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 low salaries of these jobs often make this option impossible 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 2020 LRAP Application will be due at the end of
May 2020. LRAP criteria have been updated by the Public Interest Law Committee.
Review the Overview of the LRAP Program (PDF) 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 $55,000 (or $60,000 in some specified cities), you may qualify for LRAP assistance.
Graduates first apply for the LRAP funding within the first three years following graduation. Recipients may continue to apply until five years after graduation.
- By late May, graduates apply for LRAP assistance for the current funding year
- In late June, awards are announced and disbursements are made.
Awards are structured as loans, and upon the recipient showing completion of a year of qualified public interest employment, LRAP loans are forgiven. This method is designed to avoid recipient tax liability as described in Revenue Ruling 2008-34; although, you should verify your individual tax situation with a tax advisor.
LRAP Forgiveness Application
- Forgiveness Application (fillable pdf)
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. Gifts may be given online, by phone, by mail, or in person through the Law School’s Development Office.
Why Give to the LRAP?
Each year between 7 and 14 percent 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 they cannot repay on their public interest salaries. Some have families to support as well.
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 is often required to make it possible for our graduates to do public interest work. Supporting the LRAP is supporting the important work that our graduates do.