Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) seeks to ease the law school debt burdens of graduates who choose to work in public interest jobs soon after graduation. The lower average salaries found in the public interest sector often make this option difficult for those who must service a large debt. By lessening the debt burden of our neediest graduates in the years immediately following law school, the LRAP makes public interest law work a viable option for new lawyers.

The 2024 LRAP Application is due June 1, 2024.

LRAP Description

Review the Overview of the LRAP Program (Program Description) for a full description of how to qualify for the LRAP. If you are using your Lewis & Clark law degree to help under-represented people or causes at a government, nonprofit, or tribal office with a yearly salary at or below $70,000 (or $75,000 in some specified cities), you may qualify for LRAP assistance. Your income may be adjusted to reflect dependents.

Application Timeline

Graduates first apply for the LRAP funding within the first three years following graduation. Members of the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 will be eligible to apply as first-time recipients for the 2024 Funding Year in Spring 2024. If applicants receive assistance, they may continue to apply until five years after graduation. The general timeline for LRAP is:

  • By late May, graduates apply for LRAP assistance for the current funding year.
  • In the summer, awards are announced and disbursements are made.
  • Those who receive LRAP assistance apply for forgiveness of their LRAP loan the following year. 

Awards are structured as loans, and upon the recipient showing completion of a year of qualified public interest employment, LRAP loans are forgiven without repayment. This method is designed to avoid recipient tax liability as described in Revenue Ruling 2008-34; however, you should verify your individual tax situation with a tax advisor.

LRAP Forgiveness Application

To avoid repayment of an LRAP loan, applicants must apply for forgiveness of their loan the following year and show continuing eligibility. If you do not qualify for forgiveness due to a change in circumstances, please contact the Director of Public Interest Law.   

Donate to the LRAP

The LRAP is supported through a combination of funds from Lewis & Clark Law School’s operating budget, a student fee, restricted annual gifts, interest from a quasi-endowment established by the Lewis & Clark Law School Faculty during the 2006-2007 school year, and interest from endowed gifts.

As law school tuition costs and living expenses continue to grow, the LRAP requires a reliable source of funds to continue the same level of support to graduates. Please consider making a donation and specifying that you would like your donation to go to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program or the LRAP Endowment. 

Why Give to the LRAP?

Each year many of Lewis & Clark Law School’s graduates enter public interest careers as legal aid lawyers, public defenders, lawyers working for nonprofit organizations, and similar jobs. Many leave with law school debt that is challenging to service on public interest salaries. Without LRAP assistance, many graduates would be forced to take work outside of the public interest sector. This in turn has an impact on public interest employers, making it harder to recruit lawyers to work on behalf of the neediest populations.

LRAP assistance makes it possible for our graduates to remain in public interest work. Supporting the LRAP is supporting the important work that our graduates perform.