This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published on August 14, 2013 on Breitbart.com website.
Elite and expensive law schools are promoting a program to graduate swarms of activist leftist lawyers at federal taxpayer expense. The U.S. Department of Education program, called “Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” would result in unlimited numbers of students at the most expensive American law schools obtaining law degrees for free–as long as they practice law to advance leftist causes.
Law schools like Georgetown are blatantly promoting the tuition-free ride:
“public interest borrowers might not pay a single penny on their loans–ever!”
The program works like this. Law schools with a particular affinity for left wing causes–count Georgetown, George Washington, Cal Berkeley, and NYU among them–promise to pay a law graduate’s student loan payments up to a certain amount, provided they are engaged in “public interest” law.
Because these school-sponsored subsidies to leftist lawyers often are limited to only ten years after graduation, the borrower-lawyer is forced to pay any loan payment after that.
That’s where the federal government program kicks in. The federal government program forgives the remainder of the loan, as long as the lawyer is practicing in left-wing dominated “public interest” law.
While the program relates to “public interest” lawyers, public interest law is widely understood to be the practice of law with left-wing causes. Conservative law students who wish to work for conservative public interest organizations are routinely denied access to school benefits reserved for leftist “public interest” practices. Conservatives wishing to adopt the label do succeed sometimes, but usually must fight an entrenched institutional bias against them at American law schools.
The program says employment with the government or a 501(c)(3) organization qualifies. The number of leftist 501(c)(3) organizations dwarfs the handful of conservative 501(c)(3) organizations engaged in public litigation. The qualification has the discriminatory impact of subsidizing the left.
Law school student organizations and “public interest” clubs are also nearly exclusively leftist in orientation, especially at the most elite law schools. You don’t find many Second Amendment clubs on campus.
The federal program, combined with the ideological biases of elite American law schools, has created incentives to produce increasing numbers of leftist activists with law degrees who will then practice at groups pushing for racial quotas and discrimination, against election integrity measures, against the free market and any other of the foundation-funded anti-freedom causes.
Under this program, leftist activist law students have no incentive to seek more reasonably priced legal educations. They will gravitate toward the most elite and most expensive law schools. These elite schools have conveniently drifted away from providing a traditional utilitarian legal education, and instead are heavy on curriculum designed to aid ideological activism.
And you, the American taxpayer, are helping their cause.