The most consistently cited reason why attorneys decline or leave positions as prosecutors and public defenders is student loan debt. The majority of law students must borrow to finance their education and the rising costs are continuing to impose insurmountable debt. To extend the problem, public defender and prosecutor salaries are failing to keep pace with the escalating cost of education. As a result, talented lawyers are often unwilling to accept or remain in attorney positions as prosecutors or public defenders, creating real challenges for those offices in their quest to hire and retain capable attorneys. The John R. Justice grant program was created by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to remedy this problem, giving public defenders and prosecuting attorneys the opportunity to apply for assistance with their student loan payments by agreeing to sign a three-year service agreement.
**For additional program information and/or application materials, please contact Aaron J. Hamilton and/or Ellen R. Vance at the information listed above.