RE: “Finding New Ways to Give Access to Justice to Those Who Cannot Afford Lawyers,” May 2016, p. 366 The issue of student loan debt and young lawyers is a serious one, but many young lawyers are still unaware of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining balance on qualifying direct loans after 120 qualifying monthly payments are made under a qualifying repayment plan while working full time for a qualifying employer. Monthly payments are based on income, so they may not cover interest or any principal balance on the loan. A qualifying employer is a governmental organization, a not-for-profit organization that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(3)(c), or another type of not-for-profit organization that provides certain types of qualifying public services, such as a legal aid not-for-profit organization. For young lawyers with large student debt, the loan payments based on their income may well be less than $500 a month while working for legal aid. Legal aid has scholarships of $400 a month available, so anyone can do the math. When forgiven under the PSLFP, the loans are not considered debt cancellation income for tax purposes. This program has the potential to assist legal aid in the retention of young lawyers who ardently desire loan forgiveness and to provide an incentive for young lawyers to apply for satisfying work. PAULA J. GAUS Dallas RE: “Serving the Profession and the People,” May 2016, p. 354 I am in agreement that attorneys of any age, if practicing law, should be required to comply with the continuing legal education requirements. I am not over 70 (yet); however, I believe we should grant the attorneys over age 70 an exemption from paying for CLE offered by the State Bar. I saw the points made—three hours of self-study plus the three hours of free CLE currently offered by the bar in the form of half an hour six times a year that result in only nine hours left to be paid for. I also saw the point related to the scholarship fund available to elder attorneys who “need” financial assistance. Although an elderly attorney may not “need” financial assistance, frequently these individuals are experiencing a lifestyle more frugal than their earlier years due to being semi-retired or a reduced workload. Editor’s Note: The State Bar offers scholarships for all or part of a TexasBarCLE registration fee based on what an attorney can afford. Go to texasbarcle.com for details. RAYMOND LOOMIS Houston RE: “What Will You Do When Your Law Firm Is Breached?” May 2016, p. 348 Even solo and small firms are subject to this problem. For the most part, your firm will conduct the investigation even though law enforcement may be involved. Don’t let your staff, or family, or yourself do any personal work on the computer that houses your clients’ business. Don’t email clients from that computer either. There is a door to the information you store, and it is quite easy to get into so don’t increase the chances. Above all, back up your files frequently on another system. Ransom ware is prevalent—hacked emails to look like yours to communicate with others in your firm to transfer money, exchange information, or get your case file. Thousands if not hundreds of thousands are out there looking for an opportunity to randomly ravage your client data or extort money from you. As Sharon and John suggested, have a plan. The preamble to that plan should be: “We expect to be breached, so let’s try to prevent it, but if we don’t, this is what we do.” Plan ahead. That’s what lawyers are supposed to do. GEORGE SCHILTER Webster ON TWITTER COVER, MAY 2016 New Texas Bar Journal out. Love the cover! Tori Keith (@ToriKeith1) RE: “STATUS UPDATE,” MAY 2016, P. 360 Thanks #TexasBarJournal / SIJ: court has jurisdiction to appoint a managing conservator to collect child support. Bernardo Kohler Center (@BKCAustin) RE: MOVERS AND SHAKERS, MAY 2016, P. 392 Project Legal Director Bronwyn Blake featured in @statebaroftexas Texas Bar Journal May 2016 edition! Texas Advocacy Project (@legalhelp4dv) RE: “SERVICE ON THE MOVE,” MAY 2016, P. 371 Check out the May issue of the Texas Bar Journal featuring some familiar faces! Military Spouse J.D. Network (@MilSpouseJD)
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