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Chao Pan L’10 discusses Penn Law’s generous loan forgiveness program

July 15, 2013

In this video feature, Chao Pan L’10 discusses his position as a Lieutenant for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the United States Navy, and explains how Penn Law’s Toll Loan Repayment Assistance Program (TolLRAP) helps eliminate his student debt while he pursues his public service career.




My name is Chao Pan, I graduated in 2010. I am a Judge Advocate for the United States Navy. I am stationed in Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. 

I do a variety of law: I do disability, criminal law, a little bit of administrative law. Recently, I just came off duty as a disability attorney, where I was able to help a lot of, essentially, people I consider to be kids - 18 to 19 years old - who have just come back from war zones, Afghanistan or Iraq, and they have injures. Some are obvious, some are less obvious. And I am able to advocate for them… to get them higher disability percentages so they can continue to get medial care through the military system, and to ensure they will be set after serving their country.

In my third year [at Penn Law] I interned at Community Legal Services in downtown Philadelphia. I found it really helpful… for my career I also learned how to deal with clients and how to kind of manage expectations. That’s something that is not traditionally taught in law school, where you kind of understand the law and you know case law and you know how to brief cases, but you might not know how to interact with people and effectively get their story out and to be able to advocate for them effectively. 

The academic portion aside, Penn has been really helpful in the financial aspect, as well. Because I have taken great advantage, I think, of the TolLRAP [Toll Repayment Assistance Program]. It will pay your loans up to 10 years, I believe, and at the end of 10 years your loans will be all paid off, assuming you stay in public interest. In my line of work, we don’t get paid too much money but at the same time I had significant loans that would have made a public interest career significantly more difficult, if not impossible, had TolLRAP had not taken a big chunk out of what my loan repayment otherwise would have been. 

Transcript edited for length.