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LIPP is available for Harvard Law School JD Program graduates who work in any job for a government, public sector or academic organization (nonprofit only) in the USA, or in an overseas equivalent. Jobs in the private sector can also qualify for LIPP, but must be law-related. Students and alumni who are unsure as to whether their planned employment will meet the eligibility criteria should consult with LIPP staff in advance. Graduates should not rely on LIPP support until they have applied for LIPP and received approval for LIPP participation from the Financial Aid Committee.

To be eligible for assistance the participant’s employment must be at least part-time (17.5 hours/week) and compensated at a fair rate. For those participants with domestic employment we use local minimum wage as a minimal standard and for international placements we expect the compensation to meet similar local standards; LIPP coverage is not available for volunteer employment. If working part-time, the participant’s loans must be in a repayment status and have a required monthly payment amount in order to qualify for LIPP assistance. When determining eligibility LIPP will always use a Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) income for the calculation.

Coverage is also available for individuals during periods of parental leave from a LIPP eligible position. Please refer to the Parental Leave section of this website for more information.

When considering public interest employment, it is important to understand the employer’s total compensation package.

Transition Assistance

LIPP coverage is not available for periods of unemployment, volunteer employment, or less than part-time (min of 17.5 hours/week) employment outside of a parental leave. However, individuals may use their allotted transition assistance during those periods in order to maintain eligibility. To qualify for LIPP assistance during any type of leave or transition a graduate must be eligible for and receiving a LIPP benefit immediately before and after the leave or transition. The assistance provided during the transition is calculated using the average of the two incomes surrounding the break in employment.

Participants are eligible for a total of 24 weeks of transition assistance during their entire time in LIPP for periods of transition between two LIPP-eligible positions. Graduates entering LIPP will have 12 weeks of transition time and will earn an additional 12 weeks upon beginning their 5th year in the program. A maximum of 12 weeks of transition assistance may be used in a 12 month time frame. Additional transition assistance is available for up to 3 months during a doctor-approved medical or disability leave by the participant. This may be combined with standard transition time to cover a leave of up to 6 months within a 12 month time frame.

If a participant exhausts his or her transition eligibility or has a break in employment longer than 12 weeks, the participant can consider using forbearance to suspend required loan payments during that time. Current LIPP participants should discuss their options with LIPP staff before making changes to their loan payments.