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Parent Loans: New Sallie Mae Options for Funding Your Higher Ed

If you are a student considering a degree even higher than the undergraduate one you recently earned, you're most likely in that unenviable position of wondering how to finance that degree. Well, recently Sallie Mae became the latest lender to offer its own version of the new type of "parent loans" called "Smart Option Student Loan" intended to help well-meaning family members fund their children's education -- maybe yours.

It's nice to have additional options for funding, but as always -- read the fine print.

Marvin Castellanos' attorney spent more than 100 hours toiling on Castellanos' workers' comp claim. And after defeating numerous defenses from Castellanos' employer and its insurer, the attorney was victorious.

But when it came time to collect attorney's fees, his reward was only $164, or $1.53 an hour. That's because Florida law sets a mandatory fee schedule based on the amount won -- without allowing consideration of whether those awards are reasonable. And that rate is so "absurdly low" that it's unconstitutional, the Florida Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

When the Panama Papers were released this week, promising to expose “politicians, criminals, and the rogue industry that hides their cash,” let’s say we weren’t surprised to see FIFA’s name pop up. FIFA, the world’s governing body for soccer, has long faced accusations of endemic corruption. FIFA’s past “President for Life,” Sepp Blatter, only recently fell from grace and is now facing criminal charges for mismanagement and misappropriation.

But it’s not just the familiar FIFA names that are being accused of corruption. In a most ironic twist, FIFA’s ethics lawyer is now facing a corruption investigation over links revealed by the Panama Papers.

Bankruptcy Judge Offers You Hope: Discharge Your Bar Study Loan

Law students know the refrain all too well: you can't discharge your law school loans. But a recent ruling out of New York Bankruptcy court suggests that at least some bar related debts might be discharged successfully in a Chapter 7. Is that a ray of light on on the horizon?

Actually, now that we mention law school loans, this would be an excellent time to refer readers to our earlier piece on student debt forgiveness.

If you could go back in time and stop yourself from going to law school, would you? If you answered "Hell yes," you're not alone. A recent survey shows that most law grads regret going to law school.

Why is law school such a universally regrettable mistake? We've got some ideas.

For all the talk about law school debt, the struggling legal market, and dead-end legal jobs, working as a lawyer is still one of the best ways to make a lot of money. According to a new report by Glassdoor, lawyers are the second highest-paid professionals in the country.

So take that software engineers, finance bros, R and D managers. We've still got you beat. (Though we're also a distant second to physicians.)

The Bluebook may be one of the world's most hated books. It's frustratingly complicated, not particularly well organized, and poorly bound. Oh, and a fresh version costs about $40, most of which goes to Harvard, the wealthiest nonprofit in the world after the Catholic Church.

But now it's got some competition. Students from NYU Law, led by professor Chris Sprigman, have put together their own streamlined, digital, open-source version, dubbed Baby Blue, and they're giving it away for free, despite threats from Harvard's lawyers.

Is Massive Law School Debt Hurting Public Interest Law?

It looks like our neighbors to the north are going through a bit of a crisis in terms of law student priority. In the opinion of a current 2L at the University of Manitoba, the climbing tuition rates of law school is possibly hurting public interest. Rather that pursuing public interest work, debt-laden law students are motivated to seek higher paying corporate jobs.

These same observation can be made down south. In fact, we Americans were talking about it a long time ago.

Despite bringing in $24 million dollars in business and generating nearly $8 million in revenue, former LeClairRyan partner Michele Burke Craddock says her success was devalued and diminished -- not because it wasn't enough, but because Craddock wasn't a man.

Indeed, sometimes credit for her accomplishments was stolen right out from under her, Craddock alleges in a new lawsuit against her former firm. Having started her own practice, she's now suing LeClairRyan, claiming that compensation schemes that were "cloaked in secrecy" discriminated against her as a woman.

Embezzling Lawyer to Serve 45 Months' Hard Time

A lawyer who, over a series of years, embezzled money from his client's estate to the tune of just under $2 million, was sentenced to 45 months of federal prison. The town of Oxford has won a small victory.

What at first began as a means to prop up his own financial survival became, according to federal prosecutors, a "scheme" conducted over a long period of time by a man who knew better. Peter Clark has been ordered to report to federal prison on February 24, 2016.