Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Announcing The John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program

A student financial aid program designed to promote careers in public interest law is now available to Washington lawyers through the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB).

The John R. Justice Loan Repayment Program promises to forgive a portion of the outstanding student debt incurred by lawyers who make a three-year commitment to work as prosecuting attorneys or public defenders.

For the program’s first year, the HECB is accepting applications from eligible attorneys through Nov. 30, 2010.

The John R. Justice program was passed by Congress in 2008 as a way to encourage more lawyers to pursue careers as public prosecutors and defenders. Because of educational debts, many attorneys forego such career options for more lucrative opportunities in the private sector.
The program is open to licensed attorneys working full-time as prosecutors in state or local agencies, and to public defenders in state, federal or non-profit offices. It also is open to attorneys who have accepted employment in any of those categories. Under the law, federal prosecutors are not eligible for the program.

For fiscal year 2010-11, qualified recipients will be eligible for an award of $8,905, assuming their outstanding student debts are not less than that. Awards will be granted subject to available funds, and the HECB has adopted rules for determining how loan reimbursements will be awarded under the program.

Application forms and additional information about the John R. Justice program is available on the HECB website.