Financing Law School

Law school costs vary depending if you go to an private v.s. public school, out of state, or even what rank a school is. According to U.S. News: Education, the average cost of a public law school averaged at $23,214, out of state public law school at $36,202, while private law schools averaged at $40,634.

Financial Aid Overview 

Most law students are unable to pay for law school out of pocket. There are three main ways of funding your legal education: Scholarships/Grants, Federal Loans, and Private loans. 

Financial Aid from Law Schools

There are several different forms of financial aid given by a law school: Need-based, merit based, criteria based.

Follow this link for a break down of public law schools that offer the most financial aid. 

Law School Scholarship/Financial Aid Negotiation 

follow the links below for tips and tricks on how to negotiate your financial aid offer

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/law-admissions-lowdown/2012/03/13/how-to-negotiate-law-school-financial-aid

http://lawschooladvice.com/guides/negotiating-scholarships/

http://prelaw-guru.com/blog/how-to-negotiate-scholarships/

Private Scholarships - Many independent companies and organizations offer private scholarships you can apply for. Many website have helpful search engines for finding scholarship you are eligible to apply for. AddmissionsDean has a large scholarship database specifically for students considering Law School.

Undocumented Student (DACA)Scholarships - Students in this category can use resources from Educators for Fair Consideration. They offer scholarship lists including any related to Law School.

Loans

  • Federal Loans; there are several options of federal student loans that you have probably experienced within your undergraduate career. 
    • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan: loans fixed at 6.8%, unlike subsidized loans (which are not offered to law students) interest begins accuring once it has been dispersed. Repayment doesn't begin until 6 months after graduation.
    • Graduate Plus Loans: Loans eligible to graduate students with good credit, if you have bad credit you can apply with an endorser who has good credit. These loans are fixed at 7.9% and interest begin accuring once it has been dispersed. Repayment can be deffered to begin 6 months after graduation. 
  • Private; If you are ineligible for federal loans, or they do not cover all of your expenses, private loans are available through various institutions. Many banking instutions offer student loan options for borrowers. Research loan options and compare interest rates and repayment methods to find the perfect loan for you. 

Federal Financial Aid

  • Work-Study: Work study is a program that provides funding for full-time students to work part time during the school year and full time during the summer months. Students sometimes work on campus in a variety of settings or in off-campus nonprofit agencies. ABA standards limit a law student’s paid employment to no more than 20 hours per week. Additional information is available from participating law school financial aid offices. Not all schools participate in the Federal Work-Study Program. (From LSAC.org)
  • Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): PSLF forgives your remaining balance of your Direct Loans (federal loans under the Wiliam D. Ford Direct Loan Program) after making 120 qualifying loan payments while working full-time under for a qualifying employer. Qualifying employers include: government organizations at any level, qualifying tax excempt non-profit organization, and other non-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public services. To learn more about the PSLF program please follow this link.    

Visit the Law School Admission Council to learn more about financing law school here.