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Public Interest Scholarship Programs

Podcast Highlight:

This week’s podcast takes a look at public interest scholarship programs. We’ll hear from experts Heather Jarvis, student loan expert and owner of www.askheatherjarvis.com; Beth Hansen, Director of Career Services at BYU Law School; and Elizabeth Dunn, Director of Public Service Careers and Pro Bono programs at Villanova Law School.

Heather Jarvis tells us that some law schools, such as BYU and Villanova, have dedicated public interest scholarship programs, although they often vary in scope and nature. She suggests that those students interested in pursuing their public interest goals during law school take a look at clinical opportunities and public service student organizations.

Beth Hansen talks about the public service scholarship program at BYU Law School, describing it as one that seeks to “bridge the gap” for students in public service careers. She also tells us about BYU Law’s public service placement programs, and talks about the strategies and efforts the school has in place to help student find public interest employment. Director Hansen also discusses the public service field as a whole, and encourages all students to take advantage of at least one public service opportunity, although she does warn that students should never consider a career in public service as a “back up” employment plan.

Elizabeth Dunn believes that what makes Villanova’s public interest scholarship program different is the full tuition waiver it offers to students who agree to work in public service for three of the first five years after graduation. She advises that students only take part in these types of scholarship programs if they are committed to public service and understand that they will be living on a lower income level than their law firm peers. In closing, Director Dunn suggests that students thoroughly research the scholarship programs available at the schools they are interested in because every program is different and it is important that the student take part in the program that is best suited to them and their future career aspirations.

Guests:

Heather Jarvis – Student loan expert and owner of www.askheatherjarvis.com
Beth Hansen – Director of Career Services at BYU Law School
Elizabeth Dunn – Director of Public Service Careers and Pro Bono programs at Villanova Law School.

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