A suspended program that helps attorneys working with civil legal aid organizations repay their student loans has been reinstated thanks to the Indiana Supreme Court. The court announced Oct. 23 it is transferring $25,000 to the Indiana Bar Foundation's Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Indiana.
LRAP-IN was created in 2006 as a statewide assistance program for law school graduates who work at nonprofit organizations that serve civil legal aid needs of low-income residents. The program was suspended earlier this year because of reduced Interest on Lawyer Trust Account money, which primarily funds the program. Historically low interest rates have drastically reduced IOLTA revenues.
The funds being transferred to help LRAP-IN come from fees paid over years by law graduates who have applied to take the bar examination.
To encourage possible private donors who might be willing to contribute to a permanent fund to assist attorneys with high debt who work serving low-income people, the Supreme Court will also match new money raised by the IBF for this program up to a total of $175,000. The match also will likely come from fees paid by past bar applicants.
Attorneys who make less than $50,000 and work for one of 25 approved organizations in Indiana can qualify for assistance. A complete list of qualified agencies is available on the court's Web site.