Law school is an intense experience. As a law student you spend hundreds of hours studying, in class, and working with other students. You can also spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your law degree. Most people agree that the payoff of the investment is worth it, but the question is, how do you pay for it.
There are a few things you can do to help to pay for law school. First, check out which scholarships the schools you are applying for offer. Most schools have at least a few different scholarship offerings. Contact the schools of your choice for information on what the eligibility requirements for the scholarships are. Often times you can even find out what these requirements are online. Apply for any and all scholarships you can.
You can also check out scholarship opportunities from outside organizations. Many companies offer scholarships to law students. Some companies that are known for offering scholarships are the American Bar Association, Citizen Bank, and even the Federal Circuit Bar Association. If you are working somewhere right now, you can also ask your organization, if they may be willing to fund at least part of your law school education. Many law firms will help fund the education of employees who agree to come back to work for them right after school.
Also, make sure to fully look into two-year law school options. Many schools are now providing these two-year degrees as seemingly more affordable educations, but in fact, they do not offer the same curriculum and moreover, tend to charge just as much as three-year programs. Make sure to read the fine print before signing up for something. Do not simply take someone else’s word for it.
Another great way to pay for law school is to take some time off before going to law school. Right after you get your bachelor’s degree, work for a year or two and actually save up for law school. This is a great way to help ensure that your debt is reduced, if not eliminated.
You can also go to law school at a part-time program. It may take you twice as long to get your law degree, but you can still work while going to law school, which will enable you to pay for your school while in it.
Most law schools also offer student aid for graduate students. Besides just loans, many schools offer student work programs and other financial aid. Call your prospective schools and see what they offer. You may be surprised at what you did not know was available.
If you do decide to take out loans, read all the fine print. Check out what the loan repayment options are. Not all loans provide you with the standard six-month grace period that undergraduate degrees offer.
Thus, deciding on a law school should not just be about location and education, but it should also be about your finances. Make sure to weigh the cost of your education when making a decision of where you want to go.