Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The LBF is dedicated to making a career in civil legal aid more competitive with other legal fields. Our Loan Repayment Assistance Program does just that by providing forgivable loans of up to $5,000 per year to attorneys working in a public interest position. The loan is disbursed quarterly and is forgiven after completion of 12 months employment at the legal aid provider. Recipients of this funding are welcome to re-apply annually for assistance.

View Program Guidelines


Program Q&A

We are excited to be able to continue to offer the benefits of LRAP to all eligible applicants and encourage any eligible applicants to apply to the program. The eligibility criteria established by the LBF Board of Directors, reflected in the guidelines, is as follows: public interest position; full-time; civil legal direct representation of clients; within the income requirement; working in the State of Louisiana.

Eligibility
A. Licensure and Employment

  1. Are alums employed as federal, state, or local judicial clerks eligible? Clerks do not provide direct legal representation in court matters and therefore are not eligible.
  2. Are alums employed as federal, state, or local prosecutors eligible? Prosecutors do not provide direct representation in the civil arena and therefore are not eligible.
  3. Will consideration focus on alumni who graduated within the past five years to incentivize early career alums’ employment in public law? LBF’s Kendall Vick Fund is open to any applicant that meets the established criteria above. We believe the program is an incentive to pursue a career in public interest work and consider it a retention program for public interest work in the civil practice area. As long as the applicant meets eligibility requirements, their application is reviewed.
  4. Will previous awardees be considered? Please refer to the answers above. As per LBF loan repayment assistance guidelines, this funding may be received for a maximum of 10 years, at which time the recipient is eligible to apply for federal loan forgiveness.
  5. Does the graduation year matter, or is the program open to any alums employed in qualifying Louisiana public interest positions? The program is open to any applicant who meets eligibility requirements.

B. Income - Letter states, “Gross annual income may not exceed $80,000”.

  1. Does this mean the gross income amount before taxes may not exceed $80,000? Yes, it is gross income.
  2. Does this mean the gross income cap of $80,000 includes salary plus interest and dividends, child support, rental income, etc.? Yes, please refer to the guidelines included in the letter and found on the LBF’s website.

C. Use of Funds - Letter states, “We do not provide assistance during periods of forbearance or deferment.”

  1. What if the applicant has arranged forbearance or deferment? Does that mean he/she is ineligible for consideration? Yes, any loans in forbearance or deferment will not be part of the consideration for determining the eligible loan repayment assistance award. If the forbearance or deferment terminates during the award period, the committee may consider the repayment amount based upon the term in repayment that falls within the same award period. The LBF requires quarterly reporting to ensure that funds received are being applied to eligible loans.
  2. During the peak of COVID-19, the CARES Act stipulated payments on eligible federal student loans are automatically paused through September 30, 2021. If a similar pause were reintroduced, would eligible applicants no longer be considered for LRAP awards? During the federally mandated time of pause due to COVID-19, the LBF continued providing quarterly assistance payments to applicants that provided documentation confirming continued payments of eligible loans. The LBF Board would most likely follow this precedent.

Selection Process

  1. How will the selection process be handled? After eligibility requirements are confirmed, the match loan assistance award is calculated and goes to the Grants Committee’s Loan Repayment Assistance Subcommittee for review and initial recommendations. Final recommendations from the Grants Committee are sent to the LBF Board of Directors for approval at its April meeting.
  2. Who will determine the award recipients? The LBF will manage the application and award process in its entirety. This will ensure uniformity for all law school alum applicants. The applicant’s personal identifying detail is redacted, and the subcommittee reviews only the eligible criteria.
  3. How much are awards? Award amounts vary but do not exceed $5,000 and provide a match up to 75% of an applicant’s eligible annual loan payments.
  4. Who notifies applicants about decisions made on their applications? The LBF will notify all applicants directly and provide the necessary award paperwork.

Administration of the grant

  1. Will we be able to continue our current established process? The LBF is delighted to offer your law school alum meeting eligibility requirements an opportunity to apply for loan repayment assistance for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The application portal will open on December 1, 2022.
  2. How will funds be administered? Funds are disbursed on a quarterly basis starting at the beginning of the grant year, July 1, with subsequent quarterly payments based upon receipt of the required reporting confirming eligible loan payments.
  3. When would awards be announced and funds be disbursed? Loan repayment awards are announced in May with the appropriate paperwork sent directly to applicants, following the LBF Board meeting noted above.

 

The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity organized under the state of Louisiana.

 



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