Friday, June 5, 2009

When choosing law schools, think about the long term ramifications

Check out the featured answer to this ABA Journal Poll. You might want really think before applying to law school about where you want to end up and about the realities of the current job market!

Seriously...law school is demanding and expensive. You might want to consider going to best law school in the area where you actually want to practice, rather than just aiming for the top 20 or 40. You may also consider working while in law school so that you don't have to borrow as much, but I would not recommend this for first year students unless you work a job where you can study as well. When I was in law school, I was able to work at the library and still get some homework done at the same time. I know other law students who worked at campus computer clusters, at the bookstore, or as graduate assistants to undergraduate classes.

Also don't be like me and borrow the max you are allowed to borrow and also work. I would figure how much money you will make with your part-time job and reduce your loan amount by that much. Believe me, you will be thankful that your loan payments are lower when you're out in the "real world" and paying your loans back.

Be smart about where you go to law school, how much you are going to borrow, and managing your money in law school, so that you are not still living like a law student 5 years after you graduate!