PSLF going forward

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 30, 2017 5:42 pm

Nebby wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Nebby, pretty sure he's not a 0L since he's posted about taking the bar.)

This does not reflect well on him, then.

People who have no experience in public interest or public service employment should probably stick to not giving advice on the hiring practices of public interest or public service employers.

That I'll agree with.

LurkerTurnedMember
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Tue May 30, 2017 6:02 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: paying ahead - I don't think that's right at all about paying ahead. But then, there's no point at all in paying ahead if you're banking on forgiveness because it is literally throwing your money away. There's no point in trying to hedge your bets and pay ahead because you want the max forgiven (and you wouldn't need to pay ahead because if there's a month you can't pay because your income drops, there's no payment due).

Also there's no 10 year time limit. You just need 120 qualifying payments, which can be spread out over more than 10 years if a job suddenly doesn't count. That probably isn't going to change your mind (which is fine) but you're not describing the situation quite accurately.

In any case, if forgiveness goes away I'm just PAYE-ing till the tax bomb hits, and if they get rid of that I'll be paying till whenever. Biglaw's not going to hire me and I don't want to work for them. It's great that you don't want to do this but it sounds kind of like you're arguing it's stupid for anyone to do it, which is not your choice to make.

(Nebby, pretty sure he's not a 0L since he's posted about taking the bar.)


I wasn't arguing one way or the other. Damn. I swear here on TLS, it's like there are pockets of people (clerks, biglaw, pub interest, etc) and they all have their mainstream lines of thought and anyone who dares to suggest something different is [enter some ad hominum attack, like an 0L or unexperienced in the field]. What OP asked is HUGE. It's a decision to take out six figures of loans and then sit on them, as he anticipates at this point, for 10 years hoping it'll be forgiven at the end. I do have public interest experiencs. I even went to a T10 school looking to do public interest. I took out the loans OP talked about. Do you know how much interest is accruing daily? It's insane! And I and some other people I know have all been told by the loan service providers that you have to make the minimum payment that month and if it was paid ahead and you didn't have to pay that month then you technically didn't make minimum payments and that month doesn't count. Even if we misunderstood this rule, it still stands that there are very specific technical rules you need to follow to "cash out on the insurance policy" 120 payments later. Another friend of mine did biglaw and I'm doing that now too. My friend switched over to the longest repayment plan because the loans were just unreal. Even with biglaw, some people (with loans 200k+) are looking at more than 3 or 4 years of work with maximum payments. All I'm saying is this is a serious decision to make. And all these people who themselves won't be taking out 100k or more in loans shouldn't be telling so casually someone who will that they should definitely do it or attack people who suggest another option.

You know what, go ahead. Take out the loans. Take 250k of em actually and don't even talk to a fanancial advisor about it or read LRAP or PSLF details. There, we're all on the same page then?

cavalier1138
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue May 30, 2017 6:05 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: paying ahead - I don't think that's right at all about paying ahead. But then, there's no point at all in paying ahead if you're banking on forgiveness because it is literally throwing your money away. There's no point in trying to hedge your bets and pay ahead because you want the max forgiven (and you wouldn't need to pay ahead because if there's a month you can't pay because your income drops, there's no payment due).

Also there's no 10 year time limit. You just need 120 qualifying payments, which can be spread out over more than 10 years if a job suddenly doesn't count. That probably isn't going to change your mind (which is fine) but you're not describing the situation quite accurately.

In any case, if forgiveness goes away I'm just PAYE-ing till the tax bomb hits, and if they get rid of that I'll be paying till whenever. Biglaw's not going to hire me and I don't want to work for them. It's great that you don't want to do this but it sounds kind of like you're arguing it's stupid for anyone to do it, which is not your choice to make.

(Nebby, pretty sure he's not a 0L since he's posted about taking the bar.)


