Brooklyn Law School Program Reimburses 15% Of Tuition For Graduates Who Can’t Find Work

There’s no guarantee that spending tens of thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of dollars on higher education will pay off with a job in your preferred field. But instead of leaving graduates buried under piles of student loan debt and wondering why they wanted to practice law in the first place, one New York law school is putting its money where its mouth is, offering to repay portions of graduates’ tuition if they can’t find employment.

The New York Times reports that starting with the upcoming school year, Brooklyn Law School will repay 15% of total tuition costs for former students who have not found full-time jobs within nine months of graduation.

The plan, called Bridge to Success, applies only toward out-of-pocket expenses – grants are not covered – for all students starting courses through the school’s two-, three- or four-year programs this year.

To be eligible for the reimbursement, individuals must demonstrate they have actively searched for full-time work, made use of the school’s career resources and taken the bar exam. However, they don’t actually have to pass the licensing test to recoup some costs.

Brooklyn Law School dean, Nicholas Allard, says the program was created to motivate students to seek out career resources, as well as giving them time to find a job that is right for them, rather than succumbing to pressure to settle for the first thing that comes along.

Allard tells the NYT that the program was made possible because of the school’s strong financial standing and a $133 million endowment.

“This builds on the overall approach that we’ve taken to be very student-centric, to listen to what students need,” he says.

That was also likely a driving factor behind the school’s decision last year to cut tuition by 15%, brining the average cost to $43,237 per year.

“It’s really recognition that the one size fits all of conventional legal education is no longer going to work or should be working,” Allard says.

The Brooklyn Law School’s new program and tuition decrease come at a time when the legal industry is struggling to provide work for new graduates.

The NYT reports that the industry is still trying to bounce back from the recession when it lost about 60,000 jobs.

Brooklyn Law School Offers a Safety Net for New Students [The New York Times]

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