Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

Program Overview

LRAP constitutes a core component of UW School of Law's commitment to public service as a public law school by increasing the ability of its graduates to enter public service law.

Participants are required to commit to remain in qualifying public service employment for a three-year period. LRAP awards take the form of “forgivable loans.” Under the program, loans are given at the beginning of each of the three years. The first loan (for year one) will be forgiven after completing two years of qualifying employment and the additional two loans (for years two and three) will be forgiven after the applicant completes three years of qualifying employment.

UW Law loans $5,000 each to up to three new applicants per year and will commit to awarding an additional $5,000 a year for two more years for a total commitment of $15,000 per participant over the three years of the program.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be graduating students or graduates of the UW School of Law’s J.D. program.
  • Participants must be employed in a position located within Washington State. This generally refers to positions that are advertised as a Washington position, housed in a Washington office, and/or anticipated to be performed in Washington.
  • Applicants must be employed at least 30 hours a week in a 'legal position' for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that qualifies for tax exemption under certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code or a local, state, federal or tribal government agency. Applicants employed by the University of Washington, in judicial clerkships or by private firms providing contracted public defense services are not eligible.

    Eligible employment includes, but is not limited to, prosecutors, public defenders, military JAG corps, legislative staff, assistant attorneys general, and administrative agency staff that make substantial use of legal skills, for example, by requiring passage of the bar exam or otherwise drawing heavily on/making direct use of law school training (or normally requiring a law degree).
  • Applicants must provide documentation that they are employed in a ‘legal position.' At the time of application, candidates will be asked to submit a letter from their employer that describes the terms of the employment and a description of the duties and salary.

Prospective applicants with questions about whether their employment is eligible are encouraged to email Travis Pietila at tpietila@uw.edu for a preliminary review before completing an application.

Qualifying Loans

Educational loans including Federal Stafford Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Graduate Plus, Perkins and Loans authorized by the School of Law for the purposes of attending School of Law's J.D. program will be considered. Loans taken out for undergraduate, LL.M. and other graduate-level study and bar study loans are not eligible.

LRAP recipients must agree to apply LRAP financial awards directly to their law school educational loans. Any excess funds are to be used to reduce the principal owed. If a participant goes into deferment or forbearance status on loans included on the LRAP application, she or he must notify the school in writing within 30 days.

Not included: Family or personal loans, credit card debt, loans not for educational purposes, loans from family members, commercially available educational loans not certified by UW Law’s Financial Aid Office, non-law school educational loans, bar exam loans, loans taken out by parents or others to finance a student's education.

Income Requirements

The compensation limit pertaining to all applicants shall be based on the current United States government pay scales (GS salary levels) for the compensation of individuals holding positions in the U.S. government in the Seattle-Tacoma region (2024 Salary Table and Related Information). The salary cap will be tied to GS 12, Step 1 in the Seattle-Tacoma region as shown in the table linked above. For the 2024 LRAP application cycle, the salary cap will be $97,376. Continued eligibility for the program in future years will be based on the pay scale in effect at that time.

Tax Implications

The UW LRAP is structured so that the awards should not be taxable, pursuant to special federal income tax rules that apply to the discharge of student loan debt (26 U.S.C. § 108(f)). Applicants should consult a tax adviser with specific tax-related questions.