Rutgers School of Law–Newark has long considered training lawyers who care about public service to be an important part of its mission. We encourage our students to participate in service activities while in school and to pursue public interest careers or provide pro bono services as a life-long commitment.
In 1998 students at the law school established a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for graduates who make a long-term commitment to public interest employment. The program provides financial assistance to help defray law school debt obligations for graduates who have chosen to pursue lower paid public interest/public service careers. The continuing commitment of our students, support of our faculty and administration, and generosity of our alumni/ae have strengthened the program over the years.
The LRAP is available for all graduates from the class of 1997 and forward who are employed in law-related public interest positions and whose income does not exceed maximum levels established by the LRAP board. Graduates are eligible to receive program funds for a maximum of five years. Beginning with the Class of 2014, graduates must apply for their five years of LRAP assistance within 10 years of their graduation date. The board’s current policy is to ensure that each applicant who qualifies receives a proportionate share of the LRAP funds available for disbursement. Award amounts are subject to the availability of funds and the number of applicants eligible in each award period.
Awards are made in the form of a loan and as such are not considered as taxable income to the recipient. This LRAP loan indebtedness is forgiven upon fulfillment of qualifying public interest employment, usually without adverse federal income tax consequences to the recipient as provided in applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to qualify to receive program funds, graduates must submit an LRAP application and all required documents each year; sign a Promissory Note in the amount of the annual LRAP loan; apply the loan proceeds toward the re-payment of law school educational debt; and promptly advise the LRAP administrator of any change in employment and/or financial condition.
Click here (PDF) for details about LRAP eligibility requirements.
“As a law student planning a career in public interest law, it was clear to me that a loan repayment program was absolutely essential for people facing low salaries and high loan payments. Now, as director of a non-profit public interest law program, I see young attorneys who are able to work with us because they benefit from loan repayment assistance. By easing the financial burdens of law graduates, the Rutgers LRAP increases services available to underserved populations.”
Amy Gottlieb ’96
Associate Regional Director, Northeast Region, Immigrant Rights and Healing Justice Programs
American Friends Service Committee and LRAP founder
Direct Loans Income Based Repayment (IBR) Plan may provide relief for borrowers with substantial student debt. Read more here.
Contact the LRAP office at
973-353-1702 or email the
LRAP administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org