For Immediate Release

Contact:
Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law
206.685.9002

2008-07-01

LRAP Campaign Makes Goal

SEATTLE -With the support of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, the UW School of Law is proud to announce that we have met the challenge by the Washington State Legislature to raise $250,000 by June 30, 2008 for a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) endowment fund.

When added to the $500,000 appropriation from the state, the $250,000 raised by the UW School of Law this year and additional funds raised in previous years bring the total endowment balance to more than $820,000. The law school was generously supported in its efforts to reach its goal through special gifts by Judy and Mark Maleng from the Norm Maleng Memorial Fund. Support also came from The Buck Law Group, PLLC which matched law school faculty and staff contributions dollar-for-dollar. More than 25% of the portion raised by the law school was student-generated contributions, including gifts from the law student classes of 2006, 2007, and 2008, as well as contributions from the Public Interest Law Association (PILA), a UW student organization.

"The LRAP increases access to justice for low-income persons by supporting lawyers otherwise deterred from public service by lower salaries and high educational debt," said Washington State Representative Jeannie Darneille (D). "I congratulate the law school on meeting this important fundraising challenge."

"Our success with the LRAP campaign affirms the law school's well-established commitment to public service, which includes the Gates Public Service Law Program, a public service requirement, and the extraordinary public service work carried out by our faculty, students, and alumni," said Interim Dean Greg Hicks.

"UW law students have long been at the forefront of efforts to create LRAP," said Sonja Jacobsen '07, the 2006-07 co-president of PILA. "This success is a fantastic testament to their tireless enthusiasm and unwavering support for public interest legal work."

The LRAP appropriation was included in the Washington state 2007-09 budget, signed by Governor Christine Gregoire May 15, 2007. 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.

Early and important political backing of the LRAP endowment came from Rep. Darneille, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, the late King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, UW President Mark Emmert, Puget Sound legal aid organizations, and the UW Graduate Student Senate.