In the world of college education there are prestigious options, many related to law. However, law degrees do come with a known stigma: the cost of education for them is enormous. Law school loans easily average around $50,000, some with interest rates that cause the total to rocket.
But, law students aren’t without hope. Law firms are looking to take a modern approach towards assisting graduates with their total debt. Latham and Watkins is the vanguard example, looking to help students with $50K debt or more. They’ll do so by working with First Republic Bank to refinance their interest rates to a timid 2.5 percent.
Thanks to them, other firms joined up with the idea post-January. Kirkland and Ellis was one such example, offering refinancing for debtors with around 6-8 percent in interest rates. Kirkland also extended help to borrowers by helping them connect with SoFi, the nation’s leading student loan refinancing company.
According to SoFi’s Vice President of Member and Community Success, Dan Macklin, the company has been working with over 100 law firms for about 3 years. Some firms using said program include the mentioned Kirkland, Herrington and Sutcliffe, Akin Gump, Orrick, and more. For graduates working with any law firm, this is good news, as the more firms join up with programs like SoFi, the better off they’ll be with affordable repayments.
Of course, per the idea behind SoFi, it’s not just for helping graduates with interest refinancing. One of the benefits proposed by the program is direct payment to the loan via employer. This has been a new practice adopted by non-law firm based companies, but the latter is showing support too. Macklin suggests this is one big way to help those with tremendous debt, while creating company loyalty and reliability from employees.
In total, SoFi has helped refinance loans totaling about $8 billion. According to Macklin, refinancing has saved the average lawyer about $25,000.
Thanks to these efforts, firms and businesses alike are adopting programs like SoFi’s to help lower interest rates. Though the process takes time, generally a year for the policy to initiate, employees benefit greatly. These benefits could be key in undoing the enormous weight of national student loan debt, especially for those with expensive law degrees. For those interested, lawyers should always ask if their firm offers relief programs mentioned above.