Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $84,475)
To reduce student loan debt as a factor in encouraging qualified prosecutors and public defenders to continue their critical service to Oregon communities. One long term goal of this Loan Repayment Program is to retain qualified and skilled attorneys in vital positions throughout the state, improving the overall quality of Oregon’s justice system and benefiting the community as a whole.
The Problem: Expensive law school loan debt combined with lower pay scales in the public service sector lead to difficulty recruiting for and retaining prosecutors and public defenders across the state.
The Goal: To provide loan relief from law school debt and encourage lawyers to enter and promote retention of qualified full-time prosecutors and public defenders and continue their critical service to Oregon communities.
The Strategy: CVSSD uses an online grant management system to award funds, maintain beneficiary information and monitor payments. Applicants must comply with statutory requirements along with CVSSD’s application guidelines. CVSSD’s strategy includes requesting applicant nomination letters from elected District Attorneys and Executive Directors of regional public defense agencies. Applicants will be screened for minimum eligibility requirements by CVSSD grant staff. Eligible applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of statewide prosecutorial and defender associations. Once awarded, DOJ will make payments directly to the financial institution that holds the successful applicants’ student loans.