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Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:46 am
by Npret
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Albanach - I think that's entirely consistent with what Nebby said initially - that the definition is broad and *statutory.* Of course Congress can change that if they want. I think the whole point originally was that the courts/DOE couldn't reduce the protections. No one has said that Congress couldn't decide to axe it. (So short version: the ABA lawsuit isn't a big deal for the vast majority of people relying on PSLF, but Congress fucking with it is.)

Earlskies, I guess this is a little late now, but I was going to say that for people looking at the T14 and wanting PI, looking at schools' LRAPs is probably much more important than PSLF per se, since there are LRAP programs that don't have anything to do with PSLF/schools that commit to supporting LRAP if PSLF is abolished. (I say T14 because I think not many other schools have LRAPs you could rely on, frankly, so people in other circumstances need to weigh the risks of PSLF more carefully.)

Also it sounds to me like you're heading in the non-biglaw/pure dedication direction in which biglaw isn't necessarily that helpful, but someone like Nebby will be better qualified to speak to that.

(LTM, I agree that often people who head in this direction have a lot of financial support, but don't blame the messengers for the way hiring works. I'm in fed gov so there are plenty of people with biglaw backgrounds but I've been in a number of contexts where "I did biglaw for the money" isn't going to go over well. That's just reality. Also, finally, saying "just do biglaw to pay it off" also reflects a T14/"I got biglaw privilege" - it's not a route available to everyone.)

Also Nony I feel even a top student with a resume that shows only dedicated PI work will have a hard time getting a biglaw job. It's not impossible but it's a huge red flag to interviewers.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:51 am
by A. Nony Mouse
Oh, that, too. Trying to play both sides is going to be hard because the experience that makes you valuable to one is going to be a red flag to the other. (Also, if I'm a legal services type org that pays say even $60-70k, would I believe that a third-year associate who has to be making over $200k be able to hack the pay cut for my job?)

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:06 am
by LurkerTurnedMember
Nebby wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote: With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

This is such a dumb and ignorant opinion. Did you recently go fishing and that's why red herrings are on your mind?

PSLF and LRAPs provide people with the ability to pursue a public interest career regardless of whether they are financially privileged. That's kinda the entire point of both programs.

Furthermore, I have no idea why you're talking about children, a mortgage, car payments etc. Do you think only nontraditional students go to law school or something? You are describing a very small subset of people. The vast majority of young lawyers do not have children, a mortgage, or car payments.


You're so ignorant. 120 payments is a long time. And even students in their 20s graduating from law school will likely start a family, have kids, want to buy a house, etc. Are you that short sighted that you can't see life in two, four, ten years from now? And not all students in law school are rich or come from well off backgrounds. They have family (brothers, sisters, parents who need help) to worry about, even if they themselves are lawyers. Just cause you're a spoiled little single rich kid who doesn't need to worry about anything but themselves or the present moment, Becky, doesn't mean the rest of the young law community is, too.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:07 am
by ernie
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

I'm privileged because I turned down big law to pursue public interest work? On what planet does that make any sense? Where was my supposed privilege when I was living in a homeless shelter, or out of my car? Where was it when I had to play harmonica in the subway for change because I hadn't eaten that day?

Biglaw was my ticket to the upper middle class, after many many years of struggling. I turned it down to pursue public interest work -- one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Don't fucking tell me it came from a place of privilege.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:12 am
by LurkerTurnedMember
ernie wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

I'm privileged because I turned down big law to pursue public interest work? On what planet does that make any sense? Where was my supposed privilege when I was living in a homeless shelter, or out of my car? Where was it when I had to play harmonica in the subway for change because I hadn't eaten that day?

Biglaw was my ticket to the upper middle class, after many many years of struggling. I turned it down to pursue public interest work -- one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Don't fucking tell me it came from a place of privilege.


Point taken. But there are a large amount of people who have other financial obligations that prevent them from taking on public interest work right away. I think it would be unfair to tell an applicant that they aren't "with the cause" or didn't stay "pure" because the applicant had a family member with cancer who didn't have insurance, or a family to take care of, or something where living off of the pub interest salary wasn't financially feasible. In that sense, it would be ignoring someone's economic plight and pretending it was merely a choice. And it's especially hurtful to have someone who also came from a disadvantaged background throw it in your face and put you down for your own economic and familial disadvantages.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:18 am
by Nebby
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Nebby wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote: With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

This is such a dumb and ignorant opinion. Did you recently go fishing and that's why red herrings are on your mind?

PSLF and LRAPs provide people with the ability to pursue a public interest career regardless of whether they are financially privileged. That's kinda the entire point of both programs.

