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NC LEAF Program Overview

Overview of NC Legal Education Assistance Foundation 

Equal access to justice is a cornerstone of our legal system. NC LEAF encourages attorneys to pursue careers in public service through law school loan repayment assistance. Rising law school debt and low salaries in public service positions present enormous impediments for law graduates committed to public interest careers. NC LEAF helps ensure that skilled attorneys continue to aid the underserved citizens of our state by providing financial assistance towards relief for law school debt. Limited funding for NC LEAF is made possible by IOLTA, Legal Aid of NC, administrative fees from participating law schools, and donations from individuals and law firms.


Current NC LEAF Loan Repayment Assistance Programs:

Funding is available for 2021 for public interest attorneys in Mecklenburg County, Prosecutors and Public Defenders in targeted areas, and those attonrneys providing legal services through non-profit organizations. This financial assistance is made possible thanks to a gift from the C.D. Spangler Foundation a generous grant from IOLTA.  Details are available on the Applicants tab.

Scholarships are available for public interest attorneys who wish to become Board Certified Specialists.  The fund was established by generous donations from the private bar in honor of Jeri L. Whitfield, a board-certified specialist in workers' compensation, and former Chair of the Board of Legal Specialization. Former LEAF recipients are encouraged to apply for the scholarship which covers the specialization $250 application fee. Thirty-four scholarships have been awarded since the program began in 2014.



NC LEAF is proud to administer the Legal Aid of North Carolina loan repayment assistance program for its employees. This partnership has been in effect since 2007.