Financial Assistance Programfor TLS Graduates Pursuing Public Interest Careers
There are several options available to Tulane grads who choose careers in the public interest, including government agencies. Three avenues are summarized below with links to follow for more detailed information.
Tulane Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Tulane Law School has been a pioneer in providing loan repayment assistance for graduates electing public interest employment for clients who cannot afford access to traditional legal services. More than twenty years ago, in 1988, Tulane Law School became the fifteenth law school in the United States to offer its graduates a program providing assistance in repaying educational loans made by banks and other lenders with the goal of reducing the financial burden for graduating students making this choice.
The Tulane Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program, or LRAP, assists eligible graduates who engage in specified public interest employment and whose incomes fall below a specified level. Participants have worked in such organizations as Legal Aid of the Bluegrass in Kentucky, Louisville Metro Public Defender, Innocence Project New Orleans, and CAMBA Legal Services in New York.
Tulane Law School's Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) assists qualifying Tulane JD graduates in repaying educational loans they borrowed while enrolled as law students. Tulane Law School reimburses eligible graduates for loan payments exceeding a "graduate contribution" (as of 2010, figured as 12% of net income, or $350 monthly) for up to 5 years.
A qualifying graduate works in an eligible full-time attorney position earning a salary at or under a certain income level (and in addition, if married, the sum of the graduate and spouse income must be under another income level). The income cap for graduates coincides with the federal GS 9 Step 1 level for the year of employment, using the locality payment for the area in which employment is held; the cap for the combined income of the graduate and his or her spouse is equal to the amount twice the graduate's individual cap. Federal salary levels may be found on the United States Office of Personnel Management website.
Tulane Law School Kendall-Vick Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Tulane Law School, through a grant from the Kendall-Vick Foundation, offers a forgivable loan of up to $3,000 per year to Tulane JD graduates employed in Louisiana as attorneys by a district attorney's office or other governmental agency. Judicial clerks are not eligible to participate in this program. The income cap for graduates to participate in this program is $10,000 higher than the GS-9 Step 1 federal level during the year of employment.
National Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Certain types of federal student loans may be partially forgiven by the Department of Education once 120 months of payment have been made by borrowers who are employed full-time in public service. Details may be found on the Federal Student Aid website (https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service).
Tulane Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program (PDF)
Rules for the Classes of 2012 through 2015, Inclusive
Tulane Law School Kendall Vick Loan Repayment Assistance Program (PDF)
Rules for the Classes of 2012 through 2015