Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion in In re Application of Griffin [pdf] denying an applicant’s admission to the bar* on the sole basis that he did not have a plan to pay back $170,000 in student loans. (He did, by the way, but more on that later.) The Court’s opinion–delivered “per curium” because no justice signed his or her name to this shameful opinion–is manifestly unjust, unfair, and out of touch. The Ohio Supreme Court should overturn this embarrassing ruling immediately.

The applicant, Griffin, failed the bar exam three times. This application was his fourth. The only way he makes ends meet is a part-time job paying $12 per hour at the public defender’s office. Prior to law school, Griffin worked as a stock broker. Griffin hoped that passing the bar would land him a full time job at the public defender’s office. (See, he did have a plan to pay back his loans.) In the mean time, he fell behind on his student loans. He looked into bankruptcy, but his lawyer informed him that his student loans would not be dischargeable.

In the opinion, after a meaningless recitation that all bar applicants must possess “the requisite character, fitness, and moral qualification for admission to the practice of law,” the Court declared that Griffin was unfit to practice law because he continued to work at the public defender’s office rather than quit and look for other full time employment. Speaking of quitting and looking for other full time employment, here are the Court’s justices:

Debt a Bar to Admission? How? over at But I Did Everything Right!

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