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From Boston to LA, law schools give unemployed grads paychecks

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Local,DC,Virginia,Education,Rachel Baye,Georgetown University,George Washington University

George Washington University is not the only school that funds work for law school graduates while they look for jobs.

Locally, American University's Washington College of Law pays 23 graduates up to $15,000 for four to eight months of work as part of its JD Distinguished Fellowship Program, which was established in 2009. Fellows can work in the public or private sector, so long as they work in the legal field.

The Georgetown University Law Center and University of Virginia Law School are among schools with programs that fund short-term work in public interest law. At Georgetown, the Entry Into Practice program provides up to $6,000 for six months, said spokeswoman Elissa Free. U.Va. offers $30,000 for 12 months working full-time in a public service position.

Duke University Law School's Bridge to Practice Fellowship bears one of the closest resemblances to GW's program. Developed in 2008, the program pays graduates for two to three months of full-time work in the public or private sector. Roughly 35 members of the 207-person class of 2011 participated, according to a recent article in Duke Law Magazine.

Other schools with programs include the University of California, Berkeley, Law School, University of California, Los Angeles, Law School and Boston University Law School.

Berkeley's Public Interest/Public Sector Bridge Fellowship Program was started in 2005, doubled in 2009 after the start of the recession and grew again in 2010, said school spokeswoman Susan Gluss. The roughly 45 participants, in a class of about 300, can earn up to $2,500 a month for up to four months.

At UCLA, the New Graduate Opportunity Program offers roughly $16 an hour of pay for part-time work up to 20 weeks, said Beth Moeller, director of career services.

Boston University pays $15 an hour for part-time work, and 10 graduates can receive a full-time fellowship that pays $40,000 for 10 months of work, said spokeswoman Ann Comer-Woods. - Rachel Baye

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