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(919) 845-6089

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Prosecutors, Public Defenders, and Non-Profit Public Interest Attorneys -funding is available for 2021.

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 2010, you are not eligible.)
  2. An Applicant's Annual Gross Income (AGI) from all sources must not exceed $55,000.00 for a single person or $95,000.00 for a couple (spouses and domestic partners included) in the Adjusted Gross Income category of your 2019 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 from the service provider.
  5. Monthly assistance payments will not exceed $400 for a total of $4,800 annually.
  6. Assistance is guaranteed for one calendar year when funding is available.
  7. Application Materials:

2021 NC LEAF Program Guidelines
Download 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 2021 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 2019  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, 2019 tax returns and loan information). 
  • Send a single PDF including all required attachments to by 5 PM on November 13.  
  • Applications will not be accepted past the deadline. All applicants will be notified of their status the week of December 7, 2020.

If you have any questions, please e-mail


NC LEAF operates its programs, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. No person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, sex. or age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any of our programs.