Furthermore, I have no idea why you're talking about children, a mortgage, car payments etc. Do you think only nontraditional students go to law school or something? You are describing a very small subset of people. The vast majority of young lawyers do not have children, a mortgage, or car payments.


You're so ignorant. 120 payments is a long time. And even students in their 20s graduating from law school will likely start a family, have kids, want to buy a house, etc. Are you that short sighted that you can't see life in two, four, ten years from now? And not all students in law school are rich or come from well off backgrounds. They have family (brothers, sisters, parents who need help) to worry about, even if they themselves are lawyers. Just cause you're a spoiled little single rich kid who doesn't need to worry about anything but themselves or the present moment, Becky, doesn't mean the rest of the young law community is, too.

LJL. You're such a clown. I found the bolded particularly amusing considering the fact that I'm a first generation college grad that debt serviced my law school education and rely own LRAP/PSLF to make ends meet as a PI attorney.

I honestly have no idea what your endgame is here other than to keep digging a hole. You continue to demonstrate ignorance at every turn. You have no idea how PSLF/LRAP works or how it can allow people to both start a family and pursue public interest. You have no idea how PI/govt hiring works. You keep ignoring the fact that BigLaw is averse to hiring people with a PI background. I still have no idea why you keep pushing a false dichotomy between PI and biglaw as if the former is servitude to debt and/or classist and the latter is the only option.

Lastly, you appear to suffer from the fallacy where one equivocates their lived experiences with a universalized maxim. Just because you lack the basic mental faculties necessary to understand how thousands of people live fulfilling lives on PSLF/LRAP, doesn't mean it is impossible.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:21 am
by Nebby
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:Point taken. But there are a large amount of people who have other financial obligations that prevent them from taking on public interest work right away. I think it would be unfair to tell an applicant that they aren't "with the cause" or didn't stay "pure" because the applicant had a family member with cancer who didn't have insurance, or a family to take care of, or something where living off of the pub interest salary wasn't financially feasible. In that sense, it would be ignoring someone's economic plight and pretending it was merely a choice. And it's especially hurtful to have someone who also came from a disadvantaged background throw it in your face and put you down for your own economic and familial disadvantages.

What in the world are you even going on about? Are you seriously this upset that some PI organizations prefer people with demonstrated commitment to an issue?

"I think it's a bummer that the local ACLU branch prefers candidates with experience in civil rights and a commitment to civil rights. Why do they discriminate against that poor antitrust associate at Skadden who really liked the movie Salem!!!!!!!!!!!??????"

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:24 am
by LurkerTurnedMember
Nebby wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Nebby wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote: With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

This is such a dumb and ignorant opinion. Did you recently go fishing and that's why red herrings are on your mind?

PSLF and LRAPs provide people with the ability to pursue a public interest career regardless of whether they are financially privileged. That's kinda the entire point of both programs.

Furthermore, I have no idea why you're talking about children, a mortgage, car payments etc. Do you think only nontraditional students go to law school or something? You are describing a very small subset of people. The vast majority of young lawyers do not have children, a mortgage, or car payments.


You're so ignorant. 120 payments is a long time. And even students in their 20s graduating from law school will likely start a family, have kids, want to buy a house, etc. Are you that short sighted that you can't see life in two, four, ten years from now? And not all students in law school are rich or come from well off backgrounds. They have family (brothers, sisters, parents who need help) to worry about, even if they themselves are lawyers. Just cause you're a spoiled little single rich kid who doesn't need to worry about anything but themselves or the present moment, Becky, doesn't mean the rest of the young law community is, too.

LJL. You're such a clown. I found the bolded particularly amusing considering the fact that I'm a first generation college grad that debt serviced my law school education and rely own LRAP/PSLF to make ends meet as a PI attorney.

I honestly have no idea what your endgame is here other than to keep digging a hole. You continue to demonstrate ignorance at every turn. You have no idea how PSLF/LRAP works or how it can allow people to both start a family and pursue public interest. You have no idea how PI/govt hiring works. You keep ignoring the fact that BigLaw is averse to hiring people with a PI background. I still have no idea why you keep pushing a false dichotomy between PI and biglaw as if the former is servitude to debt and/or classist and the latter is the only option.

Lastly, you appear to suffer from the fallacy where one equivocates their lived experiences with a universalized maxim. Just because you lack the basic mental faculties necessary to understand how thousands of people live fulfilling lives on PSLF/LRAP, doesn't mean it is impossible.


