Colorado Law approved 45 LRAP awards of $5,500 each for qualified applicants during the 2021 LRAP application cycle. LRAP awards of $5,500 each were also granted to qualified applicants for the 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 award years. Each year, Colorado Law determines the number of awards made and the amount of each award based on the availability of funds, participation rates, and individual factors. So, the amount of each award and the number of awards given may vary.
No. Graduates working as judicial law clerks are not eligible for our LRAP. Graduates who enter LRAP-eligible employment after completing a judicial clerkship and meet the other LRAP criteria may then apply for LRAP awards during the appropriate application window.
If I do not apply for LRAP immediately after graduating, am I barred from applying in the following year?
No. Eligibility for our LRAP is not limited to the first five years after graduation. For example, you could work in a corporate, in-house legal department for two years directly after graduation, leave that position for a job with Colorado Legal Services, and apply for LRAP during the next application cycle.
No. Our LRAP does not require participants to be licensed attorneys.
I applied for and received an LRAP award last year. Will you automatically renew my LRAP award this year?
No. After their initial award, participants who would like to receive an award again must reapply by submitting a timely, complete application for the funding cycle.
You use the same application form as required of first-time applicants, but you submit less information if your employer has not changed.
If this is your first time applying for LRAP, your gross annual salary cannot exceed $65,000. If you received an LRAP award in the previous year, our LRAP allows for annual gross salary increases of $2,000 above the $65,000 ceiling for each year of LRAP participation.
Am I required to be enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan in order to participate in Colorado Law’s LRAP?
No. Colorado Law does not require LRAP applicants or participants to be enrolled in an income-sensitive repayment plan, e.g. Income-Based Repayment or Pay As You Earn. We do, however, encourage you to make sure you are educated about the student loan repayment plan options available to you. The U.S. Department of Education’s website is a good starting place.
No. Our LRAP application process is now a completely online process. Your complete application must be submitted to the system by the application deadline as shown on the LRAP application form and Colorado Law website. All times indicated are Colorado (Mountain) time. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to compile and submit your application through the online portal.
No. Under the state statute and the Board of Regents’ rules governing our LRAP, employees of the University of Colorado are ineligible for Colorado Law’s LRAP.
No. DCAO Fellows are not eligible for our LRAP during their Fellowship.
No. Your employing nonprofit organization must be a 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Code.
Colorado Law’s LRAP awards are structured as forgivable loans. Based on guidance published by the IRS, this structure may eliminate tax consequences for certain recipients. We encourage you to consult with an accountant or tax professional regarding the possible tax consequences of the loan forgiveness.
What is an example of low-paying work that provides services to underserved populations or addresses unmet legal needs?
The LRAP Committee determines, on a case-by-case basis whether an applicant’s work is qualifying low-paying work that provides services to underserved populations or addresses unmet legal needs. Some possible examples are working in counties in the eastern plains of Colorado or other rural areas where there may not be a sufficient number of lawyers to provide legal services necessary to members of the community. Another example might be representing people who cannot afford to hire an attorney to protect their rights.
What are examples of an employer who contracts with a government agency to provide legal services to indigent people?
Examples falling under this category are a person employed by a small law firm or as a solo practitioner doing indigent criminal defense work through a contract with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel or Guardian Ad Litem work under a contract with the Office of the Child Representative.
Close to the end of the year for which a recipient is provided with an LRAP loan, we will send you a form to complete and return to the LRAP Administrator certifying you spent the award year in qualifying employment. After Colorado Law reviews your completed form and determines you meet the terms for forgiveness of the LRAP loan, we will send you a cancellation notice and your promissory note.
You must notify the LRAP Administrator in writing within 30 days of any change in your eligibility, including changes in salary, marital status, employment, and loan repayment status. Failing to do so may result in the loss of LRAP benefits.
Am I required to repay the LRAP loan if I Ieave my LRAP qualifying employment before the end of the one year period covered by the promissory note?
Yes, but the University of Colorado may choose to prorate the repayment amount to give you credit for the period of time worked in the qualifying position during the period covered by the promissory note.