I wasn't arguing one way or the other. Damn. I swear here on TLS, it's like there are pockets of people (clerks, biglaw, pub interest, etc) and they all have their mainstream lines of thought and anyone who dares to suggest something different is [enter some ad hominum attack, like an 0L or unexperienced in the field]. What OP asked is HUGE. It's a decision to take out six figures of loans and then sit on them, as he anticipates at this point, for 10 years hoping it'll be forgiven at the end. I do have public interest experiencs. I even went to a T10 school looking to do public interest. I took out the loans OP talked about. Do you know how much interest is accruing daily? It's insane! And I and some other people I know have all been told by the loan service providers that you have to make the minimum payment that month and if it was paid ahead and you didn't have to pay that month then you technically didn't make minimum payments and that month doesn't count. Even if we misunderstood this rule, it still stands that there are very specific technical rules you need to follow to "cash out on the insurance policy" 120 payments later. Another friend of mine did biglaw and I'm doing that now too. My friend switched over to the longest repayment plan because the loans were just unreal. Even with biglaw, some people (with loans 200k+) are looking at more than 3 or 4 years of work with maximum payments. All I'm saying is this is a serious decision to make. And all these people who themselves won't be taking out 100k or more in loans shouldn't be telling so casually someone who will that they should definitely do it or attack people who suggest another option.

You know what, go ahead. Take out the loans. Take 250k of em actually and don't even talk to a fanancial advisor about it or read LRAP or PSLF details. There, we're all on the same page then?


Ok, so the moral of the story is that you wanted to go on a rant about your personal experience with not understanding the system and an anecdote or two about your friends also not understanding it?

LurkerTurnedMember
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Tue May 30, 2017 6:07 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: paying ahead - I don't think that's right at all about paying ahead. But then, there's no point at all in paying ahead if you're banking on forgiveness because it is literally throwing your money away. There's no point in trying to hedge your bets and pay ahead because you want the max forgiven (and you wouldn't need to pay ahead because if there's a month you can't pay because your income drops, there's no payment due).

Also there's no 10 year time limit. You just need 120 qualifying payments, which can be spread out over more than 10 years if a job suddenly doesn't count. That probably isn't going to change your mind (which is fine) but you're not describing the situation quite accurately.

In any case, if forgiveness goes away I'm just PAYE-ing till the tax bomb hits, and if they get rid of that I'll be paying till whenever. Biglaw's not going to hire me and I don't want to work for them. It's great that you don't want to do this but it sounds kind of like you're arguing it's stupid for anyone to do it, which is not your choice to make.

(Nebby, pretty sure he's not a 0L since he's posted about taking the bar.)


I wasn't arguing one way or the other. Damn. I swear here on TLS, it's like there are pockets of people (clerks, biglaw, pub interest, etc) and they all have their mainstream lines of thought and anyone who dares to suggest something different is [enter some ad hominum attack, like an 0L or unexperienced in the field]. What OP asked is HUGE. It's a decision to take out six figures of loans and then sit on them, as he anticipates at this point, for 10 years hoping it'll be forgiven at the end. I do have public interest experiencs. I even went to a T10 school looking to do public interest. I took out the loans OP talked about. Do you know how much interest is accruing daily? It's insane! And I and some other people I know have all been told by the loan service providers that you have to make the minimum payment that month and if it was paid ahead and you didn't have to pay that month then you technically didn't make minimum payments and that month doesn't count. Even if we misunderstood this rule, it still stands that there are very specific technical rules you need to follow to "cash out on the insurance policy" 120 payments later. Another friend of mine did biglaw and I'm doing that now too. My friend switched over to the longest repayment plan because the loans were just unreal. Even with biglaw, some people (with loans 200k+) are looking at more than 3 or 4 years of work with maximum payments. All I'm saying is this is a serious decision to make. And all these people who themselves won't be taking out 100k or more in loans shouldn't be telling so casually someone who will that they should definitely do it or attack people who suggest another option.

You know what, go ahead. Take out the loans. Take 250k of em actually and don't even talk to a fanancial advisor about it or read LRAP or PSLF details. There, we're all on the same page then?


Ok, so the moral of the story is that you wanted to go on a rant about your personal experience with not understanding the system and an anecdote or two about your friends also not understanding it?


Yes. It was just for that.

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Nebby
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Nebby » Tue May 30, 2017 6:32 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: paying ahead - I don't think that's right at all about paying ahead. But then, there's no point at all in paying ahead if you're banking on forgiveness because it is literally throwing your money away. There's no point in trying to hedge your bets and pay ahead because you want the max forgiven (and you wouldn't need to pay ahead because if there's a month you can't pay because your income drops, there's no payment due).

