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Harvard Law to 3Ls: We’ll Forgive You(r Loans)

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Looks like Harvard Law School is trying to sweep the changes that have improved the finances of its (and other Ivy) undergrads into the law school. The school announced today that it will forgive third-year tuition for students who commit to (and do) spend five consecutive years working in the public sector (and fulfill a bunch of other requirements).

The program defines public service as:

*Any full time job for a governmental unit, which includes federal, military, state, or local government, or the overseas equivalent.
*Any full time job for a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization or the overseas equivalent, with the exception of jobs at institutions of higher education.
*Any full time job for a political campaign

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This is no small deal when one year of tuition = about $40k = about 1 year public interest salary for many young lawyers. Of course, the government jobs pay a bit more, but given that people emerge from law school with hundreds of thousands in debt and even the government doesn’t pay half of what firms do, Harvard’s initiative goes a long way.

I have to wonder how long it will be til Yale, NYU, and perhaps others, follow suit, and whether they even will find the money to do so.

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