Many Harvard Law School graduates devote their careers to public service work as government attorneys, human rights activists, champions of civil rights, and advocates for traditionally underserved populations. Given a significant educational debt burden, such careers might not be feasible without loan repayment assistance. Harvard’s Low Income Protection Plan (LIPP) was the first law school program to address this problem and remains one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind. The mission of LIPP is to enable Harvard Law School JD graduates to pursue a broad range of relatively lower income employment options while maintaining the ability to repay their educational loans. Through LIPP, Harvard Law School is committed to preserving freedom of job choice within the legal profession for its graduates.
LIPP considers student loan repayment to be the financial priority of participants. The plan helps graduates achieve this priority by relieving the burden of education loan repayment for J.D. graduates in full-time government, public sector, or academic jobs. In addition, full-time law-related jobs in the private sector are also covered under LIPP (see Eligible Employment for definition of law-related). LIPP participants pay a limited portion of their annual income towards their annual loan repayment obligations (see Participant Contributions), and LIPP then covers the remainder of their LIPP-eligible loan payments.
Graduates may enter LIPP at any time after graduation if their job, debt, and income qualify; however, please note that LIPP assistance is not retroactive nor is it available for past-due loans or loans without a payment due such as loans that are in their grace period, forbearance or deferment. We encourage all students to become familiar with the LIPP guidelines as they begin to explore their legal careers. The LIPP staff is available to counsel students and graduates about the program and other aspects of debt management.