Also there's no 10 year time limit. You just need 120 qualifying payments, which can be spread out over more than 10 years if a job suddenly doesn't count. That probably isn't going to change your mind (which is fine) but you're not describing the situation quite accurately.

In any case, if forgiveness goes away I'm just PAYE-ing till the tax bomb hits, and if they get rid of that I'll be paying till whenever. Biglaw's not going to hire me and I don't want to work for them. It's great that you don't want to do this but it sounds kind of like you're arguing it's stupid for anyone to do it, which is not your choice to make.

(Nebby, pretty sure he's not a 0L since he's posted about taking the bar.)


I wasn't arguing one way or the other. Damn. I swear here on TLS, it's like there are pockets of people (clerks, biglaw, pub interest, etc) and they all have their mainstream lines of thought and anyone who dares to suggest something different is [enter some ad hominum attack, like an 0L or unexperienced in the field]. What OP asked is HUGE. It's a decision to take out six figures of loans and then sit on them, as he anticipates at this point, for 10 years hoping it'll be forgiven at the end. I do have public interest experiencs. I even went to a T10 school looking to do public interest. I took out the loans OP talked about. Do you know how much interest is accruing daily? It's insane! And I and some other people I know have all been told by the loan service providers that you have to make the minimum payment that month and if it was paid ahead and you didn't have to pay that month then you technically didn't make minimum payments and that month doesn't count. Even if we misunderstood this rule, it still stands that there are very specific technical rules you need to follow to "cash out on the insurance policy" 120 payments later. Another friend of mine did biglaw and I'm doing that now too. My friend switched over to the longest repayment plan because the loans were just unreal. Even with biglaw, some people (with loans 200k+) are looking at more than 3 or 4 years of work with maximum payments. All I'm saying is this is a serious decision to make. And all these people who themselves won't be taking out 100k or more in loans shouldn't be telling so casually someone who will that they should definitely do it or attack people who suggest another option.

You know what, go ahead. Take out the loans. Take 250k of em actually and don't even talk to a fanancial advisor about it or read LRAP or PSLF details. There, we're all on the same page then?


Ok, so the moral of the story is that you wanted to go on a rant about your personal experience with not understanding the system and an anecdote or two about your friends also not understanding it?


Yes. It was just for that.

Then mission accomplished. You showed us all!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 30, 2017 7:25 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I wasn't arguing one way or the other. Damn. I swear here on TLS, it's like there are pockets of people (clerks, biglaw, pub interest, etc) and they all have their mainstream lines of thought and anyone who dares to suggest something different is [enter some ad hominum attack, like an 0L or unexperienced in the field]. What OP asked is HUGE. It's a decision to take out six figures of loans and then sit on them, as he anticipates at this point, for 10 years hoping it'll be forgiven at the end. I do have public interest experiencs. I even went to a T10 school looking to do public interest. I took out the loans OP talked about. Do you know how much interest is accruing daily? It's insane! And I and some other people I know have all been told by the loan service providers that you have to make the minimum payment that month and if it was paid ahead and you didn't have to pay that month then you technically didn't make minimum payments and that month doesn't count. Even if we misunderstood this rule, it still stands that there are very specific technical rules you need to follow to "cash out on the insurance policy" 120 payments later. Another friend of mine did biglaw and I'm doing that now too. My friend switched over to the longest repayment plan because the loans were just unreal. Even with biglaw, some people (with loans 200k+) are looking at more than 3 or 4 years of work with maximum payments. All I'm saying is this is a serious decision to make. And all these people who themselves won't be taking out 100k or more in loans shouldn't be telling so casually someone who will that they should definitely do it or attack people who suggest another option.

You know what, go ahead. Take out the loans. Take 250k of em actually and don't even talk to a fanancial advisor about it or read LRAP or PSLF details. There, we're all on the same page then?

Absolutely no one has said anything remotely close to that. Seriously, tell me where anyone has said not to talk to a financial advisor or not to read the LRAP or PSLF details. I mean, you're just making that up.

