For the past 100 years, Creighton University School of Law has been educating its students for service and justice. Our mission is "to produce ethical lawyers who will zealously and competently represent clients within the bounds of the law and, at the same time, recognize their duty to improve society." That mission to produce lawyers who will recognize their duty to improve society drives our public interest programs. At Creighton, we promote and encourage public service through a variety of programs, including our clinical programs, internships, externships, career programming, community involvement and financial support.
Creighton's Career Development Office assists students with locating public interest clerkships and attorney positions. Each year, the CDO presents Public Interest Careers Week, in which public interest employers are showcased. Additionally, Creighton subscribes to a number of public interest job posting websites, including PSLawNet. and sponsors students annually at a variety of public service job fairs.
Creighton LRAP and CFCPI Programs
Recognizing the high cost of education, and relatively low pay of public interest positions, Creighton has created two programs to help fund our student's careers in the public interest, the Creighton Fund for Clerkships in the Public Interest (CFCPI) and Creighton's Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). The mission of Creighton's LRAP is: (1) to encourage new law school graduates to provide legal assistance, through employment in specific public interest legal settings, to people of limited financial means who cannot otherwise afford legal assistance; (2) to encourage new law school graduates to work as lawyers in jobs that will benefit the overall public interest; (3) to ease the financial burden of new graduates in exchange for their commitment to and completion of practicing a number of years in public interest law; and (4) to make other students, who may not enroll in the program, aware of the need for assistance to the poor, and therefore to encourage pro bono service from these law school graduates. Creighton's CFCPI funds first and second-year students summer clerkships with government and non-profit entities.
Public Interest Employer Database - where prior students worked using CFCPI grants
Opportunities in the PSJD database include internships (fall, spring, and summer), postgraduate fellowships, and a wide variety of permanent positions at many levels of experience. PSJD also includes over 11,000 organizational profiles for nonprofit, government, and other public interest employers spanning the globe. Registered users may search the database, flag and store opportunities for later viewing, receive email alerts with newly posted opportunities, and apply directly for opportunities on PSJD.
PSJD's resource page for public interest law students searching for summer funding is newly updated and expanded. Detailed information on numerous funding opportunities is available. Many deadlines are approaching, so pass the word on to law students!
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007
Important federal student debt relief legislation went into effect on July 1, 2009. Two provisions are relevant for law students and alumni. The first is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for those students going into public service work. The second is Income Based Repayment (IBR) available to any student with high loan debt and a relatively lower salary. For information about these programs, click on the links below.
Creighton Financial Aid Office – Paula Kohles in the Financial Aid Office is available to provide advice to alumni regarding Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Programs, as well as other repayment options. Although IBR and PSLF are available only for federal student loans, they can help make monthly student loan payments more manageable. Paula can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-280-2351.
Equal Justice Works - The EJW website contains wonderful resources that discuss student debt relief, including income-based repayment and public service loan forgiveness. EJW offers regular webinars discussing both programs.
IBRinfo.org - IBRinfo.org contains a plethora of information about the income-based repayment option, including a calculator useful for figuring monthly payments.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) - The Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan helps keep your monthly student loan payments affordable, and usually has the lowest monthly payment amount of the repayment plans that are based on your income. If you need to make lower monthly payments, this plan may be for you. You also must be a new borrower as of Oct. 1, 2007, and must have received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - Employment Certification Forms Now Available
In January 2012, the Department of Education issued the long-awaited Employment Certification Form for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Direct Loan borrowers who work in the public and nonprofit sectors can now get confirmation that their job counts as qualifying employment for PSLF. Using this form will make it much easier to track your eligibility, know when it's time to apply for forgiveness, and have the paperwork you need in hand. Visit the Federal Student Aid website for the Employment Certification instructions, fact sheet, and form.
The Employee and Employer Guide to Public Service Loan Forgiveness - authored by Heather Jarvis and the ABA.
Heather Jarvis (Student Loan Expert) - Heather Jarvis is one of the nation's leading authorities on income-based repayment and public service loan forgiveness. Her website offers frequent webinars and a blog that shed light on what can be a confusing process.