“The NDLS Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) made it possible for me to work in the public interest and I have had truly wonderful experiences,” says Krista (Yee) Cox (J.D. ’08). Krista recently felt the thrill of four voided loan promissory notes—all due to her work for an eligible non-profit organization after graduation. Funded entirely by generous alumni, the NDLS program currently supports the public-interest careers of more than 30 law graduates.
Krista’s role as a non-governmental organization attorney allows her to work with international organizations such as the United Nations. In June 2013, Krista participated as an NGO delegate in the diplomatic conference to influence the final outcome of the Marrakesh Treaty, a U.N. human rights and intellectual property treaty administered through the World Intellectual Property Organization. The treaty had 51 signatories on signing day, a record for a WIPO administered treaty.
The treaty is designed to improve access to published materials for the blind and visually impaired. Currently only a small fraction of published books—estimated at no more than 5 percent—are made in accessible formats. This percentage is even smaller in developing countries, many of which have already signed the treaty.
“I am incredibly thankful for LRAP because I know that I would never have had the opportunity without this assistance,” concludes Krista.
For students like Krista who pursued law careers in public service, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) provides financial assistance to help ease student debt. The program is designed to ensure that graduates with law school debt may choose public service positions that pay modest salaries. Under the program, the law school lends graduates funds to help them repay their qualifying law school educational loans. The LRAP loans are then forgiven over a three-year period, provided that the graduates remain in public interest or public service employment.
For participants with adjusted incomes under $45,000, the program covers 100 percent of monthly law school loan repayments. For participants with adjusted incomes between $45,000 and $55,000, the program covers a portion of monthly loan payments. All coverage is subject to an annual total cap.
Thanks to the tremendous support of NDLS alumni, the program has grown steadily since its inception in 2001. It benefits from a significant endowment, which allows it to continue to sustain its support of public-interest graduates such as Krista.