CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–February 7, 2011. A loan repayment program that assists prosecutors and public defenders in paying down their law school debt was recently announced by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
The John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Program is named for the late John Reid Justice of South Carolina. The program was created to encourage qualified attorneys to serve as state and local prosecutors and public defenders by providing targeted loan repayment assistance for those who commit to continued employment in those positions for at least three years.
“We have so many qualified and gifted young attorneys who have the desire to pursue a long-term career in public service, but are often forced to seek higher paying jobs in the private sector due to the significant debt they face from law school,” Alvarez said. “These grants are an important tool to help us keep these young lawyers with us, particularly at a time when we are facing significant budget cuts at the local level here in Cook County.”
Most Cook County assistant state’s attorneys graduate law school with nearly $70,000 in law school debt.
More than 100 assistant state’s attorney’s submitted applications for funds through the JRJ program; twenty-six received grants ranging from $2,000 to $4,000.