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The purpose of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is to strengthen and expand legal assistance for the poor by supporting the recruitment and retention of the most qualified civil legal aid staff attorneys who are employed by legal assistance organizations that receive grant funding from The Florida Bar Foundation. Staff attorneys participating in LRAP are expected to use the funds to pay down and reduce their student loan debt.
Staff attorneys employed by government agencies, nonprofits, and other types of public service organizations (Public Defenders, State Attorneys, Department of Children and Families, Guardian ad Litem, Office of Regional Conflict Counsel, Catholic Charities, etc.) may wish to research the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for more information on student loan assistance.
LRAP Policies and Program Description
The Foundation’s LRAP currently provides benefits of $5,000 per calendar year per person in the form of a loan. The Foundation forgives the loan annually.
The application process for a new year begins in October of the previous year. (For example, the application process for the 2019 LRAP began in October of 2018.)
Applicants and participants must meet the following eligibility standards:
- Be employed on a full-time basis or at least 50% FTE part time basis by a civil legal aid organization currently receiving a grant from the Foundation;
- Contract attorneys, or attorneys who are employed for a specific duration or for a specific project or purpose and who are not considered to be staff attorneys that receive all of the qualified legal aid organization’s benefits, are not eligible to participate in the Foundation’s LRAP;
- Applications and supporting materials must be submitted timely during the once annual LRAP application period.
- Admission to The Florida Bar by the end of the first year after having been selected as a participant and thereafter a member in good standing of The Florida Bar; and
- Be in full compliance with LRAP requirements if a current LRAP participant.
This grant is funded by IOTA funds collected pursuant to Rule 5.1-1(g), rules regulating The Florida Bar.