Harvard Law School today plans to announce it will offer the third year of education free to students who pledge to spend at least five years working at a nonprofit organization or for the government, reports The New York Times.
The plan is designed to increase the number of Harvard law students — roughly 10 percent over the past several years — who choose public-service careers.
“We know that debt is a big issue,” said Elena Kagan, dean of the law school, with regard to the new effort, which would save students more than $40,000 in tuition.
Many students are now graduating from law school with upwards of $100,000 in student-loan debt, which prevents them from taking the lower salaries typically offered at government or nonprofit organizations.
Joshua Marquis, district attorney in Clatsop County, Ore., and vice president of the National District Attorneys Association, said, “I have had a lot of applicants who’ve said, ‘I’d like to take the job, but I really can’t afford it.’ ”