Trent Lowe, a 2L at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, traveled to Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2014, to help accept a $1.15 million grant from the White House Office of Social Innovation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The grant, which Lowe co-wrote, was awarded to the Pay for Success Lab at the U’s David Eccles School of Business to help establish and facilitate pay for success deals throughout the Intermountain West. During the summer, Lowe completed an internship through the law school’s Clinical Program at the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office, where he worked to build the PFS model and implement it into other county programs. The Pay for Success model allows private investors to invest in government social programs where, if certain benchmarks are met, the investors are recouped their investment by the government. However, if the benchmarks are not met, the investors assume the loss and the government is not obligated to pay for the program’s shortcoming.
“It’s a really interesting, bi-partisan solution to governmental budget issues,” Lowe said. “A governmental entity can still tackle important issues, but with the help of the private sector. Salt Lake County has already been at the forefront of this space, and now the PFS Lab, with this grant, can really expedite this mechanism to solve problems throughout the West.”