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Article 12. Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Program   

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Unless the context requires otherwise, the definitions in this section govern the construction of this article.

(a) "Commission" means the Student Aid Commission.

(b) "Eligible education and training programs" means education and training programs approved by the commission that lead to eligibility for a license to practice law as a licensed attorney.

(c) "Eligible expenses" means reasonable expenses associated with the costs of acquiring an education such as tuition, books, equipment, fees, room and board, and other expenses determined by the commission.

(d) "Eligible participant" means a licensed attorney who has been admitted to the program and is a resident of this state and who can provide proof of residency in this state.

(e) "Licensed attorney" means an attorney who resides in this state who has successfully passed the California bar examination and has been admitted to practice in this state or has otherwise been licensed to practice law in this state by the State Bar of California.

(f) "Loan repayment" means a loan that is paid in full or in part if the participant renders legal services in this state in a public interest area of the law.

(g) "Participant" means a licensed attorney who has been admitted to the program and has commenced practice as a licensed attorney in this state in a public interest area of the law.

(h) "Program" means the Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Program.

(i) "Public interest area of the law" means those areas of the law determined by the commission, in consultation with the advisory committee, to serve the public interest, including, but not necessarily limited to, providing direct legal service at a local (1) legal services organization, (2) prosecuting attorney's office, (3) child support agency office, or (4) criminal public defender's office. For the purposes of this article, a "legal services organization" is a legal services provider in California that serves a clientele over 70 percent of whom are low-income persons according to applicable federal income guidelines.

(j) "Required service obligation" means an obligation by the participant to provide legal services in this state in a public interest area of the law as established pursuant to this article.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 881, Sec. 2.)