Also, we're all arguing for PSLF to exactly the same extent that you're arguing against that. I haven't told anyone to do anything, at all. I questioned some of your info and said that I personally am going for PSLF. How is that any more arguing than what you said?

albanach
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby albanach » Tue May 30, 2017 8:17 pm

Nebby wrote:
albanach wrote:
Nebby wrote:The PSLF definition of qualifying employment is statutory and very broad. Not much they could do to limit it.


I think the American Bar Association would disagree, giving they are currently suing over just such a limitation.

Still for those in government or 501(c)(3) work, you are probably correct.

Exceptions are not the rule


You seriously don't think this was a weather balloon sent up by the department of education?

Let's face it. If you can reign in the program with the ABA, frankly you can do it to anyone not in one of the defined classes. And if the defined classes aren't statutorily protected, they too could then be challenged.

If nothing else, what the legislature giveth, the legislature can taketh away.

cavalier1138
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:29 pm

albanach wrote:You seriously don't think this was a weather balloon sent up by the department of education?

Let's face it. If you can reign in the program with the ABA, frankly you can do it to anyone not in one of the defined classes. And if the defined classes aren't statutorily protected, they too could then be challenged.

If nothing else, what the legislature giveth, the legislature can taketh away.


The ABA is hardly the "weather balloon" of public interest. It's not like they told a bunch of ACLU staff attorneys that they no longer qualified (not that what they did wasn't shitty).

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Tue May 30, 2017 8:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I wasn't arguing one way or the other. Damn. I swear here on TLS, it's like there are pockets of people (clerks, biglaw, pub interest, etc) and they all have their mainstream lines of thought and anyone who dares to suggest something different is [enter some ad hominum attack, like an 0L or unexperienced in the field]. What OP asked is HUGE. It's a decision to take out six figures of loans and then sit on them, as he anticipates at this point, for 10 years hoping it'll be forgiven at the end. I do have public interest experiencs. I even went to a T10 school looking to do public interest. I took out the loans OP talked about. Do you know how much interest is accruing daily? It's insane! And I and some other people I know have all been told by the loan service providers that you have to make the minimum payment that month and if it was paid ahead and you didn't have to pay that month then you technically didn't make minimum payments and that month doesn't count. Even if we misunderstood this rule, it still stands that there are very specific technical rules you need to follow to "cash out on the insurance policy" 120 payments later. Another friend of mine did biglaw and I'm doing that now too. My friend switched over to the longest repayment plan because the loans were just unreal. Even with biglaw, some people (with loans 200k+) are looking at more than 3 or 4 years of work with maximum payments. All I'm saying is this is a serious decision to make. And all these people who themselves won't be taking out 100k or more in loans shouldn't be telling so casually someone who will that they should definitely do it or attack people who suggest another option.

You know what, go ahead. Take out the loans. Take 250k of em actually and don't even talk to a fanancial advisor about it or read LRAP or PSLF details. There, we're all on the same page then?

Absolutely no one has said anything remotely close to that. Seriously, tell me where anyone has said not to talk to a financial advisor or not to read the LRAP or PSLF details. I mean, you're just making that up.

Also, we're all arguing for PSLF to exactly the same extent that you're arguing against that. I haven't told anyone to do anything, at all. I questioned some of your info and said that I personally am going for PSLF. How is that any more arguing than what you said?


I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

albanach
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby albanach » Tue May 30, 2017 8:54 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
albanach wrote:You seriously don't think this was a weather balloon sent up by the department of education?

Let's face it. If you can reign in the program with the ABA, frankly you can do it to anyone not in one of the defined classes. And if the defined classes aren't statutorily protected, they too could then be challenged.

If nothing else, what the legislature giveth, the legislature can taketh away.


The ABA is hardly the "weather balloon" of public interest. It's not like they told a bunch of ACLU staff attorneys that they no longer qualified (not that what they did wasn't shitty).


The ACLU is a 501(c)(3). To compare them to this situation is to liken apples and oranges.

They obviously targeted the weakest classification - the generic public service folk not working for Government or a registered charity. For that sector, the ABA was a perfect target - if they succeed there, they can succeed against the whole category.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 30, 2017 8:58 pm

LTM, I take your point, definitely. I don't think anyone is saying "go for it" or denies that it's a serious decision. People here regularly encourage people to explore LRAP programs very seriously, to figure out what schools are likely to do if the PSLF program goes away, and to make sure they have some kind of backup plan.

