So obviously you hear a lot about LRAP and loan forgiveness programs for students who decide to go into public interest law, which is a huge benefit when you're making a fraction of the money private sector lawyers make. Paying back student debt seems much more insurmountable when you go into public interest law, so it seems smart to choose a law school that you either get a really good scholly from or a school that has a really good loan repayment assistance program.
So my question is: exactly what does "public interest" mean? How encompassing is it? Does it mean "any job in the public sector?" Suppose I want to do work as an ADA. Is that considered public interest law?
Big decisions to think about for this upcoming cycle; whether or not I need to look for a school that's going to give me a big scholarship or whether I can go to a T-14 at sticker or close to and look for lrap programs. Obviously it would be risky to rely on lrap programs, but I'm not incredibly "debt averse" as insofar as debt is concerned student loan debt is a decent kind (it's easily deferred, etc.).
Thanks for the info!
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If only there were a website run by the government with information about the PSLF program! And some sort of..."searching motor" to help me find it! How convenient would THAT be, amirite?
Public service jobs include, among other positions, emergency management, government (excluding time served as a member of Congress), military service, public safety and law enforcement (police and fire), public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations), public education, early childhood education (including licensed or regulated childcare, Head Start, and State-funded prekindergarten), social work in a public child or family service agency, public services for individuals with disabilities or the elderly, public interest legal services (including prosecutors, public defenders and legal advocacy on behalf of low-income communities at a nonprofit organization), public librarians, school librarians and other school-based services, and employees of tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Full-time faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as faculty teaching in high-need subject areas and shortage areas (including nurse faculty, foreign language faculty, and part-time faculty at community colleges), also qualify.
Eligible Loans: Eligible loans include Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans. Borrowers in the Direct Loan program do not need to consolidate in order to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers in the FFEL program will need to consolidate into Direct Loans.
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Good info there. Just note that PI stuff is usually just as competitive as private practice, largely because of LARP stuff.