LRAP increases desperately needed legal aid for low-income families and individuals by enabling attorneys to work in public service jobs.
Less than one in five of the legal problems experienced by low-income people are addressed.
LRAP attorneys fill this gap by helping more than 12,000 low-income clients annually with their basic essential needs like safety and shelter.
However, the volume and quality of client service provided by our recipients would be impossible without LRAP.
Staggering law school debt (averaging $111,000) and declining legal aid salaries (averaging $42,000) prevent dedicated attorneys from accepting public interest law jobs and from staying in those positions for the long term.
LRAP alleviates this debt barrier by providing education loan repayment assistance to legal aid attorneys with a demonstrated financial need. Instead of worrying about how to make ends meet, our attorneys can devote their full attention to serving Minnesota's most vulnerable clients.
The lives of low-income clients are profoundly impacted by the services LRAP attorneys provide.
For example, LRAP Recipient Terri Thorson recently helped a working mother provide food for her two children. One of her children opened up a savings account for post-high school education and included the mother's name (per bank policy). Because the mother’s name was listed, the county determined that the child's account overqualified the family for food support. Terri was able to show that the client did not deposit money into the account and had no right to withdraw money from the account. With the overpayment reversed, this mother can continue to provide food for her family and her child can invest in her future.