Hannah Garden-Monheit, 1L

Hannah Garden-Monheit, ‘14
Hometown:
Mobile, AL
Undergrad: Grinnell College, ‘07
Major: Political Science and French
Law School activities/organizations: American Constitution Society, Student Admissions Committee

For students considering a career in public interest, student-loan debt is a huge consideration when selecting a law school.

It was for Hannah Garden-Monheit, and it’s why she chose Chicago Law. “The Law School’s generous public service loan forgiveness program underscored the school’s commitment to supporting and encouraging students interested in public service careers,” she said.

In 2011, the Law School adopted a new Loan Repayment Assistance Program that allows total forgiveness of student loans for graduates working in public interest who meet certain criteria. The Law School’s LRAP is one of the most generous of its kind, with an income cap of $80,000 and inclusion of judicial clerkships.

Hannah decided to attended law school after managing an Iowa State House campaign, clerking in the State House of Representatives, and serving for three years as an analyst for the Iowa Senate Democratic Caucus to attend law school.

“Every day presented a different challenge, ranging from figuring out the right phrasing to use in a bill, to helping a constituent solve a problem or designing a press tour to make the legislative process more accessible to the public,” she said. “But I realized I could be a stronger public servant if I armed myself with a legal education. It’s difficult to draft good legislation when you don’t know the common law, or how a court would approach interpreting your statute!”

So far, Hannah has found law school intellectually stimulating, and she can see practical applications for what she’s learning. Her classmates also have added to the experience. “Far from the cutthroat atmosphere I had feared when contemplating a top law school,” she said, “I’ve found my interactions with other students to be very rewarding.”

Here's what Hannah has found to be the most challenging about law school:

“There’s so much going on around campus and in the city that sometimes it’s hard to set aside time to take advantage of it all.”