SEATTLE - A $500,000 appropriation for the UW School of Law loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) endowment fund, included in the Washington state 2007-09 budget, was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire May 15. The money is slated to provide UW law school graduates who pursue careers in public interest legal positions with payment assistance toward their student loan debt.
"This is such a win for students," said Public Interest Law Association (a UW law student organization), co-president and 3L Sonja Jacobsen. "This is the culmination of work by UW law students since at least 1994 to formalize a loan repayment program."
"Rep. Jeannie Darneille (D) really went to the mat for us and championed this budget item," added Jacobsen. "We are grateful for her support." LRAP also had the support of King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng ('66), Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, UW President Mark Emmert, Puget Sound legal aid organizations, and the UW Graduate Student Senate.
Under the new budget, $250,000 will go into the LRAP endowment in July 2007 and the additional money will be available in matching funds. The Washington legislature will match up to $250,000 raised by the law school for LRAP during the 2008 fiscal year. Money will be available to law school graduates from any year who meet the income, employment, and educational debt qualifications.