Swayed by repayment programs

December 7, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Last week, two large law schools announced updates to their loan forgiveness programs. The Berkley School of Law at the University of California and Georgetown University Law Center will now cover all law school loan debt for graduates who work in public interest areas for at least 10 years, with some exceptions, of course.


The schools’ programs are working in tandem with the College Cost Reduction & Access Act, the federal program that will forgive loan balances after the borrower has made payments for 10 years. Participants in the federal program have their monthly loan payments capped at around 10 percent of the borrower’s income. The Berkley and Georgetown programs will pay those capped monthly payments until the debt is forgiven by the federal government.


The schools’ programs will pay all capped costs for graduates making up to a certain salary amount – those who exceed that limit will have their loans paid back on a sliding scale.


The announcement from Berkley and Georgetown comes on the heels of news from Harvard Law School that it’s ending its program designed to help students because of overwhelming interest. Harvard launched it in 2008 and it would waive 3L tuition for students that committed to public interest jobs for five years after graduation.


Indiana recently restarted its loan repayment program thanks to funds from the Indiana Supreme Court. Indiana’s loan program is for attorneys working at civil legal aid organizations. The Indiana Bar Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program had been suspended due to low funds.


The four law schools in Indiana also list information on their Web sites about their respective LRAP programs.


After reading about the Berkley and Georgetown programs, I couldn’t help but wonder if law school applicants interested in public interest jobs would be swayed to attend a school which had a great loan repayment or assistance program like these. A Georgetown law professor was quoted in a news article as saying the school hopes it will attract more applicants with the program.


With a new emphasis on helping graduates with public interest aspirations repay their loans, or have them repaid completely, how much will this impact students going to “Big Law” firms? We hear that some students go to large firms only because of the crushing amount of debt they face after graduation. Will these types of programs cause more to go into public interest jobs because they won’t have to worry as much about their student loans?

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

ADVERTISEMENT