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Law School Financial Hell

Please post in this forum if you have any questions about law school or legal employment but have not yet entered law school.
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Aristogeiton1
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:57 pm

Law School Financial Hell

Post by Aristogeiton1 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:53 pm

Hey y'all, I was awarded a merit scholarship that covers the full tuition of my law school, but the school itself is in a different state, and I was under the assumption that all of my outside expenses (apartment, books, board, etc. ) would be covered by a GradPlus + Fed Direct Loan sent to the school and refunded to me.

I called up the school itself, and aside from their financial aid department being slow to respond, I was told that the timeline for refunds may actually fall sometime into the beginning of the semester. I remember seeing a thread that mentioned that some law schools themselves give out loans, until the financial aid refund is processed and COL calculated. I'm coming off of an Americorps program and don't have any money on hand to spend $1.5k on an apartment another $800 on books waiting on my school. Has anyone dealt with a problem like this?

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jeff chiles
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by jeff chiles » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:58 pm

yeah i think this is pretty common for loans to not be refunded from the school financial office to you before the semester starts, when i was in it ranged from like the end of the first week of the semester to maybe two or three weeks in.

As far as buying books, if you buy through the school bookstore they might be able to just bill your student account or bill the costs in some way where they get paid automatically once the student loan refund is processed.

Apartment is a separate issue, if you are truly broke and can't make the security deposit/first rent you should reach out to the school and budget accordingly for the second and third year in case there is a delay.

bruh
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:04 pm

Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by bruh » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:30 pm

(1) you should open a credit card if you don't have one already.
(2) buy books through the bookstore. it'll just charge your student account.
(3) absolutely talk to the school about your situation; you'd be surprised by how much flexibility the school has and they may be able to just loan you 3k or whatever directly from the school.
(4) if there's on-campus housing, you might just have to suck it up and live on campus. at least that way your rent will be charged to your account and not due immediately

bruh
Posts: 573
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:04 pm

Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by bruh » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:31 pm

OP, your situation sucks; I've been though it and have had friends go through it, too. It'll work out someway somehow. Congratulations on the scholarship!!

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Rémy
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:11 pm

Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by Rémy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:35 pm

OP i am in nearly the same situation right now. After some advice from LSL, I am getting a personal loan with my bank to cover moving expenses. If this is an option for you, I recommend it.

PhDtoLaw
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:18 am

Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by PhDtoLaw » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:37 pm

This happened to me at the beginning of grad school. I took out a loan with my credit union. It sucks to have to deal with stuff like this right as you're starting an already-stressful graduate or professional program.

KellyZiz
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:50 am
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Law School Financial Hell

Post by KellyZiz » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:16 pm

Hi
For those already in law school, what do you do for money? Is everybody living on student loans or do you guys have paying jobs while you go to class?

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pancakes3
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Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by pancakes3 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:21 pm

it's loans, and that's why scholarship is so important. i had classmates bartend or bounce but that was mostly for spending cash. you won't be able to cover rent/living expenses with a side hustle while at school.

loans, or your parents are rich.

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ymmv
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Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by ymmv » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:23 pm

KellyZiz wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:16 pm
Hi
For those already in law school, what do you do for money? Is everybody living on student loans or do you guys have paying jobs while you go to class?
Vast majority of people live off student loans, savings, or parental assistance. Law school requires a lot of mental and emotional attention, especially your first year, and while some people might be able to make the balance work, odds are very low that you’re going to find a part time job that justifies itself financially without seriously affecting your studies and future earning potential with the added stress. It’s just not worth it in most situations.

(obviously none of this applies to people who take night classes while working full-time in what are designed to be 4-year/accommodating programs for extant professionals)

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UVA2B
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Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by UVA2B » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:25 pm

If you’re a 2L or 3L with a job offer secured, you can also take a part time job to make money during school.

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ymmv
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Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by ymmv » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:28 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:25 pm
If you’re a 2L or 3L with a job offer secured, you can also take a part time job to make money during school.
^ this is a good caveat, and if your summer job is in the city you attend school in you may even be able to keep working well into the school year. I had several classmates who kept on in a part-time capacity at least during the falls.

I guess I was also a paid TA throughout my 2L and 3L, come to think of it, but trust me when I say that income is so tiny compared to living expenses you’ll barely even notice you have it. Admittedly it’s much easier to work in relevant academic stuff for the institution you already attend than some outside non-legal employer.

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UVA2B
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Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by UVA2B » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:35 pm

ymmv wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:28 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:25 pm
If you’re a 2L or 3L with a job offer secured, you can also take a part time job to make money during school.
^ this is a good caveat, and if your summer job is in the city you attend school in you may even be able to keep working well into the school year. I had several classmates who kept on in a part-time capacity at least during the falls.

I guess I was also a paid TA throughout my 2L and 3L, come to think of it, but trust me when I say that income is so tiny compared to living expenses you’ll barely even notice you have it. Admittedly it’s much easier to work in relevant academic stuff for the institution you already attend than some outside non-legal employer.
This is probably patent specific, but some firms will also consider 2L summers for student associate roles where they get a prorated paycheck during 3L year for reduced billables. It’s a really good way for engineers to make money in the last year or two of law school.

riot
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:36 pm

Re: Law School Financial Hell

Post by riot » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:54 pm

some schools will let you be a TA for their undergrads and that’s where the real money is at

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