I think that paying off loans with "two years of grunt work" in biglaw is oversimplifying in the other direction, though. Some of us don't have biglaw as an option (although that's probably not the case for a lot of people here), paying off loans in two years is a lot easier said than done, and for some people going to biglaw may not be the best path to get the career they want.

(It really sounds like you're making an argument to me.)

Albanach - I think the people in the ABA suit are in a pretty small category that's pretty much on the fringe of what could possibly count. (Also "charity"? "Charity" and "non-profit" don't read the same to me - I don't think of the ACLU as a charity.)

cavalier1138
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed May 31, 2017 5:48 am

albanach wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
albanach wrote:You seriously don't think this was a weather balloon sent up by the department of education?

Let's face it. If you can reign in the program with the ABA, frankly you can do it to anyone not in one of the defined classes. And if the defined classes aren't statutorily protected, they too could then be challenged.

If nothing else, what the legislature giveth, the legislature can taketh away.


The ABA is hardly the "weather balloon" of public interest. It's not like they told a bunch of ACLU staff attorneys that they no longer qualified (not that what they did wasn't shitty).


The ACLU is a 501(c)(3). To compare them to this situation is to liken apples and oranges.

They obviously targeted the weakest classification - the generic public service folk not working for Government or a registered charity. For that sector, the ABA was a perfect target - if they succeed there, they can succeed against the whole category.


In addition to what Nony already said, I think you need to be clearer about what "classification" you think was being targeted by the DOE. Assuming that they prevail in the courts, this only affects a very narrow band of attorneys who were already working in a gray area (PI, but not for a non-profit, NGO, or government entity). I sincerely hope that the courts crush the DOE's attempts to change their mind halfway through the payment schedule, but even if they don't, this isn't a warning sign for the vast majority of PI attorneys.

Earlskies
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Earlskies » Wed May 31, 2017 9:45 am

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

I do take this matter seriously and I sincerely appreciate the advice.

Your second paragraph is the debate I'm having with myself. Although I think it might be a bit optimistic to assume I can service my loans in two years, it's a path I'm considering (albeit with the consideration that it might take 3+ years). This might not be the right thread, but I also need to consider whether going biglaw will close off PI opportunities. Essentially, the following is the crux of my question:

Is PSLF reliable - and if not, is the risk/reward for potential PI positions worth it?

cavalier1138
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed May 31, 2017 9:52 am

Earlskies wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

I do take this matter seriously and I sincerely appreciate the advice.

Your second paragraph is the debate I'm having with myself. Although I think it might be a bit optimistic to assume I can service my loans in two years, it's a path I'm considering (albeit with the consideration that it might take 3+ years). This might not be the right thread, but I also need to consider whether going biglaw will close off PI opportunities. Essentially, the following is the crux of my question:

Is PSLF reliable - and if not, is the risk/reward for potential PI positions worth it?


You need to consider which PI positions you're interested in, too. If "PI" means "government agency", then you can/should probably put in some time at biglaw if you don't get in through the honors program. But if "PI" means "PD/non-finance-related-NGO", then a lot of those organizations value your commitment to the cause over grades and biglaw pedigree. Spending time in biglaw can actually be seen as a drawback in some circumstances, especially when you're up against fresh graduates who remained "pure" and went straight into that field.

I think that PSLF is reliable enough for people entering school this year. But if you really want to be sure, you should go to a school with a solid LRAP. Honestly, you should go to a school with a good LRAP in any case.

albanach
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby albanach » Wed May 31, 2017 9:57 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
In addition to what Nony already said, I think you need to be clearer about what "classification" you think was being targeted by the DOE.


Hence I said: "Let's face it. If you can reign in the program with the ABA, frankly you can do it to anyone not in one of the defined classes."

And in my earlier post, I defined the other classes when I said: "Still for those in government or 501(c)(3) work, you are probably correct." Those having completed a PSLF form would probably be familiar with those two categories allowing you to skip the remainder of the section.

