LIPP (Low Income Protection Plan, aka Harvard's LRAP)

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bogm2012
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:11 pm

LIPP (Low Income Protection Plan, aka Harvard's LRAP)

Postby bogm2012 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:10 pm

For posterity and for our own sanity, I think it would be best to talk over LIPP on this board. I have called a few times and usually receive the suggestive "Well, as it says on our website..." introduction, yet the website is vague or unclear about a good many things, so let's discuss them here.

Please feel free to respond to my concerns and to post your own!

My main concerns:

* LIPP does not cover any loans taken out to cover assessed student contributions. As I understand it HLS expects you to use ALL of your assets to pay for your education, so are those of us who saved totally screwed? I mean, even if we have a lot of money in retirement funds (which are assessed at 50% for financial aid), we will have to pay off those loans in full when we graduate, which is really worrisome. Say I have no assets save for $100k in my 401k. HLS (roughly) evaluates my contribution to be $50k ($100k * 50%), split over three years. I take out the other $160k in loans, which LIPP will cover, but then I could be responsible for $50k in loans on a $45k salary. Does HLS expect me to raid my retirement funds to pay for these?

ETA: See edit below.

* LIPP has an asset protection plan. Something like $10k for everyone, plus $8k for each year worked after undergrad (after speaking with a LIPP officer, it seems as though fractions of years can be combined, but they need to amount to a full year) is exempt. Part of me wonders how anyone can have any assets after graduation if they are being asked to contribute "all assets" to their education. Is this the missing link with the above? Will LIPP cover loans taken out to pay for the student assessed contribution taken from the aforementioned resources? For example, will a person who worked three years after undergrad be eligible for LIPP loans to cover $34k ($10k + 3*$8k) of the assessed student contribution?

ETA: the two points above seem to be answered by this --http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/lipp/borrowing.html It seems as though the calculus posted above ($10k plus $8k * years worked) will be your "LIPP eligible borrowing." The wording on the LIPP Asset page - which only talks about post-graduation assets and doesn't mention borrowing - is very confusing in this light.

* When was the last time LIPP was improved/updated? If it gets updated while we're there, are we eligible for the better terms, or are we "locked in" by our matriculation year? I know at other schools they say that they can change the terms of aid/LRAPs at their discretion at any point (and I doubt any school has made theirs worse off, but you could see a situation where Boalt would be forced to, for example).

* LIPP is extraordinarily opaque about clerkships. I keep seeing mention of "certain circumstances" allowing clerkships to be included, both for remuneration as well as inclusion in the 10 year period. Anyone have any insight into this?

My gripe:

* LIPP may be flexible, but I don't think it can even compare to most other t14 programs for people who are looking to do this for the long haul. Perversely it seems to disproportionately benefit people who are not fully committed to PI, because they can do PI for 4 years and then go off and do something far more lucrative. Someone who went to HLS who works in PI at a 501(c)3 for 10 years and winds up at that point with a $75k salary will be far more strapped than the same person who graduated from Georgetown or Chicago. I guess it helps the people doing non-traditional gov't/non-profit work, but isn't that a small amount of people?
Last edited by bogm2012 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

splbagel
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:53 pm

Re: ITT: Everything LIPP

Postby splbagel » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:36 am

Might help to clarify in the title or OP that LIPP is Harvard's "Low Income Protection Plan," the parallel to what most schools call an LRAP.

I share a lot of these concerns, but the flexibility of the program is really encouraging to me, especially since it allows private sector work (say, in a small firm that can't start you out at six figures), and even "non-law-related" public/non-profit work.

bogm2012
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:11 pm

Re: ITT: Everything LIPP

Postby bogm2012 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:17 pm

splbagel wrote:Might help to clarify in the title or OP that LIPP is Harvard's "Low Income Protection Plan," the parallel to what most schools call an LRAP.

I share a lot of these concerns, but the flexibility of the program is really encouraging to me, especially since it allows private sector work (say, in a small firm that can't start you out at six figures), and even "non-law-related" public/non-profit work.


Good call, spl. Changed per your recommendation.

Another question -- does anyone know the current interest rate for Harvard loans?

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samsonyte16
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: LIPP (Low Income Protection Plan, aka Harvard's LRAP)

Postby samsonyte16 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:07 pm

If you clerk, you can get LIPP but I believe it comes in the form of a loan that is only forgiven if you enter a public interest job after the clerkship--otherwise you pay it back. This should even out because the clerkship bonus firms give should cover the LIPP payments from the previous year. Also, a lot of people who go into law firms after clerking don't use LIPP and defer the loans instead (not sure exactly how this works, though).




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