Berkeley Law may not be the first school to roll out help for its financially strapped students and grads, but it is thorough.
Last Friday, Dean Chris Edley sent a memo to Boalties describing a bunch of measures the school is working on to alleviate some of the pressures that students and recent grads have been straining under.
Though the help may be more meaningful to younger students, there’s a bit of something for people in various stages of their careers.
Details, and link to the memo, after the jump.
Edley told The Shark today that there are “perhaps two handfuls” of graduating Boalt students who are still looking for jobs. That, he tells us, is only slightly worse than in previous years. He predicts the bigger crunch will come next year, when he says he expects fewer private sector openings for second-years and for students earning their JDs in 2010. Students who may have -- in more robust economic times -- hopped and skipped off to big firm gigs will instead be taking a closer look at their options in public interest work.
“This is useful for opening their eyes to other forms of practice,” Edley said. “But it will result in higher debt loads on graduation, and fewer people starting the third-year recruiting season with a job offer already in hand.”
Berkeley has rolled out a salve for both those problems, plus some other stuff. Highlights from the memo's long list, which you can check out yourself for a more complete blow-by-blow and all the fine print (like which ones apply to deferred associates):
The law school wiped out its $100,000 ceiling for loan repayment assistance, a.k.a. help paying off law school debt. And it raised the maximum amount grads can make and still qualify for full coverage, from $58,000 a year to $65,000 a year. (If you make between that and $100,000, you might still get sliding-scale help.)
The school is also setting aside a lot more money to boost the Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program. Under that program, Berkeley Law guarantees up to $4,000 to students who are embarking on their first unpaid summer public interest job, among other things.
It also extended the application period for its donor-funded bar study loan program -- it will run until July 31.
And it will start taking applications this fall for short-term loans from graduates with extra financial problems.
Petra is a Cal Law reporter.