In an effort to combat the shortage of qualified prosecutors and public defenders, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a measure that would provide loan repayment assistance for both public defenders and prosecutors who face the burden of paying back tens of thousands of dollars of loans upon graduating from law school.

The trend of law school graduates bypassing public service careers to work for higher-paying jobs in the private sector has prompted lawmakers to help alleviate graduates’ burden of repaying those loans. “Our communities suffer when the criminal justice system lacks a sufficient supply of experienced prosecutors and defenders,” says Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., who introduced the House bill.

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