We’ve heard a lot about offers being rescinded and start dates being deferred (and chances are we’ll continue to hear about them), but it’s the bleeding hearts among us who may end up bearing the brunt of the legal recession.
Figuring out a way to make a living and pay down loans as a public interest lawyer has always been pretty tough. Now, do-gooders have to worry about competing with unemployed attorneys who will take any job they can get, as well as all of their deferred peers who can work for free because their firms are paying them to stay away.
Not much cause for hope here, but how about hope with a qualifier? If you can get a public interest job, there are now government programs that will help you get rid of sizable amounts of your debt.
Back in mid-March, McGeorge School of Law hosted a presentation by Heather Jarvis of Equal Justice Works to explain how students can take advantage of federal loan forgiveness programs. Video of the presentation is available.
The bulk of Ms. Jarvis’ presentation consists of interpreting the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 which lays out an income based repayment program and a federal public service loan forgiveness program. She also discusses the Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008 and LRAP programs.
I’m not going to go into the details of these programs here, because they’re pretty complicated and I’m pretty lazy. If you’re interested and you don’t want to actually read these laws yourself, I highly recommend taking an hour and watching the presentation. Its informative and easy to follow.
Ed. Note/Update: We received the following email from Aaron Pickering, who is the communications specialist at Equal Justice Works, the day after this item originally ran.
Thanks for the info and for addressing law firm deferrals in your post yesterday on The Shark. Just wanted to let you know that today we’re rolling out the new Student Debt Relief section on equaljusticeworks.org. All of the resources you’ve become familiar with are still available, along with many more tools and tips. Check it out: http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/resources.