Finnegan Henderson, a fairly large DC firm that specializes in intellectual property law, apparently has a program where they pay for staffers' tuition if they decide to go to law school. They have to work summers at the firm as a "student associate," but considering the cost of law school these days, it sounds like a pretty good deal for the employee. Obviously, Finnegan Henderson has a lot of young associates who are slapping themselves in the forehead as they look at their six-figure student loan debt, wondering why they didn't spend a few months as a paralegal at Finnegan before going to law school. But I'm sure there's no hard feelings there. No way would a Finnegan fifth-year associate be cruel to a first-year associate just because they both graduated from Harvard Law and one of them owes almost $200,000 while the other one has no law school debt at all. Never happen. Not even if the no-debt asshole used to be a paralegal working under the fifth-year. I'm sure everybody will act like mature adults.
Of course, that probably would be a first for attorneys, so don't hold your breath. My real question in all of this, though, is why on Earth would you want to start a program that results in more lawyers? Law school attendance is way down, and Big Law is not hiring in the numbers it used to. So why create more candidates for unemployment? Not getting it.