So, the news of the Robert Bowman’s extreme debt has been out for a while now, but if you haven’t been following along, here’s the gist:

Bowman put himself through community college, and then worked and borrowed to get through college, grad school, and law school. He took the New York Bar four times before he passed it, but he did in fact pass. During his time in school he was in a serious motorcycle accident (not his fault) and was struck by a Jet Ski while swimming (also, apparently, not his fault).

Anyway, after all his hard work and hardships, Bowman ended up with $435,000 in debt. The State Bar of New York decided that such a large amount of debt and Bowman’s failure to have made any payments on that debt meant that he had not established the requisite character and fitness to practice law.

I’d like to hear what other people think about this. It’s only natural to end up with a pile of debt after law school, but how much is too much? And if you’re counting on getting a job as an attorney to pay off those loans, and you can’t because you have too many loans to be admitted to the Bar, what do you do?

It does seem, at least to me, to be an extraordinary amount of debt. I think it was irresponsible of Bowman to have taken so many loans without having a reasonable plan for paying them off. In general, I support the decision of the committee on character and fitness on this one. Do you?

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Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Since 1972 he has been helping seriously injured victims throughout northern California fight & win their personal injury cases. Andy is one of the top awarded & recognized wrongful death lawyers in northern California.