Financing your legal education ranks among the top worries for applicants. Scholarships and grants are a best case scenario but in reality most will be taking out loans. What does that mean for your future? Well, consider that most law students graduate with a $100,000 bill or more. This is also a major investment in your future which in most cases pays off within a few years. Law can be a fulfilling and lucrative career for those who master legal skills and follow their calling. It’s not a direct path to riches but it can certainly be a path to personal fulfillment.
So moving on, how do you pay for law school? Here are important considerations:
- Ask about scholarships and grants. Figure out whether you’re competitive for funding and if there are endowed
scholarship or outside sources available. If you are competitive for a merit scholarship, then consider a school’s reputation vs. debt load. Would you attend a lower ranked school in order to graduate with no debt? What does that mean? What kinds of jobs could you consider if you graduate with no debt? Where could you live? What could you afford?
- Meet with a Financial Aid Counselor! Most law schools offer counseling upon acceptance. Call the Financial Aid office to learn about different loans, deadlines and processes. Paying for law school requires planning (if you paid for your undergraduate degree then you know this is true!).
- MINIMIZE YOUR DEBT! Try to borrow the least amount possible. Remember there is interest on loans.
- Consider your cost of attendance. Some things, such as a car loan or credit card payment, cannot be included in your budget. How will you pay for these bills? Remember full-time students are allowed to work a MAXIMUM of 20 hours per week.
- Yes, there are a few work study positions in law school. They are competitive but it’s an option.
- Watch LSAC’s Paying for Law School on YouTube. It’s long so set up 45 minutes to watch this. You’re welcome in advance
What do you think? How will you pay for law school? Maybe follow this guy’s lead and ask for $10,000?
Financial Aid FAQs: