Law School Discussion

Cost of living loan

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Cost of living loan
« on: October 23, 2004, 05:56:27 PM »
I have heard somewhere that law students can get cost of living loans. If anyone knows anything about this, I'd really like some insight. I am really need to keep my money coming in to equate to a little over $40k/yr. If I work summers, can I posssibly get the rest in loans (not including tuition loans mind you)? Any ideas or experience with this?

Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2004, 06:55:37 PM »
Each school places a cap on the total amount of money that you are allowed to borrow - and this cap covers both private and gov't loans.  The budget that they give you includes a (modest) amount for cost of living - but not anywhere near $40,000.
Your best bet is to contact schools that you are applying to and ask them what their estimated student budget will be for next year.  Of course, you can also work during law school to supplement your income, although the ABA only allows you to work 20 hours per week for full time programs.

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Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2004, 09:15:51 PM »
Well, I appreciate your help, even if it wasn't totally what I wanted to hear. Do you think that with working during the summer + loans I can get anywhere near $40k?

ScurvyWench

Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2004, 09:26:39 PM »
$40k is not an option on loans and very doubtful even with working during the summers. Live like a student now, so that you don't have to live like a student later.

If the $40k living expense includes dependents, etc, then law schools will increase their allowance to include that, but nothing more.

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Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2004, 09:28:37 PM »
Well, I do have a wife, so maybe that'll help. Any idea how much a decent summer internship for an L1 might bring in?

Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2004, 10:00:58 PM »
It's extremely difficult to get a paid internship for 1L summer - even at the top schools.  If you do snag one, however, normally you are paid a pro-rated version of a first year associate's salary.  So - if new associates get paid $125,000 you would get 125,000 divided by 12 x number of months of internship.  Sorry - I hate math.  But that sort of salary is normally reserved for 2L's.

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Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2004, 10:07:01 PM »
Damn you credit cards! Damn you high rent!   >:(

Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2004, 10:15:24 PM »
What exactly is your situation?  I'm older than the average student and have acquired a lot of debt.  I put off law school for several years because of financial reasons, but I'm a 1L now.  It was hard to give up a decent salary to go into debt, and it's even harder to make the credit card payments every month since I'm living on loans.  But don't give up - it is possible.  Can your wife contribute?

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Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2004, 10:19:03 PM »
Some maybe, but she's FT undergrad right now. I'll be ok I guess. Over the years, I've adjusted my budget to use what I make (not the smartest idea). I'll just have to look hard at the loan caps and work a little to make up the rest.   :-\

ScurvyWench

Re: Cost of living loan
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2004, 10:50:30 PM »
The good news is that if your wife is FT undergrad, you're likely to get good government loans.

I had $17k in credit card debt last year, when I decided to go to law school, I sucked it up and paid it all off. It's a rough road and I joined an online support group to help me get through it. Now I only have $2k debt from my new computer. It is possible to manage that debt before you start your first year. You might want to consider renting a room out or putting law school off for an additional year to manage your debt.

In addition, there's this scholarship for folks with consumer debt. I don't know what it's called but it's advertised on FastWeb.com, they may be able to give good money to minimize your LS debt and offer advice on how to pay that down.

Finally, if you start working for a law firm now, they're more likely to have you back and pay you well for the summer.