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LRAP Reaches Record Levels

1/10/06--Boston College Law School's commitment to loan repayment assistance for graduates pursuing public interest careers will reach record levels this year.

In December, the scholarship committee awarded over $180,000 in loan repayment assistance to new and recent alumni who are currently practicing public interest law. A total of 53 people received Willier awards, according to the committee. Awards range from $1,000 to $6,000, with an average amount of $3,400.

The Law School’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) has seen significant increases over the past few years. Last year, the total awarded was $170,230 to 49 recipients; in 2000, it was $91,250, to 21 recipients.

The increase in the LRAP program can be attributed to the generosity of alumni who have given to the Law School Fund this year. In a year to date comparison, the annual fund, is up over last year by 70 percent. The difference is most apparent in Reunion giving.

In related news, a named endowment fund for LRAP was established by Judge Peggy Leen in honor of her husband, Tom, a BC Law alumnus (’66) and judge who devoted his life to public service and who passed away last year. “Tom was always grateful for the financial assistance he received,” Peggy Leen wrote in a recent letter. “He felt it was important to give something back.”

“LRAP has been very important to my work in legal services,” said BC Law alum Young Soo Jo. “It has helped me focus on my work at Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts where I am a senior benefits attorney. Receiving the financial assistance has allowed me to focus my time at work and maintain financial independence. I am really grateful to Boston College for providing me education and financial support to work in legal services.”

The types of public interest law represented ran the spectrum from the Youth Advocacy Project to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. Fourteen work for legal service organizations, twenty-three for District Attorney offices, and the remainder work as public defenders, for state, local and federal governments and other qualifying public interest organizations. For recipients with no dependents, incomes range from $30,000 to $56,000. The lowest debt for anyone in the program is $25,500; the highest is about $160,000. Participants are eligible to remain in the Willier program until their income in public sector employment exceeds $58,000. Numerous recipients have been in the program for five years or more.