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Don't Let Debt Concerns Kill Your Dreams of Public Interest Law

With student debts climbing well into the six-figure range, there's a surprising amount of misinformation out there when it comes to financing a legal education. The general feeling is this: corporate BigLaw or bust. This mentality is probably responsible an increasing number of students dropping their ambitions of working in public office to pursue more "practical" law.

But there is hope for the lawyer with more compassion and largess. Consider some of the options below if you are still interested in public interest law. After all, the world needs people like you.

Robo-Lawyer Fighting Homelessness, Making Humans Obsolete

The wunderkind that created the once amusing, now frightening, chatbot-lawyer that has since overturned some 160,000 tickets from London to New York has struck again. This time, he has aimed his ambitions at tackling homelessness in Britain, according to a recent Washington Post piece about him.

This is terrific news for those who are in dire need of legal services because Josh Browder's efforts will no doubt bridge the gap between demand and supply for legal services. But it's terrible news for many lawyers who have traditionally benefitted from hard-set prices in legal services.

ASU Law's New College of Law Building Beckons the Public

Arizona State University's new Sanda Day O'Connor College of Law building is scheduled to be unveiled in just a few short days but if the pictures are any indication, it's going to be a cross between a law school and a community hangout.

The architects who designed the new glassy digs were going for something a little less ivy and brick and a little more modern and integrated. Tomas Rossant, one of the designers, proclaimed that the building is seen as a "mechanism to connect to the urban and social fabric of Phoenix."

America's Veterans Can't Afford Lawyers

It's a tragic reality that many of America's veterans return home only to find themselves homeless, unable to find their place in civilian society. However, if studies by the Department of Veterans Affairs are to be believed, many veterans' issues could be solved with the aid of a competent attorney.

We encourage all attorneys to offer reduced or even free assistance to veterans who are in need of help. If you are unable to help or cannot handle the complexity of the veteran's issue, we have provided a list of additional resources below.

Law Schools Now Offer Money for Early Decision Applicants

Unless you're lucky enough to be a trust fund beneficiary, you will most likely have to consider costs when applying to law schools. One perceived drawback for many students is that early decision applicants generally have fewer merit-based options.

A few schools, however, have decided to offer money to students who undergo the early decision process. They're looking to catch those who would otherwise join the regular applicant pool for fear of missing out on greener pastures.

Law Schools That Won't Drown You in Debt Still Exist

If you're worried about law school debt, you should be. If you attend law school, you may or may not end up with your dream job, but you will certainly end up with a monstrous pile of debt. The good news is that there are still schools out there that are graduating JDs without drowning them in loans. A new list from US News reports features the law schools you may want to consider.

We should point out, however, that the grand majority of the schools on the list aren't exactly the top institutions. And in the highly status-conscious world of law, this may be a make-or-breaker for you.

BigLaw Firm Entices With Extra $100 Monthly Toward Student Loans

The firm of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe announced last Friday something we're hoping will become more standard in the legal community: an extra $100 per month toward student debt.

Like anything, however, there's a catch -- the perk will continue for new associates until they become eligible for their first bonus. Still, who's gonna say no?

Quinn Emanuel Wants to Pay You $35K to Leave Your Summer Job

Do you dislike your summer firm? If you were to stumble upon a new job offer at the end of the summer, would you jump on it?

Fear not, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is dangling a $35,000 sign-on bonus for lucky associates who join the QEUS team -- after a summer stint at another firm. Regardless of how other firms might feel about this, it could be a valuable opportunity to young lawyers who aren't in love with the firm they chose for their summer gig.

Some of the Richest Lawyers Are Criminals

Taking a look at Money Inc.'s list of the richest lawyers in the world, you may notice something quite interesting. Did you know that some of America's wealthiest lawyers were either indicted or convicted of some pretty hefty crimes?

Will Defrauded Law Grads Ever Be Able to Cancel Loans?

If you're a law graduate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, chances are you're applauding the Education Department's proposed rule to modify the defense to repayment in favor of defrauded students. But if you're a taxpayer who didn't go to law school, you're probably a little less jubilant.

It's a touchy subject: student debt forgiveness. For years, the general taxpayer was up in arms about proposals of providing debt relief for overburdened undergrad students who couldn't find a job. But providing relief to more "sophisticated" law students is surely to raise controversy and costs to the American taxpayer.