LIPP is available for Harvard Law School JD Program graduates who work in any full-time job for a government, nonprofit [501(c)(3)] or academic organization (nonprofit only) in the USA, or in an overseas equivalent. To be eligible the position must be compensated at a fair rate; for domestic employment we use federal minimum wage as a minimal standard and for international placements we expect the compensation to meet similar local standards. Coverage is also available for individuals during periods of parental leave from a LIPP eligible position and participants working part-time in order to care for a child. Please refer to the Parental Leave section of this website for more information.

Jobs in the private sector can also qualify for LIPP, but must be full-time and law related. “Law-related” is defined as follows:

  • The distinctive intellectual skills acquired in a legal education are generally recognized as useful in the job; and
  • Of those who hold this position, it is not unusual for them to be members of the legal profession.

A legal education is a strong foundation for many different career paths. However, to be eligible for LIPP any position in the for-profit sector must rely primarily on the skills acquired in the pursuit of a JD; a position or enterprise which may require a graduate level degree (such as an MBA or PhD) but not specifically a JD has typically not met the law-relatedness requirement. We strongly encourage students and graduates who are unsure as to whether their planned employment will meet these criteria to consult with the LIPP staff and submit a formal job description. If we have any questions regarding your eligibility we will ask you to submit a statement outlining how your position meets both of the law-relatedness criteria. Graduates should not rely on LIPP support without having received prior approval. LIPP coverage is not available for periods of unemployment, job transition or volunteer employment.

Judicial Clerkships

Graduates who take clerkships and intend to take a LIPP-qualifying position after the clerkship is completed are eligible for LIPP assistance under certain provisions. Beginning with students admitted during the 2009-10 admissions season (which begins in the fall of 2009), these clerkship provisions also apply to graduates in a “deferred associate” program offered by a law firm.

PhD Participation

LIPP offers up to seven years of participation for graduates who are actively pursuing a PhD, subject to the certain terms.


Self-employment may be eligible for LIPP assistance; graduates should contact the LIPP Staff to determine their eligibility.

Public Service Venture Fund Recipients

Graduates who are recipients of support from the Public Service Venture Fund are eligible to participate in LIPP.

LIPP Participants at Work

LIPP participants work in a wide range of organizations and positions. Check out this section to see where!

Delayed Starts and Firm Sponsored Fellowships