Not entirely sure what would be clearer.

cavalier1138 wrote: Assuming that they prevail in the courts, this only affects a very narrow band of attorneys who were already working in a gray area (PI, but not for a non-profit, NGO, or government entity). I sincerely hope that the courts crush the DOE's attempts to change their mind halfway through the payment schedule, but even if they don't, this isn't a warning sign for the vast majority of PI attorneys.


I agree. However I am also concerned that a victory against the ABA would provide motivation to then try and target the other classes. That was the basis of my comment that if those "defined classes aren't statutorily protected, they too could then be challenged."

cavalier1138
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed May 31, 2017 10:01 am

albanach wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
In addition to what Nony already said, I think you need to be clearer about what "classification" you think was being targeted by the DOE.


Hence I said: "Let's face it. If you can reign in the program with the ABA, frankly you can do it to anyone not in one of the defined classes."

And in my earlier post, I defined the other classes when I said: "Still for those in government or 501(c)(3) work, you are probably correct." Those having completed a PSLF form would probably be familiar with those two categories allowing you to skip the remainder of the section.

Not entirely sure what would be clearer.

cavalier1138 wrote: Assuming that they prevail in the courts, this only affects a very narrow band of attorneys who were already working in a gray area (PI, but not for a non-profit, NGO, or government entity). I sincerely hope that the courts crush the DOE's attempts to change their mind halfway through the payment schedule, but even if they don't, this isn't a warning sign for the vast majority of PI attorneys.


I agree. However I am also concerned that a victory against the ABA would provide motivation to then try and target the other classes. That was the basis of my comment that if those "defined classes aren't statutorily protected, they too could then be challenged."


But what are these classes? How broad is this category? In your earlier post, you appeared to confuse 501(c)(3) orgs with charities. The reality is that an insanely small number of people are in positions which can be considered PI but don't qualify for PSLF. The only thing that makes the ABA case exceptional is the DOE's 180 on their decision to qualify those jobs.

Earlskies
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Earlskies » Wed May 31, 2017 10:10 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Earlskies wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

I do take this matter seriously and I sincerely appreciate the advice.

Your second paragraph is the debate I'm having with myself. Although I think it might be a bit optimistic to assume I can service my loans in two years, it's a path I'm considering (albeit with the consideration that it might take 3+ years). This might not be the right thread, but I also need to consider whether going biglaw will close off PI opportunities. Essentially, the following is the crux of my question:

Is PSLF reliable - and if not, is the risk/reward for potential PI positions worth it?


You need to consider which PI positions you're interested in, too. If "PI" means "government agency", then you can/should probably put in some time at biglaw if you don't get in through the honors program. But if "PI" means "PD/non-finance-related-NGO", then a lot of those organizations value your commitment to the cause over grades and biglaw pedigree. Spending time in biglaw can actually be seen as a drawback in some circumstances, especially when you're up against fresh graduates who remained "pure" and went straight into that field.

I think that PSLF is reliable enough for people entering school this year. But if you really want to be sure, you should go to a school with a solid LRAP. Honestly, you should go to a school with a good LRAP in any case.

The potential opportunities I'm worried about losing include organizations such as NRDC, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, etc. In the event I'm not supremely qualified for the aforementioned organizations, I'm also interested in local/regional environmental nonprofits such Southern Environmental Law Center, Western Environmental Law Center, and other smaller local organizations.

But yes, LRAP is/was a significant factor in my decision.

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Nebby » Wed May 31, 2017 10:11 am

Earlskies wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Earlskies wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

I do take this matter seriously and I sincerely appreciate the advice.

Your second paragraph is the debate I'm having with myself. Although I think it might be a bit optimistic to assume I can service my loans in two years, it's a path I'm considering (albeit with the consideration that it might take 3+ years). This might not be the right thread, but I also need to consider whether going biglaw will close off PI opportunities. Essentially, the following is the crux of my question:

Is PSLF reliable - and if not, is the risk/reward for potential PI positions worth it?


You need to consider which PI positions you're interested in, too. If "PI" means "government agency", then you can/should probably put in some time at biglaw if you don't get in through the honors program. But if "PI" means "PD/non-finance-related-NGO", then a lot of those organizations value your commitment to the cause over grades and biglaw pedigree. Spending time in biglaw can actually be seen as a drawback in some circumstances, especially when you're up against fresh graduates who remained "pure" and went straight into that field.

