Many of today's law graduates are faced with law school debt of more than $150,000 upon graduation. With a median starting public interest salary in civil legal aid in the mid $40,000s and only somewhat higher for public defenders and prosecutors, these mortgage-size debts bar many graduates from pursuing public service legal jobs.
Loan repayment assistance programs ("LRAPs") and loan forgiveness programs have emerged as a solution for relieving the debt burden of some law graduates. LRAPs provide loan repayment or lower loan payments to graduates entering specific types of employment, usually law-related public interest jobs. Most LRAPs and loan forgiveness programs contain limits on the amount of income a recipient can earn while participating in such a program. There are various types of LRAPs, administered by law schools, state bar associations and foundations and federal and state governments, providing debt relief to some law graduates.