General Information on Employer-Based LRAPs
Recognizing that high student debt burdens make it impossible for talented lawyers, especially those who come from less privileged backgrounds, to accept or remain in legal services staff positions, various public interest and government employers across the nation have created their own loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) for their attorneys. Eligibility requirements, payment amounts, and forfeiture rules vary widely depending upon the program. A constant, however, is that all organizations with employer-based loan assistance programs argue that offering this type of assistance helps them attract top candidates to their legal staff and retain their current attorneys.
The majority of legal employers that provide LRAP assistance are legal aid organizations. Most of these programs provide reimbursements for student loan payments directly to their attorneys This assistance is considered income to the employee for tax purposes. Other legal aid employers have helped develop LRAPs through other non-profit organizations, which allows the recipients to exclude the assistance from their income taxes.
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) maintains a list of employer-based LRAPs that operate at some of the LSC-grantee agencies across the nation. See http://www.lri.lsc.gov/sitepages/management/management_lrap.htm for more information on these employer-based LRAPs.
There are other employer sponsored LRAPs offered by employers that do not receive LSC funding; we do not have a comprehensive list of these additional LRAPs.