I think that PSLF is reliable enough for people entering school this year. But if you really want to be sure, you should go to a school with a solid LRAP. Honestly, you should go to a school with a good LRAP in any case.

The potential opportunities I'm worried about losing include organizations such as NRDC, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, etc. In the event I'm not supremely qualified for the aforementioned organizations, I'm also interested in local/regional environmental nonprofits such Southern Environmental Law Center, Western Environmental Law Center, and other smaller local organizations.

But yes, LRAP is/was a significant factor in my decision.

Are you going to school this fall? Where?

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Earlskies » Wed May 31, 2017 10:13 am

Nebby wrote:
Earlskies wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Earlskies wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

I do take this matter seriously and I sincerely appreciate the advice.

Your second paragraph is the debate I'm having with myself. Although I think it might be a bit optimistic to assume I can service my loans in two years, it's a path I'm considering (albeit with the consideration that it might take 3+ years). This might not be the right thread, but I also need to consider whether going biglaw will close off PI opportunities. Essentially, the following is the crux of my question:

Is PSLF reliable - and if not, is the risk/reward for potential PI positions worth it?


You need to consider which PI positions you're interested in, too. If "PI" means "government agency", then you can/should probably put in some time at biglaw if you don't get in through the honors program. But if "PI" means "PD/non-finance-related-NGO", then a lot of those organizations value your commitment to the cause over grades and biglaw pedigree. Spending time in biglaw can actually be seen as a drawback in some circumstances, especially when you're up against fresh graduates who remained "pure" and went straight into that field.

I think that PSLF is reliable enough for people entering school this year. But if you really want to be sure, you should go to a school with a solid LRAP. Honestly, you should go to a school with a good LRAP in any case.

The potential opportunities I'm worried about losing include organizations such as NRDC, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, etc. In the event I'm not supremely qualified for the aforementioned organizations, I'm also interested in local/regional environmental nonprofits such Southern Environmental Law Center, Western Environmental Law Center, and other smaller local organizations.

But yes, LRAP is/was a significant factor in my decision.

Are you going to school this fall? Where?

Yes - Michigan.

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby albanach » Wed May 31, 2017 10:20 am

cavalier1138 wrote:But what are these classes? How broad is this category? In your earlier post, you appeared to confuse 501(c)(3) orgs with charities.


The classes - as I mentioned, separated on the PSLF application form, are Government, 501(c)(3) or charities registered as such with the IRS, my apologies if that in any way confused you. The three types are also listed on the PSLF web page:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service wrote:* Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal)
* Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
* Other types of not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services


I really thought most folk familiar with PSLF would know the categories and that it wouldn't require more than passing detail/explanation. Apparently that's not the case.

Of course it's a small number that would be affected initially. That's why I called it a weather balloon. If a government wants to target PSLF for cuts, the way to do it is to chip away at the weakest link. If you can't break it, you might as well give up trying. If you do get through there, then the rest could be targeted.

You may disagree that the government can target the government and 501(c)(3) categories, but plenty of commentators thought that was possible prior to Trump's budget document and while I welcome the commitment to protect it for current borrowers for the time being, I don't think there's a lot the courts could do if Congress chose to do otherwise.

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Wed May 31, 2017 10:26 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Earlskies wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:I was being sarcastic. And I just wanted to let OP know it's a serious decision. Most people graduating from law school are still young. They've never had or understood what being in debt really means, let alone being six figures in debt, what it means to essentially have a whole mortgage with no house to keep in exchange. And a lot of people here tend to still be in law school or very early out of it, and so still mentally gun for things like prestigious clerkships and stuff, with little consideration of family, future financial needs, etc. So the casual "go for it" advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are multiple ways to a public interest job. LRAP/PSLF is definitely one way. Trying for biglaw to pay off the loans within a couple years is another. The former carries 10 years of debt and financial limitations during that time, with a risk that an oversight or miscommunication about an overly technical rule might lead to some or a lot of the 120 payments not counting. Or maybe the program changes altogether, who knows. The latter is two years of grunt work and financial freedom after that.

I do take this matter seriously and I sincerely appreciate the advice.

