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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Public Sector Attorney Loan Repayment; U.S. Public Service Academy

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Two initiatives aimed at increasing the ability of students to pursue careers in public service popped up on my radar this week.

Senate considers Student Loan Repayment Plan for Public Sector Attorneys

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved and sent to the full Senate a bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., that would establish within the U.S. Department of Justice a student loan repayment program for lawyers who agree to remain employed for at least three years as state or local criminal prosecutors, or as state, local or federal public defenders in criminal cases.

As the article notes, graduating law students who otherwise might consider careers in public service often feel they have to pursue less-rewarding but higher-paying work in order to pay off sizable student loan balances.

The average law graduate has a student loan debt of $78,763, for those who attended private schools, and $51,056 for public schools, according to national surveys.

National Law Journal: Bills Would Ease Student Loan Payments for Public Sector Attorneys

U.S. Public Service Academy

My friend and section-mate Chris Domingo forwarded this to me weeks ago. Shawn Raymond, a former Teach-for-America volunteer, now a lawyer at Susman Godfrey, hatched a plan with Chris Myers Asch to establish a university to train students for public service. “Graduates would be required to work for five years in public service. They could choose from jobs in state, local or federal government, law enforcement, public health, education or nonprofit organizations.” Consider signing the petition to make the Public Service Academy a reality.

Washington Post: Volunteer Efforts Spark Push For Public Service Academy: Group Pressing Congress to Create College; See also International Lawyer Coach

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Category: public interest law


2 Responses

  1. Luke,

    As co-founder of the U.S. Public Service Academy, I really appreciate your taking the time to write about the U.S. Public Service Academy in your blog. The idea — which has bipartisan support in the House and the Senate — is truly capturing the imagination of this country, particularly with young people. This is the next great American idea.

    I encourage folks reading Luke’s posting to check out our website. If you like what you see, then accept Luke’s challenge and sign the petition. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions you would like to have answered or if you would like to learn how to get involved in what we are doing, please email me at

    Shawn Raymond
    Co-Founder, U.S. Public Service Academy

  2. [...] As previously mentioned in Public Sector Attorney Loan Repayment; U.S. Public Service Academy, H.R. 916: John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act of 2007 has passed the house and awaits the Senate. If that sounds a bit hazy, take this opportunity to brush up on your legislative process. [...]

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