We have all imagined finding some kind of loophole or piece of luck that lets us save or make a ton of money; this time that fantasy may actually pay off for some law school students. The cost of law school can be pretty serious, and often involves a scary amount of debt. But Politico alerted us to the fact that there are actually law schools out there trying to make your law school dream a little more of a reality, minus all those pesky student loans. There are a few strings attached, but for those of us who are dreaming and working and struggling for that JD, these new deals are definitely worth a second look and some research.
The law schools at Georgetown University, New York University, University of California-Berkley, Columbia (not small names in the law school landscape) and others are offering the prospect of no debt to prospective students provided that upon graduation, students spend 10 years outside the private sector by exploiting a federal student loan forgiveness loophole. The payoff is that the law school will undertake the loan payments for 10 years and the federal government will forgive the remaining balance; those balances can run as high as $100,000.
Under a program designed by Congress in 2007, loan forgiveness was granted to borrowers who worked in the public service sector, which jives very well with the already-common practice of public sector assistance from private law schools. Administrators at different law schools examined the terms of the provision and realized that they could take advantage of these terms and could afford to take on law school students’ debt until the ten year period was up. What does that mean to future public sector lawyers? A possible free education at some of the very best law schools!