Free law school?
If you choose public interest work after law school, a new federal program will allow you to pay a maximum of 10% of your salary to loans. And if you go to Georgetown Law, the school will pick up that 10% for you.
Or that is the plan, anyway, according to a program being instituted by the Georgtown University Law centre, as reported by the Washington NBC station, WAMU.
The federal program, which encompasses public service jobs outside the legal spectrum as well, includes total loan forgiveness if you stick with the work for 10 years.
So, public interest job + 10 years = “free” law school at Georgetown.
WAMU: If not make them avoid public service altogether. Professor Philip Schrag, who developed Georgetown’s loan repayment program, said many law students have hoped to do public service, “and then discovered they couldn’t really do what they’d come to law school to do, and ended up in a private law firm where they felt they weren’t themselves.”
Schrag said Berkeley Law is following Georgetown’s lead, and other schools are considering it — provided they can find the funds. Georgetown’s loan forgiveness budget is $1,000,000 a year — thanks to generous alumni donations.
Some schools already have similar programs. Harvard’s LIPP program, for example, allows law grads accepting eligible public interest or government work to “pay a limited portion of their annual income towards their annual loan repayment obligations… LIPP then covers the remainder of their LIPP-eligible loan payments.”
Programs like this can make law school a lot less scary in a time where law school costs are rising and the guarantee of high-paying jobs is disappearing (to the extent, of course, there ever was one).
As we discussed when evaluating the “value” of law school, there are some people who go in to it because they want to defend the impoverished or fight for healthcare or try to save the environment. And there’s never been big money in that.
(Pictured is then-Law Review president Barack Obama, who quite famously took the public interest route.)
The ABA Journal pointed out this program here.
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