Friday, August 1, 2008

Loan Forgiveness Legislation

Last night, both houses of Congress approved the Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008, which includes four new loan forgiveness and repayment programs that benefit public interest lawyers:

The John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act

Providing $10,000 per year in exchange for a one time renewable three-year commitment for state and local prosecutors and public defenders.

The Legal Assistance Loan Repayment Program

Providing $6,000 per year in renewable three year commitments to a maximum of $40,000 for civil legal assistance lawyers.

Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Public Service

Providing no more than $2,000 per year for five years for Public Sector Employees, including public interest legal services (prosecution, public defense, or legal advocacy in low-income communities at a nonprofit organization).

Perkins Loan Cancellation for Public Service

Providing partial loan cancellation for persons in specified public service jobs including federal public defenders.

The legislation now goes to the president.

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