A friendly woman with narrow glasses, Moore owes $100,000 in law school debts. She talks calmly about the burden, but confesses that she's had moments of near-collapse as she grapples with the confluence of work, debt, and single motherhood.
Moore attended Michigan as an undergrad on a full scholarship. In her senior year, she married a U-M engineering student and within a year gave birth to her older son. One reason she turned down the law school scholarship from Michigan State was U-M's unusual "debt forgiveness" program. It's complicated, but essentially U-M (where law school tuition is about $48,000 a year) will help if students go into low-paying fields like public interest law and have problems paying back their loans. But U-M will cancel the arrangement if borrowers default on their payments--and Moore did.
She skips the gory details, but essentially, her ex-husband has not worked for years and doesn't pay child support. When she decided to end the marriage, she was three months pregnant with their second child. She has raised her sons, now four and ten, herself, with day care bills consuming a sizable chunk of her modest earnings.