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Baker Donelson Establishes Loan Repayment Assistance Program at UT College of Law

Program Will Aid Students/Alumni Pursuing Public Service
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(Memphis, TN/November 1, 2010) The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, has made a major gift commitment to the University of Tennessee College of Law to establish a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) for law students or alumni pursuing legal careers in the public service sector.

The Baker Donelson Loan Repayment Assistance Program will provide loan forgiveness each year for one or two University of Tennessee College of Law students or alumni who are about to be employed or are already employed in an area of public interest law, such as public defender, district attorney, legal aid organizations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

"The strength of our legal system is rooted in equal access to justice for all our citizens, and when that access is denied to people of lesser financial means, the system is severely weakened," said Ben Adams, Chairman and CEO of Baker Donelson. Adds George T. "Buck" Lewis, a member of the UT Dean's Circle and a shareholder with Baker Donelson, "We felt it was important to encourage law students to pursue careers dedicated to ensuring that those of modest means have equal access to legal services. This LRAP is designed to significantly ease the financial burden for students and alumni who will become a crucial part of a balanced and equitable legal system."

The fund for the program was established through individual contributions from Baker Donelson attorneys that were then matched by the Firm. The campaign resulted in a total of $208,000 to fund the LRAP.

"Baker Donelson and its attorneys have been extremely generous in creating this program," said Douglas A. Blaze, Dean of the UT College of Law. "This will be a significant step in opening doors for law students and alumni interested in working in the public service sector."

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