BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB) – With high demand for public defenders and prosecutors, the state has offered a financial incentive for those who stay and work full time for at least three years. They could charge their student loans.
“Certainly Louisiana, like many states, has had problems with the public defender system, there is no doubt about it,” said University of the South Chancellor John Pierre.
“Well, any form of student loan repayment assistance is extremely important to a public defender’s office like ours,” said Lindsay Blouin of the Baton Rouge Office of Public Defenders.
Blouin added that with the amount of debt some of the lawyers in his office sometimes have, it can be difficult to keep them on staff.
“We see high turnover in our office. The lawyers will work here for several years and then they want to be able to start a family, they want to be able to buy a house. And so, working for the salary they work as a public defender while also being required to repay that heavy student loan debt sometimes becomes overwhelming to the point that they may have to leave for a job they don’t like. necessarily as much, but it will allow them to repay these student loans and really have a life, ”explained Blouin.
One of the requirements of the program is that you must pay $ 20,000 on eligible student loans. This includes both federal family education loans and federal direct loans.
“I think it’s good that something can help inspire people to take this position,” said Eric Alborn, who is in his second year at LSU Law.
Alborn says that as a student who will graduate with a decent amount of debt, this program is attractive.
“Getting a degree with (x) student loan amount is going to be a burden on everyone and if that’s what it takes for me not only to pay it off but to redeem it in a way or another is go and be a public defender, so it’s definitely something that’s going to weigh in on my mind and I think of a lot of others as well, ”Alborn said.
To learn more about the program and eligibility requirements, visit https://mylosfa.la.gov/students-parents/scholarships-grants/john-r-justice/
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