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October 27, 2005

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program is up and running!

Woodcut of the Knight Law CenterCELEBRATE!
The Loan Repayment Assistance Program is up and running!
 
 
Celebrate the donors and recipients of the law school’s loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) at a champagne reception on Friday, November 4, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Wayne Morse Commons. 
 
The event honors all who have helped create LRAP, including the late Jackie Romm ’81, whose major gift enabled the fledging program to make its first awards last summer. A new piece of artwork honoring the donors will be unveiled at the event.

Four years ago, a group of students decided to do something about law student debt, which falls particularly hard on graduates working in low-paying public service jobs or judicial clerkships

With help from the dean’s fund and individual donors, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program endowment grew to the point that two $4,000 loans were granted this summer. The recipients may borrow up to $12,000 on favorable terms over three years and their loans will be forgiven if they continue in public service.

Coos Bay public defender Stacy Kay Lowe ’03 and Laura Sadowski ’05 received the first two awards.

Laura Sadowski clerks for Judge Kip Leonard at the Lane County Juvenile Court and hopes to continue a legal career helping children.

In her application, Stacy Lowe wrote, “Just last week I helped a family with two young children…my heart truly went out to [the parents] because they are struggling to overcome their pasts and their poverty. I want to continue advocating for those whose voices are not often heard.”

Beginning this fall, loans will be granted once each year in December. The application deadline for the next award is October 31. Graduates of the UO School of Law are eligible if they have outstanding student loans, earned a J.D.  within the past four years, and earn less than $45,000 in salary as a public defender, prosecutor, legal aid attorney or in another qualifying public interest job.

Jackie Romm donated her retirement fund to help struggling public service lawyers shortly before her death last November. The former English teacher and partner in the Eugene firm Walters, Romm & Chanti, “was an extraordinary person,” said law professor Caroline Forell, who taught Romm in her legal research and writing class more than 25 years ago. “It was my first year of teaching, and she taught this raw beginner a lot.”

Romm, her husband Rich, and their family decided to set up an endowment of nearly $200,000 for LRAP.

Jamie Moffitt, associate dean of finance, said “The last application cycle included a tremendous group of applicants with many deserving people — I would like to encourage more donors to help build the endowment, so we can help more of these graduates who are doing such important work.”

Loan Repayment Assistance Program

-Eliza Schmidkunz

 

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