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Life after disbarment - 'Starbucks won't even hire me to pour coffee'

By Neasa MacErlean

21 January 2014 at 12:18 BST

Over 1,000 members of the American Bar Association were disbarred in 2011 - and are now struggling to make a living, according to a few who have talked to the Courier-Journal in Kentucky.

Over 1,000 members of the American Bar Association are now disbarred - and struggling to make a living mayrsom.com

'It's almost like you don't know who you are,' says Robert Treadway, a Harvard Law School graduate, disbarred after he told a client to pay a non-existent paedophilia claim for US$56,000. On anti-depressants, Mr Treadway had made up the scenario as he needed money to keep his own practice afloat. Disbarred for life, he now says: 'I have re-invented myself as a freelance writer, legal consultant, and political consultant. Let me show you how I can use my years of experience to help your organization succeed in today's world!'

Prison law libraries

Most of the disbarred will not talk openly. But Jim Gormley, disbarred on money laundering conspiracy charges, says: 'Starbucks won't even hire me to pour coffee — they don't hire convicted felons, even ones with Univ. of Virginia law degrees…I have to have the courage to step up and talk about this or nothing is going to change.' He now writes and drafts criminal appellate briefs for legal colleagues. He mastered this skill in prisons whose law libraries he used during eight years of incarceration. 

Used car salesman

Other unnamed disbarred lawyers have taught, sold second-hand cars and gone into writing and publishing. Source: Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky


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