Law School Discussion

Taking best advantage of public interest programs

Taking best advantage of public interest programs
« on: March 06, 2009, 12:05:06 PM »
So -

Here's the thing.  I'll be headed into public interest work after law school.  I'm into several schools that have mind-bogglingly generous loan-repayment programs (particularly Harvard).  Which is great.

But, HLS demands that every penny of your personal assets (well, half your retirement funds, which you're expected to liquidate) go towards your law school degree.  Loans you take out to cover that portion of their expectation are NOT eligible for the loads of free money they give away for public service.

Parental expected contributions are. 

So is there anything preventing me from giving away all my assets to my parents, under the implicit (but not legally binding) understanding that they will give that money back (gradually, so as not to trigger duties to report the increase) over time to pay off the balance not covered by the loan forgiveness program?

That is, can I transfer assets from an account that isn't eligible for forgiveness (mine) to one that is (my parents') to better take advantage of the free money?  From one angle, it seems like an ethical gray area; from another it seems totally wrong; from yet another, it seems way okay.

Most importantly, is there official guidance about this?  I'd love some free cash for being clever, but I'm not about to risk being disbarred.


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Re: Taking best advantage of public interest programs
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2009, 07:57:07 PM »
Slowly transferring money from one place to another in an attempt to hide it from somebody for later use.

Sounds a bit like money laundering, no?

I don't see how you could think this is an ethical gray area. Seems quite wrong to me.