Today's law graduates often face staggering amounts of
debt when they graduate. Because their salaries are generally lower than
those of attorneys entering the private sector, student loan
obligations can be especially burdensome for public interest lawyers.
The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) eases the financial burdens
of recent graduates, allowing more of them to enter and remain in the
nonprofit sector. LRAP is a loan forgiveness program that is funded by
student fees and private donations. LRAP awards are forgivable loans and
must be used to repay law school educational debt. LRAP recipients who
meet all program requirements have their loans forgiven at the
conclusion of their loan term.
Who is eligible?
Any graduate of the College of Law who works in a law-related public
interest job may apply for an LRAP award and recipients are chosen by a
committee comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni. In making
its selections, the LRAP Committee gives priority to candidates who
demonstrate the most significant commitment to public interest work as
well as the greatest financial need. In particular, the Committee seeks
to fund applicants who provide legal services to underserved, low-income
or disadvantaged individuals or groups.
How to Apply
LRAP applications should be submitted to the CPIL office and must be postmarked by the date that taxes are due for the calendar year. See below for the application form, a checklist of all application materials and a statement that describes the program's requirements and guiding principles.
DePaul University College of Law statistics for 2010 graduates:
|Average law school debt
|Median salary for public interest work
|Median salary for private practice
If a legal aid lawyer with $106,412 in outstanding law school loans
earns an annual salary of $38,000, or $25,650 after taxes ($2,137.50 per
month), $1,224.60 per month will go toward school loans over a 10-year
period. This leaves $912.90 per month to cover all other necessary
expenses including rent, food, insurance, transportation, healthcare and
* Salary after tax is based upon withholdings of one-third gross
salary. Monthly debt payment is based on average Federal Stafford Loan
borrowing of $106,412 at a fixed annual interest rate of 6.8 percent.
Requirements and Guiding Principles
Access Group: Budget Planning Tools (including online, interactive budget calculators)
AnnualCreditReport.com offers free copy of credit reports every 12 months from three national credit bureaus
AskHeatherJarvis.com offers educational resources and training for student loan borrowers
Equal Justice Works 404: Student Debt Relief is a comprehensive source of information about student loans
FinAid! includes online calculators available to calculate monthly student loan payments
Income Based Repayment & Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a website that offers independent information on federal student loan payment and forgiveness programs
Loan forgiveness for public service employment is available for
Federal Direct loans ONLY.
National Student Loan Data System is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid
Schrag, Philip G.,
Federal Student Loan Repayment Assistance for Public Interest Lawyers
and Other Employees of Governments and Nonprofit Organizations, HOFSTRA
LAW REVIEW, VOL. 36, FALL 2007
Student Loan Borrower Assistance is the National
Consumer Law Center's resource for borrowers, their families, and
advocates representing student loan borrowers.
U.S. Department of Education