Free education thanks to LRAP III; law school sues to hide bar pass rate

It was a GOOD week for ...

Dedicating oneself to the public sector, after several top universities promised some law school grads a debt-free education if they practice law outside of the private sector. Georgetown University Law Center, New York University School of Law and University of California, Berkeley School of Law have offered to pay graduates’ student loans for a decade so long as they work outside of the private sector for 10 years. Then a federal loan forgiveness program will pay the remaining balance. The federal program is set to take effect in 2017. With the combination of school loan assistance programs and federal loan forgiveness, many schools have been able to offer students the promise of a free education in exchange for providing public service. Georgetown University promises, “Public interest borrowers might not pay a single penny on their loans—ever!”

 

It was a BAD week for ...

Transparency about bar passage rates, after Southern California Institute of Law filed suit against state bar association officials to challenge a rule that forces it to include information on its website detailing how students can view bar exam passage rates online. The school argues that the rule violates its First Amendment speech rights by forcing it to endorse the idea that a school’s bar exam passage rate reflects the quality of the legal education it provides. The school filed a federal lawsuit in February. Southern California Institute of Law is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California, but not by the American Bar Association. None of the school’s 43 graduates who took the 2012 California Bar Examination passed, and between 2007 and 2012, its graduates failed the exam 93 percent of the time.