Loan Repayment Assistance Program
For graduates who accept public interest employment and who earn less than $70,000 per year, Notre Dame Law School will provide assistance to help meet their J.D. educational loan payments. Since the Loan Repayment Assistance Program's inception, every applicant who met the program's criteria has received funding.
Notre Dame Law School is proud to have a generous Loan Repayment Assistance Program to help J.D. graduates who are beginning legal careers in public interest and public service.
LRAP is designed to ensure that J.D. graduates with law school loans are financially able to work in the nonprofit sector, government, policy advocacy, human rights, and other fields where lawyers make valuable contributions but are often paid lower salaries. Notre Dame has a history of encouraging its graduates to use their education for the public good — it’s a responsibility that flows directly from the University’s Catholic mission.
Alumni Perspectives: LRAP Testimonials
- LRAP gave Jessica Binzoni '15 J.D. the financial freedom to start a nonprofit organization for refugees in northern Iraq.
- With support from LRAP, Jimmy Champlin '09, '12 J.D. helped survivors of domestic abuse as a legal aid attorney in Chicago.
- Aaron Stoll '12 J.D. is able to work as a public defender in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind., thanks to the assistance from LRAP.
- LRAP assistance gives Carlos Cisneros-Vilchis '17 J.D. the opportunity to work with farmers through the Farm Worker and Landscape Advocacy Project in Chicago.
- Rochelle Krebs '09 J.D. was able to pursue public interest law near Seattle several years after graduating.
- Click here to read more LRAP alumni perspectives.
Under LRAP, the Law School loans its J.D. graduates money to help them repay qualifying educational loans from law school. LRAP then forgives those loans over a period of time. Since the Law School created the program in 2001, it has disbursed more than $2 million to graduates who have worked in a wide variety of public interest and public service positions in the United States and abroad.
"I went to law school, and in particular to Notre Dame, to become a public interest lawyer. LRAP not only financially assisted me in pursuing that goal, but also made me feel like the University supported my career path."
– Audra Passinault '15 J.D.
Parameters of the 2021 program
Any J.D. graduate of Notre Dame Law School who expects to earn an LRAP Adjusted Salary under $70,000 can apply for LRAP assistance for the following calendar year. Your LRAP Adjusted Salary is your gross salary less adjustments for children and non-law school educational loan payments.
- If a graduate’s LRAP Adjusted Salary is $55,000 or less, the Law School will provide the graduate with a loan to cover 100% of the graduate’s actual payments up to the annual benefits cap on eligible J.D. loans.
- If a graduate’s LRAP Adjusted Salary is between $55,000 and $70,000, the Law School will provide an LRAP loan on a sliding scale to cover a portion of the graduate’s payments on eligible loans.
- If a graduate’s LRAP Adjusted Salary is $70,000 or greater, the graduate is ineligible for the LRAP program.
The cap on annual benefits will be $15,000 per participant.
Eligible graduates may receive loan repayment assistance for a maximum of 10 calendar years, no longer limited to being the first 10 years after graduation.
One-time benefits calculation
At the beginning of the year, a fixed benefit amount will be determined for each participant. This amount will not be adjusted due to changes in circumstances such as salary or loan payments (as long as the graduate remains in qualifying employment for the entire calendar year). Participants will know up front exactly how much assistance they’ll receive that year, and they do not need to send updates on changing financial circumstances to the LRAP coordinator.
Participants simply need to demonstrate in January of the year following the year they received LRAP assistance that they made the requisite payments to their law school loan servicer equal to or greater than their total LRAP assistance, and that they were employed in a qualifying position through the end of December.
For those seeking employment
Those seeking qualifying employment can receive LRAP assistance if they submit Part I of their LRAP application by November 1 and find qualifying employment by March 1 of the following year.
Free resource for loan financing advice, AccessLex
Notre Dame Law School has contracted with AccessLex, a major nonprofit organization that provides free financial education resources to students and alumni. Alumni with questions on loan financing are encouraged to contact AccessConnex, a free student (and graduate) loan helpline.
- Telephone: 1-844-755 HELP
- Online chat: AccessLex.org/access-connex
- Email: AccessConnex@accesslex.org
Web-based application process
Applicants can upload their application and documentation through a web-based platform that also serves as a repository for future years.
Click on the application button below to complete the LRAP registration form. After your registration has been confirmed, you will receive an email with additional links during the LRAP application window of October 1 to November 1. The application deadline for 2021 LRAP benefits is November 1, 2020.
Before you start to submit your application, please see the attached "Application Documents" list to know which documents you’ll need to have ready to upload.
For additional information:
- Program Description for 2021
- LRAP Application Documents
- LRAP Frequently Asked Questions
- LRAP Sample Loan Documents