The Critical Role of Public Service Loan Forgiveness in Access To Counsel and Equal Justice
The Results of a 2,000-Person Survey
The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) has made quality legal representation far more accessible to low-income people across the country. Currently, PSLF forgives remaining balances on federal
student loans on which a borrower has paid 10% of his or her discretionary income while working full-time in public service jobs for 10 years. This arrangement has made it possible for thousands of civil legal aid lawyers
and public defenders—whose starting salaries average below $50,000—to serve their communities and still manage the debts they acquired attending law school.