The Pritzker School of Law announced new initiatives Tuesday aimed at increasing the affordability of law school and supporting alumni.
As a part of the announcement, the law school will commit $2 million annually to support the initiatives, which include an emergency alumni relief fund and a full-time alumni career specialist position for School of Law alumni.
“This is our running start — though the race no doubt is a long one — to take some tangible steps that attempt to address student need and educational debt in creative and constructive ways,” School of Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez said in a release.
Through the $2 million commitment, the law school will expand its Interest Freedom Plan, a recently launched program to help graduates earning less than $90,000 per year by temporarily freezing interest on student loans. The expansion will extend the current one-year allowance to two years for students. The School of Law is committed to fund the program through the class of 2020, according to the release.
In addition, the emergency alumni relief fund — a set-aside amount of $200,000 — is also aimed at helping students with their loans.
The School of Law will also guarantee summer funding of at least $8,000 for students who meet the criteria, which include completing at least 20 volunteer hours and being employed at a public interest or nonprofit organization for the summer.
“To our knowledge, we will now have the most generous summer public interest funding guarantee of any law school in the country,” Rodriguez said in the release. “This augmentation reinforces our increased commitment to invigorate our law school’s public interest culture, both in terms of expanding our programmatic offerings, and in supporting students who wish to pursue careers in public service.”
The money will also go toward travel support for School of Law students to attend off-campus job fairs, public interest job interviews and clerkship interviews, as well as funding for an increased hourly rate for research assistants and teaching assistant stipends.
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