admissions

Downs' Loan Repayment Assistance Program Charter

Section 1.  Statement of Purpose
Section 2.  LRAP Annual Grants
Section 3.  Changed Circumstances and New Information
Section 4.  Repayment
Section 5.  Leave
Section 6.  LRAP Committee
Section 7.  Disclaimer


Section 1.  Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) of the University of Georgia School of Law (Law School) shall be to provide LRAP Annual Grants to graduates of the Law School who obtain employment in the field of public interest law and who need assistance in repaying loans for legal education.

Section 2.  LRAP Annual Grants

(a)  A person is eligible to be considered for an LRAP Annual Grant if the person

(1) is a member of the student body of the Law School or is a graduate of the Law School, and
(2) files an application for the grant with the LRAP Committee, and
(3) agrees to remain continuously employed in the field of public interest law for two years after the effective date of an initial grant and for one year after the effective date of any subsequent grant, and
(4) will be responsible for the full or partial repayment of qualified debt during the grant year, and
(5) will not have income during the grant year that exceeds the maximum qualifying income established by the LRAP Committee.

(b)  A person is employed in the field of public interest law within the meaning of this charter if the employment requires a Juris Doctor degree and the person is employed to do legal work by (1) an organization described in subsection 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, (2) a local, state or federal government entity, including the military, or (3) a private practice where the practice is limited (or substantially limited) to clients comparable to those served by government supported and non-profit legal services organizations.  The Law School will determine whether or not a particluar job meets these qualifications.  A judicial clerkship is not employment in the field of public interest law.

(c)  Debt is "qualified debt" within the meaning of this charter if it is debt incurred to pay the expenses of legal education and owed to an institutional or governmental lender.  Private debt owed to a family member or friend outside the framework of a regular lending program is not qualified debt.

(d)  As used in subsection (a)(5) of this section, "income" means gross income; provided, however, that if a person is married, the person's income is the greater of (1) the gross income attributable to the person or (2) one-half of the total gross income of the person and the person's spouse.

(e)  No LRAP Annual Grant shall be used for any purpose other than to repay qualified debt.

(f)  No LRAP Annual Grant shall exceed one year.  A past or current recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant may apply for another grant.  The LRAP Committee may indulge a strong resumption that a current recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant should be awarded a second or subsequent grant.

(g)  The fact that an applicant's employer operates a loan repayment assistance program shall not make the applicant ineligible for consideration for an LRAP Annual Grant, but the LRAP Committee may adjust the amount of an LRAP Annual Grant to harmonize the law school's program with the employer's program.

(h)  In deciding whether to award an LRAP Annual Grant or the amount of an LRAP Annual Grant, the LRAP Committee may consider any factor that the LRAP Committee considers relevant, including but not limited to:

(1)  the amount of the applicant's qualified debt:
(2)  the amount of the applicant's other debt;
(3)  the amount of debt owed within the applicant's household;
(4)  the amount of the applicant's income;
(5)  the amount of income received within the applicant's household;
(6)  the applicant's assets;
(7)  household assets;
(8)  household dependents;
(9)  the nature of the applicant's employment;
(10)  the connection between the applicant's long-term goals and the field of public interest law;
(11)  the applicant's prior commitment to public service;
(12)  the applicant's academic performance; and
(13)  the applicant's potential for future compensation, including the likelihood that the applicant will move quickly to much higher paying employment.

Section 3.  Changed Circumstances and New Information

(a)  An applicant for an LRAP Annual Grant shall file an amended application with the LRAP Committee whenever necessary to ensure that the application is accurate.  An application that was accurate when filed nevertheless is inaccurate if it fails to reflect materially changed circumstances or material new information.

(b)  A recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant shall notify the LRAP Committee of changed circumstances or new information that a reasonable person would take into account in deciding whether to alter or revoke an LRAP Annual Grant.

Section 4.  Repayment

(a)  If a recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant fails to remain employed in the field of public interest law continuously for two years after the effective date of an initial grant, the recipient shall repay all grant funds, including funds received under the initial grant.

(b)  If a recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant, having been employed continuously in the field of public interest law for two years after the effective date of an initial grant, fails to remain employed in the field of public interest law for one year after the effective date of a third or subsequent grant, the recipient shall repay all funds received under the current grant, but shall not be responsible for the repayment of funds received under previous grants.

(c)  A recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant shall repay any grant funds received because of the recipient's failure to comply with section 3 of this charter.

(d)  A recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant shall repay any grant funds used for a purpose other than to repay qualified debt.

(e)  A recipient of an LRAP Annual Grant shall repay any grant funds that must be repaid under rules promulgated by the LRAP Committee or under the terms of the particular grant.

Section 5.  Leave

(a)  A grant recipient may take a temporary leave from employment in the field of public interest law without violating the eligibility requirement of continuous employment in the field of public interest law.

(b)  A grant recipient who takes a temporary leave from employment in the field of public interest law shall notify the LRAP Committee in advance, shall not be eligible for grant payments for the period of the leave, and shall repay any grant amounts received for the period of the leave.

Section 6.  LRAP Committee

(a)  The LRAP shall be administered by an LRAP Committee.  The LRAP Committee shall consist of three persons appointed annually by the Dean of the Law School and two students appointed annually by the President of the Student Bar Association of the Law School.  The Dean shall designate one member of the LRAP Committee as its Chair, and in any event the Chair of the Committee shall be a member of the faculty or of the senior administrative staff of the Law School.

(b)  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the LRAP Committee shall have the absolute discretion to determine

(1)  whether to award LRAP Annual Grants in a particular year, and

(2)  how many LRAP Annual Grants to award in a particular year, and

(3)  whether to award an LRAP Annual Grant to an applicant, and

(4)  the amount of any LRAP Annual Grant, and

(5)  the method or methods of payment of any LRAP Annual Grant, and

(6)  whether to alter or terminate an LRAP Annual Grant.

(c)  The LRAP Committee shall have the authority by majority vote to make substantive and procedural rules and to amend this charter.

(d)  Actions of the LRAP Committee, including actions taken under subsection (b) of this section, rules promulgated by the LRAP Committee, and charter amendments approved by the LRAP Committee, shall be subject to review by the Dean of the Law School.

Section 7.  Disclaimer

An LRAP Annual Grant creates no property interest in its recipient or in any other person.  The LRAP Committee or the Law SChool may alter or terminate an LRAP Annual Grant at any time.  Nothing in this charter, no rule or action of the LRAP Committee or the Law School, and no oral or written statement by any person shall obligate the LRAP Committee, the Law School, or any person to make, pay on, continue, or renew any LRAP Annual Grant.  Moreover, nothing in this charter, no rule or action of the LRAP Committee or the Law School, and no oral or written statement by any person shall provide any basis for a claim of any kind against the LRAP Committee, the Law School, or any person for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, violation of property or procedural rights, or otherwise.