Didn't say it was the only option. I presented it as an option. I understand how hiring works. My comments were just criticisms of it. And my comments on the PSLF/LRAP basically presented a different perspective, how it affects a lot of students who don't have that assumed life trajectory, i.e. mid 20s, no family to worry about just their own financial needs, etc. Sorry I contributed to the conversation. I'll back out now.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:28 am
by Nebby
Don't be sorry for your contribution. There's nothing wrong with contributing. My only issue was that you are critiquing the hiring practices of some PI organizations, and in an effort to support your critique you draw on generalized grievances that can be applied to so many situations that it becomes meaningless.

Yes, some people have life events that creates financial hardship that requires them to do things they otherwise wouldn't do. That is not a valid critique of a particular preference for hiring at a PI organization, however. That's just life. It is unfair and shit happens.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 11:55 am
by A. Nony Mouse
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
ernie wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

I'm privileged because I turned down big law to pursue public interest work? On what planet does that make any sense? Where was my supposed privilege when I was living in a homeless shelter, or out of my car? Where was it when I had to play harmonica in the subway for change because I hadn't eaten that day?

Biglaw was my ticket to the upper middle class, after many many years of struggling. I turned it down to pursue public interest work -- one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Don't fucking tell me it came from a place of privilege.


Point taken. But there are a large amount of people who have other financial obligations that prevent them from taking on public interest work right away. I think it would be unfair to tell an applicant that they aren't "with the cause" or didn't stay "pure" because the applicant had a family member with cancer who didn't have insurance, or a family to take care of, or something where living off of the pub interest salary wasn't financially feasible. In that sense, it would be ignoring someone's economic plight and pretending it was merely a choice. And it's especially hurtful to have someone who also came from a disadvantaged background throw it in your face and put you down for your own economic and familial disadvantages.

I mean, it doesn't really matter whether it's fair or not, if it's what someone aiming for PI has to deal with. You thinking something is unfair isn't going to change the hiring practices that OP will need to understand when making decisions about career and debt. No one here is endorsing these practices as fair (or unfair). When you're hiring people you can take this all into account, but there's not much point railing against it otherwise.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 12:47 pm
by Earlskies
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Earlskies, I guess this is a little late now, but I was going to say that for people looking at the T14 and wanting PI, looking at schools' LRAPs is probably much more important than PSLF per se, since there are LRAP programs that don't have anything to do with PSLF/schools that commit to supporting LRAP if PSLF is abolished. (I say T14 because I think not many other schools have LRAPs you could rely on, frankly, so people in other circumstances need to weigh the risks of PSLF more carefully.)

Also it sounds to me like you're heading in the non-biglaw/pure dedication direction in which biglaw isn't necessarily that helpful, but someone like Nebby will be better qualified to speak to that.

You're correct in regards to my direction. I'd certainly rather do this work after graduation rather than biglaw to pay loans loans aggressively. And I'm confident Michigan's LRAP will allow me that opportunity.

But does biglaw preclude you from getting PI positions or just make it more difficult? I only ask so that all my options are laid out in front of me completely. (I know this is moving the conversation outside the initial intent of the thread, so thank you for bearing with me.)

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 12:51 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
I get more and more reluctant to say that anything absolutely precludes you from doing anything. Nebby will know more about the environmental stuff. I know there are law firms where if you work there, good luck ever getting work with a labor union/workers' rights organization. But a lot of the time it will depend on the organization and what experience you get and how to spin it.

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:57 pm
by Earlskies
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I get more and more reluctant to say that anything absolutely precludes you from doing anything. Nebby will know more about the environmental stuff. I know there are law firms where if you work there, good luck ever getting work with a labor union/workers' rights organization. But a lot of the time it will depend on the organization and what experience you get and how to spin it.

Nebby wrote:

Any advice specific to environmental organizations would be appreciated. Thanks!

Re: PSLF going forward

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:47 pm
by Nebby
Earlskies wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I get more and more reluctant to say that anything absolutely precludes you from doing anything. Nebby will know more about the environmental stuff. I know there are law firms where if you work there, good luck ever getting work with a labor union/workers' rights organization. But a lot of the time it will depend on the organization and what experience you get and how to spin it.

Nebby wrote:

Any advice specific to environmental organizations would be appreciated. Thanks!

Working in biglaw does not preclude you from an environmental nonprofit--at least not the greenchip* enviros like NRDC, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, ELPC, SELC, etc. However, you'd need to be lateraling from a firm's enviro practice and you'd also need other experience on your resume to indicate dedication to nonprofit work. I would say about 75% of attorneys at the greenchip orgs start out doing that kind of work (nonprofit) and about 25% come from biglaw.

I am not experienced enough with state-based, local organizations. However, those organizations are so small (usually 1 to 5 attorneys) and they rarely hire entry-level attorneys.