January 11, 2012
LRAP continues helping those who help others
Many of those most in need of legal help—the poor, the mentally ill, and the elderly—are those who can least afford it.
Lawyers who make a career of helping vulnerable populations don’t do it for the financial gain. Eugene attorney Jackie Romm JD ’81 understood that.
Romm, who died in 2004, helped endow the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Her decision to turn her unspent retirement savings into a $200,000 bequest to LRAP reflected her desire to help Oregon Law graduates committed to providing legal assistance for society’s most vulnerable individuals.
So far, the program has assisted twenty-eight Oregon Law graduates who may otherwise have found it difficult to pursue a career in public service because of the debt they incurred during law school.
“This job lets me come home with a sense of fulfillment every day,” says James Baldock JD ’09, an attorney with the Albany office of Legal Aid Services of Oregon who graduated from law school with a student loan debt approximately twice the size of his starting salary.
A gift from LRAP has helped him pursue his passion while being able to pay down the loans.
For Hillsboro public defender Tom Borton JD ’09, LRAP provides more than just financial assistance.
Borton went to law school specifically to become a public defender, and he has not been disappointed by what he considers the “most fulfilling, exciting, demanding and rewarding” job in the legal field. However, his education left him with significant debt.
“The LRAP loan helps me make those payments,” he says, “but it also provides support and encouragement to push on.”
Learn more about LRAP at law.uoregon.edu/lrap/.