Public service is an important part of Seton Hall Law School’s mission. The increasing costs of undergraduate and law school education have caused many law students to graduate with a large burden of educational debt. Legal employment in the public service sector often comes with low salaries, at least in the early years. Law graduates are thus likely to feel financially constrained in choosing to pursue a career in public interest law.
To make entry into a public interest career easier, Seton Hall Law School created a Public Interest Loan Repayment Assistance Program (PILRAP). PILRAP loans offer graduates interested in public interest law the ability to receive a low-interest loan from Seton Hall Law to assist the participant in making payments on his or her student loans.
PILRAP is available to those who are employed as an attorney with a qualifying public interest organization. A qualifying public interest organization is defined as a not-for-profit organization that provides, directly or through public policy efforts, advocacy advancing the interests of those traditionally underserved by the legal system, or an organization (whether government or not-for-profit) that provides constitutionally mandated services to criminal defendants. It is also limited to those with demonstrated financial need, as evidenced by educational debt and available financial resources. The PILRAP loan amount is determined by the graduate’s level of indebtedness and the adjusted gross income and assets of the graduate and his or her spouse (if applicable). The maximum qualifying income for the 2012 period is $60,000. The funding available for PILRAP is limited. In the event funding is not available to fully fund all eligible applicants, a committee appointed by the Associate Dean will allocate the available funding in a manner that maximizes the goals of the program.
The updated PILRAP application is posted @ November 1 annually, and is due on November 30.
Along with the completed application, the applicant will be required to provide a copy of their most recent tax return, verification of employment/position, as well as student loan debt repayment information. Applicants must reapply each year. All recipients are obliged to submit an annual report to the Office of Enrollment Services.
FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS (PSLF) AND PILRAP
Graduates may take advantage of Seton Hall Law’s PILRAP program as well as the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Graduates who intend to pursue a career in public service and pursue federal public service loan forgiveness must consolidate their FFELP loans (federal loans borrowed from SHL prior to Fall 2010) into the Direct Loan Program and are encouraged to choose Income Based Repayment (IBR) to lower their monthly student loan payments. Additional information may be found at the following websites: www.ibrinfo.org, http://studentaid.ed.gov , and http://www.equaljusticeworks.org (Debt Relief Page).
For additional information on Seton Hall Law's PILRAP program, please contact:
Karen Sokol, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management