Loan Repayment Programs
UNC School of Law has a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for recent graduates working in public interest employment. Other states have similar LRAP programs. Some are administered by a state bar association or foundation while others are administered through stand-alone nonprofit organizations. Some are funded through state legislative appropriations while others rely on funding from the private sector or from Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) funding. See the American Bar Association.
Employer-Based Loan Forgiveness
Some legal services employers around the country and several of the post-graduate legal fellowships have a loan forgiveness component to their programs. See Equal Justice Works.
Federal Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 established two key programs to support careers in public service. First, the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program offers forgiveness of federal educational loans after 10 years of public service employment. Second, Income-Driven Repayment calculates monthly loan payment amounts based on income, rather than the amount owed. These programs will significantly reduce loan burden for public interest lawyers, who often make lower salaries than those in the private sector.