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Help NC LEAF continue supporting public interest lawyers.


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(919) 845-6089

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Prosecutors, Public Defenders, and Non-Profit Public Interest Attorneys 

NC LEAF is committed to providing forgivable loans to public interest attorneys with the least ability to repay their law school debt. Decisions will be based on debt load and income.

Applications will not be accepted from former NC LEAF recipients. New applicants only.

  1. An Applicant must have earned a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school within the past ten (10) years and be a licensed member in good standing of the North Carolina State Bar. (If you graduated before December 2007, you are not eligible.)
  2. An Applicant's Annual Gross Income (AGI) from all sources must not exceed $50,000.00 for a single person or $90,000.00 for a couple (spouses and domestic partners included) in the Adjusted Gross Income category of your 2016 income taxes. Line 21 on Form 1040A. Only this page needs to be submitted.
  3. An Applicant must currently have at least $10,000.00 remaining in law school debt.
  4. Applications will not be accepted without a monthly loan payment amount.
  5. Monthly assistance payments will not exceed $400 for a total of $4,800 annually.
  6. Assistance is guaranteed for one calendar year.
  7. John R. Justice federal grant requires recipients to remain in eligible employment (prosecutor or public defender) for the duration of the 3-year service agreement. IF you exit the program early, all disbursed funds must be repaid immediately.

Application Materials:

2018 NC LEAF Program Guidelines
Online Application
Employer Certification Form
Spouse/Domestic Partner Employer Certification Form

Checklist for applying:

  • Determine eligibility. 
  • No prior NC LEAF assistance, hire date and income caps.
  • Read 2018 NC LEAF Program Guidelines.
  • Complete and certify online application.
  • Compose essay describing your commitment to public interest law (limit: one (1) page). Please do not include your name on the essay. 
  • Obtain signature and salary information on Employer Certification Form(for self AND spouse/domestic partner, if applicable).
  • Copy 2016  federal 1040/1040A/1040EZ tax returns-page 1 only showing your AGI.
  • One year of loan payment history: servicer, address, account number, monthly payment and total debt load.
  • Gather and scan all attachments (Online application,1-page essay, signed employer certification form(s), signed Program Guidelines, 2016 tax returns and loan information). 
  • Send a single PDF including all required attachments to by November 27 by noon.  
  • Applications will not be accepted past the deadline. Notification by December 4.

If you have any questions, please e-mail

Program Specifics for Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) Attorneys:

The Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc. (LANC)  application period is open on a rolling basis. Attorneys are eligible after completing six months of employment and agency approval. 

Program Requirements: Please contact LANC Human Resources for a packet of materials with full details for receiving loan repayment assistance.