Your second paragraph is the debate I'm having with myself. Although I think it might be a bit optimistic to assume I can service my loans in two years, it's a path I'm considering (albeit with the consideration that it might take 3+ years). This might not be the right thread, but I also need to consider whether going biglaw will close off PI opportunities. Essentially, the following is the crux of my question:

Is PSLF reliable - and if not, is the risk/reward for potential PI positions worth it?


You need to consider which PI positions you're interested in, too. If "PI" means "government agency", then you can/should probably put in some time at biglaw if you don't get in through the honors program. But if "PI" means "PD/non-finance-related-NGO", then a lot of those organizations value your commitment to the cause over grades and biglaw pedigree. Spending time in biglaw can actually be seen as a drawback in some circumstances, especially when you're up against fresh graduates who remained "pure" and went straight into that field.

I think that PSLF is reliable enough for people entering school this year. But if you really want to be sure, you should go to a school with a solid LRAP. Honestly, you should go to a school with a good LRAP in any case.


With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Nebby » Wed May 31, 2017 10:26 am

Absent a change in law, there is nothing the executive can do to chip away at the first two categories (gov't and 501c3).

The ABA suit concerns the third category: Other types of not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed May 31, 2017 10:27 am

albanach wrote:You may disagree that the government can target the government and 501(c)(3) categories, but plenty of commentators thought that was possible prior to Trump's budget document and while I welcome the commitment to protect it for current borrowers for the time being, I don't think there's a lot the courts could do if Congress chose to do otherwise.


Except enforce the contracts relied on by every graduate who has been making their IBR/PAYE payments in a qualifying position for the past decade. The courts could do that.

Anyway, people have been predicting the sky falling on this program since its expansion. If in October, the DOE tells everyone that the prior promises never counted because they had their fingers crossed, then there might be some genuine cause for alarm. Until then, it's a lot of conjecture that mostly relies on Congress voting to eliminate contract law.

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Nebby
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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby Nebby » Wed May 31, 2017 10:31 am

LurkerTurnedMember wrote: With so much economic inequality now and the increased price of law school, we should all agree, for the sake of equity, that remaining "pure" just means you were financially privileged. Period. If you have two small children and a mortgage, car payments, etc, or just a ton of loans that you can't handle having loom over you for 120 payments, especially in this climate, then taking a biglaw job shouldn't be seen as a negative.

This is such a dumb and ignorant opinion. Did you recently go fishing and that's why red herrings are on your mind?

PSLF and LRAPs provide people with the ability to pursue a public interest career regardless of whether they are financially privileged. That's kinda the entire point of both programs.

Furthermore, I have no idea why you're talking about children, a mortgage, car payments etc. Do you think only nontraditional students go to law school or something? You are describing a very small subset of people. The vast majority of young lawyers do not have children, a mortgage, or car payments.

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Re: PSLF going forward

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed May 31, 2017 10:40 am

Albanach - I think that's entirely consistent with what Nebby said initially - that the definition is broad and *statutory.* Of course Congress can change that if they want. I think the whole point originally was that the courts/DOE couldn't reduce the protections. No one has said that Congress couldn't decide to axe it. (So short version: the ABA lawsuit isn't a big deal for the vast majority of people relying on PSLF, but Congress fucking with it is.)

Earlskies, I guess this is a little late now, but I was going to say that for people looking at the T14 and wanting PI, looking at schools' LRAPs is probably much more important than PSLF per se, since there are LRAP programs that don't have anything to do with PSLF/schools that commit to supporting LRAP if PSLF is abolished. (I say T14 because I think not many other schools have LRAPs you could rely on, frankly, so people in other circumstances need to weigh the risks of PSLF more carefully.)

Also it sounds to me like you're heading in the non-biglaw/pure dedication direction in which biglaw isn't necessarily that helpful, but someone like Nebby will be better qualified to speak to that.

(LTM, I agree that often people who head in this direction have a lot of financial support, but don't blame the messengers for the way hiring works. I'm in fed gov so there are plenty of people with biglaw backgrounds but I've been in a number of contexts where "I did biglaw for the money" isn't going to go over well. That's just reality. Also, finally, saying "just do biglaw to pay it off" also reflects a T14/"I got biglaw privilege" - it's not a route available to everyone.)




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