In a new issue brief, State Bar Character and Fitness Requirements and the Need for Increased Financial Education, AccessLex Institute makes the case for equipping law students with financial education and training. Graduates who seek to practice law will have to demonstrate an ability to responsibly manage their personal finances, including debt accumulated while in law school, as a sign that they can be entrusted to safeguard the money and property of clients in the future. Law students should receive financial education to ensure that they skillfully manage their finances and avoid the severe professional repercussions that may result from an adverse credit history.
Law schools, and the legal field overall, have a role in advancing financial education for law students. Aspiring attorneys who seek admission to the bar will be assessed by their financial standing in “Character and Fitness” investigations. Given these legal requirements and state bars’ focus on financial responsibility, law students must be financially capable. AccessLex offers recommendations for law schools, state bars, and the federal government to help increase financial education for aspiring lawyers.