|Hey, want to go to Georgetown Law for free?
||[Aug. 15th, 2013|01:18 pm]
Apparently some graduate schools, principally law schools, have found a way to combine two laws so their students get to shift the entire cost of tuition onto the taxpaying public…
Another case of the law of unintended consequences.
Mirrored from The Black Horse of the Blog World.
But here's the thing -- for that to happen, the attorneys need to be actually working for the government or a non-profit for 10 years. That's 10 years' worth of legal work by someone who's extremely intelligent and most likely actually *wants* to be working in public service -- that's a good thing.
What this "loophole" means is that someone intelligent, from a good school, can actually afford to go straight to work in public service, rather than spending their first 2 years at a large firm in order to pay down their loans. Which, in most cases, means that they'll end up staying at a large firm because, well, the money is good.
Believe me, no one who's motivated by money is going to spend their first 10 years of practice in public service just so they can pay little, if anything, on their loans. They money at a large firm -- which is where someone from Georgetown can go -- is too good.
(Sorry about the anonymous comment -- apparently LJ was hating me.)
I'm pretty sure there is a larger definition of 'non-profit' than 'public service'. And 'government' has a debatable connection to 'public service' as well.
I'm fully behind the merits of income-sensitive-repayment and forgiveness after 10 years of service. Especially in the legal profession we need more of that. I'm not as much in favor of passing all payments back through the school as a way to avoid payments on loans altogether. Nor am I in favor of forgiveness after 20 years with no restrictions, which is the other potential, eliminating entirely the need to work in a public service arena while still getting to do so for free.
The true scary thing here is that it isn't just law schools that can do this. Medical schools could too, and that could mean drawing a full doctor's salary and benefits while working at what is defined as a non-profit hospital or medical practice, as many of them are. Or MBA students. Etc.
If this loophole (Or a variation thereof) were available for Medical Students, (and we could require that they work in underserved or low income parts of the country) we would go a long way to beginning to control the costs of Health Care in this country while actually up the quality of care that patients receive.
I am less for such a loophole in the legal profession.
Except for that pesky limit of $75k/year income. Fully credited doctors earn more than that unless they work part time.
I read that as a limit imposed by Georgetown.