For many years, student debt has been a major obstacle for public interest–minded lawyers. Law school based loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) have helped make public service work a viable choice for attorneys. However, comprehensive LRAPs are expensive and, without adequate funding, most law school LRAPs provide only modest benefits to a fraction of the public interest lawyers struggling with student loans.
If you want to leverage the federal support of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) to create or improve a law school based Loan Repayment Assistance Program consider this. In their article Coordinating Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Programs with New Federal Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Legislation, Professor Philip G. Schrag and Assistant Dean for Financial Aid Charles Pruett of Georgetown University Law Center offer a road map for those interested in coordinating law school LRAP benefits with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment Programs established by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. The authors review the increased debt burden for law graduates and the efforts of law schools to create Loan Repayment Assistance Programs, and identify policy issues for law schools to consider in light of the federal programs. The authors also created a companion calculator that schools may use to project the costs of new or revised LRAP programs.
The passage of the CCRAA should encourage law schools to evaluate their current LRAPs, consider design changes to ensure that LRAP benefits compliment Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment benefits, and recognize the importance of a continued commitment to preserving or enhancing LRAP funding.