Providing legal services

Despite the television portrait of lawyers as wealthy corporate slaves mingling with business leaders and celebrities, many lawyers work in much more humble settings for nonprofits or for the government. Harvard Law School, which is about as elite as you can find, has come up with a new program to encourage more students to sign up for public service or government service rather than corporate work. They will do this by not charging tuition for the third year of law school to students who agree to work for five years in a public service area of law. Many new lawyers are facing thousands of dollars of student loans to pay off, so this break on tuition should relieve some of the pressure to make money fast to pay them off. The tuition at Harvard, of course, is far higher than at most other schools, but students at all colleges and universities are finding it difficult to pay off ever-growing student loans. Perhaps more schools could follow Harvard’s leadership to help students use their education to serve the public rather than simply to earn more money. That would be good for all of us.

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