A dozen recent UO Law graduates are currently receiving assistance with repayment of student loans. To qualify for UO Law’s LRAP, an applicant must be working in a public interest law job and demonstrate his or her financial need for assistance.
LRAP assists graduates like Sherisa Davis-Larry who works for Legal Aid Services of Oregon [LASO] in Portland. At LASO, Sherisa provides free legal help to low-income individuals, enabling them to access quality representation and to seek justice. Sherisa’s practice includes working on a wide range of legal issues including domestic violence, family law, public benefits, and housing discrimination.
Grant Hartley, another of this year’s recipients, works for the Metropolitan Public Defenders [MPD] in Portland, Oregon. He is currently in the misdemeanor unit, handling cases ranging from Assaults to DUIs to Criminal Trespasses. Grant appreciates MPD’s holistic approach to criminal defense, which seeks to address clients’ life barriers or issues that may be the cause of the underlying criminal behavior.
A decade ago, UO Law students had the foresight to encourage the law school to create LRAP as student debt loads were climbing. However, every year the number of deserving applicants outstrips the available funding. PLP aims to grow funding over the years to continue to support students who, despite large student debt loads, choose lower paying public interest jobs.