Law school is essential to becoming a successful lawyer but it doesn’t come cheap. Public Service Loan Forgiveness was a program put in place to entice young lawyers to take public service positions which have historically paid less than private sector positions. After ten years of making on-time, full payments while in a public service role, the loan would be forgiven. Recently, though, the Department of Education was sued by the ABA for not keeping its promises. Even after declaring those involved in the program to be fully qualified for loan forgiveness, the ABA decided later that they were not qualified. In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, host Chris Morgan discusses these events with the president of the ABA, Linda Klein. They dive into the original goals of the program, why the program is necessary, and actions the ABA is currently taking to ensure those relying on the program are compensated. Linda concludes by saying that the Department of Education’s decision will also affect the ability of the ABA to provide legal services to those that need it most.
Linda Klein is the senior managing shareholder at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz and president of the American Bar Association. Klein’s practice, based in Atlanta, includes most types of business dispute resolution, including contract law, employment law and professional liability, working extensively with clients in the construction, higher education and pharmaceutical industries.