CBA Record March-April 2021

Chicago Bar Foundation Report

Sustainable Solutions to the Student Debt Crisis By Angela Inzano, CBF Director of Advocacy & Engagement A midst the welcome national atten- tion and commitments in the new Administration and Congress to

tackle the student debt crisis, the CBF held a briefing to discuss long-term and sustain- able solutions to this overarching problem. As recent law graduates are fully aware, lawyers often leave school with significant amounts of debt. For those choosing higher-paying career paths, the debt can be paid off in a reasonable amount of time. However, that debt burden can affect a lawyer’s ability to pursue and maintain a career they are passionate about, such as in legal aid and government, or building community-focused practices like attorneys in the CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project. This leaves low- and middle-income com- munities without much-needed access to the full breadth of attorneys who want to serve them. This past summer, the CBF collaborated with a stellar pro bono team to craft the “Equality in Higher Education Financ- ing and Repayment Act” (EHEFRA), a legislative proposal that builds on years of advocacy for a comprehensive, long- term solution to the student debt crisis.

Source: The Chicago Bar Foundation

Advocacy Committee Co-Chair, Dawn Willis, the briefing panel also included the pro bono drafting team of Erin Turley and AllisonWilkerson, partners at McDermott Will & Emery, and DavidWhaley, partner at Thompson Hine LLP. You can learn more on the EHEFRA proposal on the CBF website or by con- tacting Angela Inzano, CBF Director of Advocacy & Engagement, at ainzano@

The EHEFRA would fairly and equitably tackle the unsustainable levels of student loan debt that are exacerbating existing inequalities in our country and inhibit- ing economic recovery by creating a more rational, fair, and accountable system. The recent CBF briefing elaborated on the tenets of the EHEFRA and some fre- quently asked questions about the proposal. A recording is available for viewing on the CBF YouTube page. Moderated by CBF

Join the CBA Public Affairs Committee The CBA’s Public Affairs Committee is seeking new members to help invigorate its mission to assist in promoting the Asso- ciation’s communication messages, plans and strategies. The Committee also typically hosts one seminar a year focused on current legal events or a legal topic of interest to local media and the general public. To get involved, email PR Director Ann Glynn at to be added to the committee’s roster.

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