The Shepherd Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The Washington and Lee University School of Law Shepherd Loan Repayment Assistance Program (the "LRAP") is designed to provide financial assistance to graduates working in the public interest at salaries below that of their counterparts in the private sector. The LRAP is administered by the LRAP Committee, appointed by the Dean. Determinations of eligibility for repayment assistance and loan forgiveness, and the allocation of awards, are at the complete discretion of the Committee.

Eligible Graduates: J.D. graduates of W&L Law who (i) graduated in 2003 or after; (ii) are working full-time in "Qualifying Employment" (as defined); (iii) meet the financial eligibility guidelines outlined below; and (iv) submit a complete application by May 15. "Qualifying Employment" is defined to include legal work in the public interest, public service, or other similar employment. Qualifying public interest work includes providing direct legal services to, or conducting impact litigation or engaging in policy work on behalf of, indigents and/or underserved populations, in that order of preference. Qualifying public service includes certain federal, state or local government service, such as public defenders or prosecutors, as well as work in higher education administration, such as college or university General Counsel's offices, Admissions or Career Planning. Such public service also includes legal work in the military but does not include judicial clerkships. The LRAP Committee has discretion to determine whether a particular employment constitutes "Qualifying Employment" under the LRAP Program and to give preference to certain types of employment over others.

Financial Eligibility: To determine whether a graduate working in Qualifying Employment is financially eligible for the LRAP Program, the Committee will take into consideration the following information:

  • The applicant's and his or her spouse's income;
  • The applicant's and his or her spouse's major expenses;
  • Number of dependents, their ages and circumstances;
  • Assets, including cash, fair market value of investments (including trusts), and property owned by the applicant and/or his or her spouse;
  • Cost of living in the area in which the applicant lives;
  • Total indebtedness, including educational loans, bar study loans, and other indebtedness of applicant and spouse;
  • Annual educational debt payment of applicant and spouse, meaning the amount that applicant and spouse are obligated to pay each year to service all educational debt, including bar study loans;
  • Extraordinary financial obligations, e.g., medical expenses;
  • Loan repayment assistance from other sources or gifts;
  • Any other financial information the Committee requests or the applicant wishes to bring to the Committee's attention;
  • Mean and median public interest salaries as collected annually by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), and salary comparisons based on federal government salary data.

For an application and full statement of policy and program guidelines, please visit the SCORE Resource Library or email