SLAPI was created in the summer of 2001 to review the impact of law school indebtedness on the ability of government and public service employers to attract qualified attorneys to undertake careers in public service, and to develop a plan to assist new attorneys in pursuing public service careers by reducing indebtedness.  SLAPI has a two-fold focus:  to continue to provide financial assistance to mid-level government and public interest attorneys burdened with large educational debt (who are less likely to qualify for federal loan repayment assistance), and to help educate attorneys and employers on the developments in the loan repayment assistance landscape. 

Mission Statement

Public service attorneys play a critical role in society. Historically, however, public service lawyers are paid a mere fraction of what their corporate counterparts can earn by working at a private law firm and/or for a large corporation. This pay disparity in combination with the daunting law school loan debt recent graduates face - - in some cases as much as a mortgage for a modest home - - tends to dissuade many from pursuing a public service career or staying in the field for the long term.  In recognition of the ever increasing need for attorneys in the field of public service, the New York State Bar Association created the Student Loan Assistance for the Public Interest (SLAPI) Program in 2002 to encourage lawyers to remain in public service careers by providing financial assistance to attorneys who meet specified eligibility criteria, including qualifying employment and salary limitations.

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