Employer-Based Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

12/16/2010

Information about Employer-Based Loan Repayment Assistance Programs including data regarding the availability of such programs, examples of employers offering programs and facts regarding the taxability of benefits. Tools include podcasts and an interactive forum.

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Some employers provide Loan Repayment Assistance Programs for the benefit of their employees with student debt. Such programs exist at some non-profit and government employers, and are typically designed with the goal to recruit and retain qualified staff.

Facts about Employer Based LRAPs from the Biannual NALP Survey

NALP (the National Association for Law Placement)

  • 77 organizations report having an LRAP program (55 civil legal services organizations, 5 public defender offices, 5 local prosecuting attorney offices, 1 attorney general’s office, 11 public interest organizations)
  • 789 attorneys are reported to have received an award in the most recent fiscal year
  • $2,400 is the median average amount awarded per attorney

Source: Public Sector & Public Interest Attorney Salary Report, 2008 NALP. 

Listing of Employer Based LRAPs from Legal Services Corporation

The Legal Services Corporation provides a listing of loan repayment assistance programs offered by its grantee organizations including abstracts of program characteristics and program administrator contact information.

Loan Repayment Assistance for Employees of Federal Agencies

Federal agencies are authorized by statute to set up loan repayment assistance programs to recruit and retain highly qualified employees. In fiscal year 2007, 582 attorneys working in 20 different federal agencies received loan repayment assistance benefits (the Department of Justice provided benefits to 193 attorneys and the Securities and Exchange Commission provided benefits to 188 attorneys).

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Tax Treatment

Typically, benefits received under an employer-based LRAP are taxable income to the recipient. Unlike law school based and government LRAPs, employers are not able to structure their programs as forgivable loans as needed to exempt benefits from taxation. See Tax treatment of law school LRAPs and tax treatment of Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

External Links & Resources: 
  • PSLawNet - Online resource connecting public interest law job-seekers with job opportunities in the public interest arena, in government, at law schools, and around the globe. Includes “Opportunities" and "Organizations" databases.
  • The National Legal Aid & Defender Association is a national professional membership organization for those who provide legal assistance to the poor.
  • Legal Services Corporation funds 137 legal aid programs with over 900 offices around the nation to help poor Americans gain equal access to the judicial system.
Tools: 

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