1. New applicants must be alumni of the USF School of Law who received their Juris Doctor degree within the last five years, (i.e., Dec. 2009 through May 2014).
2. Assuming continued eligibility and availability of funding, participants are eligible for recertification of funding for a maximum of four years. Recertification requires submission of a new LRAP application and all relevant documents in a timely manner each year. The amount of a recertified loan award may change from year to year.
3. Alumni with gross incomes of $60,000 or less are eligible to apply for LRAP Option 1. [Note: the eligibility threshold for Option 2 (income based plan) is $65,000. See Option 2 Guidelines.] Those earning more than $60,000 who feel there are extenuating circumstances must submit a “petition for a waiver” for consideration by the Social Justice Committee, which oversees the LRAP program. The petition must explain their circumstances and be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation. Relevant factors include, but are not limited to: the need to provide financial support for others; expenses for dependents; and lack of alternative sources of support (assets or family assistance). An area’s cost of living is relevant in combination with other factors but will not, on its own, justify a waiver. Please provide detailed budget information to assist the Committee’s deliberations. (Note that LRAP’s calculation of gross income takes into account the income of partners with whom the applicant shares expenses, as explained below, and that information about household burdens and income is relevant to consideration of waivers for applicants with such partners.)
4. For the purposes of determining the eligibility of a graduate who has a spouse, domestic partner, or anyone else who contributes significantly to household income, the Committee uses an annual gross income figure. The gross income shall be the higher of: (1) the applicant's annual salary; or (2) the two salaries combined and divided in two. The partner's income will be reduced by the annual amount of the partner’s student loan debt repayment. Modifications to this calculation will be considered for special circumstances, which must be explained in detail.
5. The allowance for children, non-earning spouses, or other dependent family members is $5,000 per dependent, which will be deducted from the total household income for purposes of determining the eligibility and amount of LRAP funding.
6. Applicants must be engaged in public interest work. Public interest work is defined as any work providing legal assistance to poor or under represented people or interests, or work in support of peace and social justice issues.
i. Preference will be given to applicants working at not-for-profit agencies as defined by 501(c) (3) of the federal tax code, as well as to individuals working in and on behalf of under-represented or impoverished communities.
ii. Government positions providing legal assistance to the poor or under represented will be considered. For other types of government employment, eligibility shall be determined by the Committee on a case-by-case basis, and the applicant must include information in their personal statement detailing how their work serves the public interest.
iii. Individuals working on environmental issues will be considered.
iv. The eligibility of private public interest employment shall be determined by the Committee on a case-by-case basis. The employer must submit written verification of the nature of the applicant’s work and the percentage performed on a pro bono, reduced, or court-awarded fee basis. Detailed supporting documents may be required to determine eligibility.
7. A program participant must engage in law-related work to be in and remain eligible for the program. To qualify as “law-related,” the applicant’s legal education must have contributed substantially to the applicant’s ability to obtain and/or perform the job. Jobs that are equally available to non-lawyers or that do not require legal skills do not qualify as “law related.”
8. A program participant must work at least two-thirds (2/3) time in paid public interest work to be in and remain eligible for the program. Exceptions to the two-thirds time requirement may be made to provide some funding to participants who can only work part time. This includes participants who are caring for children or other relatives, etc. If funding is provided for part-time work, it will be proportional to the amount worked. Applicants who must work part-time must provide a statement explaining the circumstances.
9. An applicant’s loan repayments must be up-to-date. However, applicants who are not current in their payments may apply for LRAP and be considered on an individual basis. Applicants who are not current should include, in their application materials, full information about the loans that are not current, the reasons for their status, and the steps they have taken or intend to take to make them current. They must also contact the Assistant Dean for Academic Services at the School of Law for loan counseling.
10. The eligible income level (currently $60,000) may be adjusted in future years to take into account increases in the cost of living.