When student debt loads are high, public interest legal jobs do not always provide the salary recent graduates need. For over a decade, Oregon Law’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) has encouraged recent graduates to pursue public interest legal careers by assisting with student debt payments.
A dozen Oregon alums are receiving financial assistance with student loan payments this year. Among these recipients are Killian Doherty, Kiara Fiegi, and Georgina Santos. Their work reflects the breadth of public interest work that Oregon Law’s LRAP seeks to support.
During law school, Killian volunteered, externed, and interned with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), an international network of environmental and human rights lawyers. Killian now works for ELAW assisting lawyers around the world with research, writing, and strategizing for diverse environmental and human rights cases and law reform efforts.
When asked about his LRAP award, Killian said that it helps to know that others in the community value his work. He noted, “This is especially important to me because I work internationally and the results of my work are rarely visible from this country."
Kiara works as a trial attorney with the Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office in Birmingham, Alabama. As an attorney with the Jefferson County Public Defender, Kiara provides legal representation to individuals charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses who cannot afford representation.
Georgina currently works for Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid as a housing attorney. Georgina works on a project representing Minneapolis tenants who have repair problems and whose landlords fail to comply with applicable Minnesota law. The goal of her work is to ensure clients have access to safe housing.
Georgina explained that “LRAP serves as an affirmation that the work we do is valued and important. When one is facing systemic inequality, representing client populations that are often marginalized, LRAP is a reminder that the legal community is invested in the work we do.”