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April 19, 2006

DEFENDING THE DEFENSELESS: Juvenile Court clerk talks about her job and how LRAP has helped

 
Defending the Defenseless
by Ed Dorsch
 
“When I come home, I tell my fiancé a lot of sad stories,” says Laura Sadowski, J.D. ’05, a Lane County Juvenile Court law clerk in Eugene. Like the three-year-old who moved into a foster home, then started keeping food in his room because he just couldn’t believe that he would get regular meals. Or the children on the sidewalk in front of their home, trying to open cans of soup by pounding them on the curb. When you’re a lawyer helping kids, heartbreak is part of the territory.
 
Sadowski is one of the first two recipients of $4,000 Loan Repayment Assistance Awards for graduates who work in public interest jobs. She passed the bar in July and is gaining practical experience that will prepare her for a career in family and juvenile law. 
 
So far, donors have contributed more than $300,000 to endow the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Sadowski and Coos Bay public defender Stacey Kay Lowe, J.D. ’03 both received awards last November.
 
When Sadowski got the news about the LRAP award, “It was like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. Regardless of how much I was going to make this year, I would be able to start making a small dent in a very large pile of debt,” she says. That pile is $60,000—a typical amount for law school graduates and an even greater burden for those who pursue public interest law. 

 
 


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