support for a proposal to allow 3L law students in Iowa to sit for the February bar exam, as part of the YLD's ongoing mission to reduce the law school student debt load in Iowa.
A recent survey sent to YLD membership found that 78 percent of young lawyers would support allowing 3Ls to sit for the exam early, to avoid incurring high interest gap loans. However, only 44 percent of respondents had to rely on loans to pay for expenses incurred between graduation and their first day of employment. Approximately 54 percent of survey-takers said they would have considered taking the exam early, if they had the opportunity.
Other states that currently allow 3L students to sit for the February bar exam include Arizona, New York, Vermont and Oregon. Sixty-eight percent of survey-takers indicated they did not know that Arizona, which was the first state to make this move, allowed this.
The attorneys were also provided a forum to set forth additional ideas for reducing costs for future attorneys. The most popular ideas included: expediting the return of bar exam results, encouraging the YLD to explore more favorable refinancing options and providing more information to law students about the true cost of law school and how to determine the amount of money the student truly needs for expenses.
The YLD is continuing to review and explore options to begin addressing these issues.