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Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The number of loans made through this program, as well as the individual loan amounts, are subject to sufficient appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.

The Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Assistance Program was created during fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010), to be effective on January 1, 2010, but was not funded by the Illinois General Assembly . If funded in the future, this page will be expanded to contain more information about the program.

The Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Assistance Program was created to encourage qualified individuals to pursue careers in Illinois as assistant State's Attorneys, assistant Public Defenders, civil legal aid attorneys, assistant Attorneys General, assistant public guardians, Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission attorneys, and legislative attorneys to protect the rights of Illinois' most vulnerable citizens or promote the quality enforcement of state law.

Under the program, applicants who are licensed members of the Illinois Bar in good standing, have eligible debt in grace or repayment status, and are employed as public interest attorneys with a qualifying employer in Illinois, may qualify for a forgivable loan to assist in payment of their education. For purposes of this program, a forgivable loan is one for undergraduate, graduate, or law school educational expenses made by government or commercial lending institutions, or educational institutions.

Applicants may receive a forgivable loan of up to $6,000 per year, up to a maximum of $30,000 during the attorney's career. The loan will be forgiven if the attorney completes a year of employment with a qualifying employer, and makes education debt payments (principal or interest or both) that equal at least the amount of assistance received through the program during that year.

In the event the attorney becomes ineligible during the term of a loan, the outstanding amount must be repaid.