Do you need a car in Law School?

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Kulax22
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Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Kulax22 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:52 am

I'm going to waiger YES... but I wanted to check. I'm assuming just about every school lets you have a car without big parking fees, and that you will often want one to drive around town/city...

The reason I'm asking is because A) I hope to travel on the weekends when it is reasonable and B) I have a crappy car and would actually like to upgrade for ego issues before law school. I've had my car -old faithful- for years and it's much older. I think I need a "new me" "new car" type-deal going on. Law School will be a major "break" in my life path and I want a car I can feel unashamed of.

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TTH
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby TTH » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:02 am

Kulax22 wrote:I'm going to waiger YES... but I wanted to check. I'm assuming just about every school lets you have a car without big parking fees, and that you will often want one to drive around town/city...

The reason I'm asking is because A) I hope to travel on the weekends when it is reasonable and B) I have a crappy car and would actually like to upgrade for ego issues before law school. I've had my car -old faithful- for years and it's much older. I think I need a "new me" "new car" type-deal going on. Law School will be a major "break" in my life path and I want a car I can feel unashamed of.


Unless you got a big pile of cash sitting around, it would seem like now is not the time. You sure you can budget a car payment in while living on loans?

Oblomov
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:24 am

NYU, no. Franklin Pierce, yes. It really is going to depend on the school. I'd say that its practically necessary for very few schools, nice to have for most, and not even worth it for a few.

Unless your car is a 80's Trans-Am, a Gremlin, or a new Beatle as a male driver, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

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neskerdoo
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby neskerdoo » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:24 am

yes, you definitely need a brand new car at every law school; makes no difference where

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby pleasetryagain » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:27 am

neskerdoo wrote:yes, you definitely need a brand new car at every law school; makes no difference where

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macattaq
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby macattaq » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:39 am

No. If your car is, as pointed out, in BFE then having a car is probably a good idea. If you're in a city or large town with decent mass transit or ZipCars available, then you really don't need one. ZipCars are a benefit because you can check them out for $7 an hour + $50/year fee. Figure you go grocery shopping 2x/mo, plus get some clothes, then you really won't be spending much on one of those. Compare this to either A) the outlay for a used car or B) the loan payments on a new car and then either A or B plus monthly insurance and parking pass and/or cost of parking in a city.

A better idea is to try and live as close to school as possible, so that your major reason for commuting is eliminated. If you have a grocery in walking distance, then you really have everything you need. Tag along with the friends you will make in school for group shopping at Costco or wherever.

As for your reasons for getting a car here's my response to A): You're not really going to have a lot of time for this traveling you speak of. Seriously. You may find that you have a lot of free time on your hands at the start of the semester, but towards the middle the work will really start to pile up. Plus, the weekends are really the only time you get to study and do chores, watch TV, etc.

As for B): The best advice I heard was at orientation: If you try to live like a lawyer when you're a law student, you'll be living like a law student when you're a lawyer. Don't waste the money on a new car now. Wait until you have a job. As for right now, get over the ego issues. Not everyone in law school drives something super flashy, and most people don't care what you're driving. If its all you, well...still, get over it.

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Rocketman11
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Rocketman11 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:41 am

Having grown up in the midwest, I moved to DC and still wanted a car. I don't 100% need it, and it is a cost, but I'm just spoiled and it's worth it.

Also if you can finagle it, using student loan $ to pay as much off as you can is TCR. Low interest rate FTW.

lsbm3
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby lsbm3 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:58 pm

My big concern is can you afford to even have a car in law school? I mean you're not working, and you have to lay out $$$ for gas, parking, maintenance etc. I have my beloved BMW, my pride and joy which is already paid off, and which is taking me to my destination (from NYC to where ever my school will be- FL/CA/TX) but then what? will I be able to pay for the cost of having a car, just from loans???

the lantern
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby the lantern » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:03 pm

If you''re going anywhere where parking costs are going to be huge, then you should probably not take the car anyways. Gas... where the hell are you going to be driving so much that this is a real expense? One tank every couple weeks should be fine. Personally, I am also upgrading my car for "ego" issues before school. I have a rust bucket that I drive to work now and another rust bucket (well it looks pretty good) that I drive for other reasons. I'm getting rid fo them both and taking some money out of investments to get something nice before law school. I would like to hide the fact that I"m from a poor rural town and my parents make less money than it costs for tuition. It may seem kind of self-conscious or something, but law school is a place where you're going to make tons of professional connections and possibly even a future spouse, so I'd like to have a nice looking car for the first time in my life.

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lawlover829
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby lawlover829 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:06 pm

lsbm3 wrote:My big concern is can you afford to even have a car in law school? I mean you're not working, and you have to lay out $$$ for gas, parking, maintenance etc. I have my beloved BMW, my pride and joy which is already paid off, and which is taking me to my destination (from NYC to where ever my school will be- FL/CA/TX) but then what? will I be able to pay for the cost of having a car, just from loans???


BMW=huge waste of money unless you lease it.

I love my honda. Granted, my parents bought it for me freshman year of college, I'm going to take it to uva next year, and the year after that until it dies.

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ruleser
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby ruleser » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:09 pm

I bought a car last year - if I end up in NYC or someplace that you don't really need one, then I'll try to sell - but otherwise, I'll borrow the car payments as part of my living expenses, and when I graduate the car will be fully paid off so instead of having to take a car payment then (on top of starting to repay loans) I will just have the one student loan payment. In this sense there can maybe a financial advantage to it upon graduation - and it will help me keep other living expenses down when I look at total loans I'm taking for school, this will be worked in. Others will think they are graduating with, say, $100K in debt, but then have to go right away and take a car loan for $25K on top of that.

Something to think about at least.

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macattaq
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby macattaq » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:29 pm

ruleser wrote:I bought a car last year - if I end up in NYC or someplace that you don't really need one, then I'll try to sell - but otherwise, I'll borrow the car payments as part of my living expenses, and when I graduate the car will be fully paid off so instead of having to take a car payment then (on top of starting to repay loans) I will just have the one student loan payment. In this sense there can maybe a financial advantage to it upon graduation - and it will help me keep other living expenses down when I look at total loans I'm taking for school, this will be worked in. Others will think they are graduating with, say, $100K in debt, but then have to go right away and take a car loan for $25K on top of that.

Something to think about at least.


This is valid, but since OP already owns a car, it doesn't make much sense to go into debt to purchase a new one. It would be wiser to just drive it for 3-4 years longer and buy a new car once there is enough income for it. Granted, paying $1000/mo+ for student loan payments hurts, but even if your starting salary falls at the median (50k? 60K? I haven't looked recently), it shouldn't be much of a concern.

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ruleser
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby ruleser » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:41 pm

macattaq wrote:
ruleser wrote:I bought a car last year - if I end up in NYC or someplace that you don't really need one, then I'll try to sell - but otherwise, I'll borrow the car payments as part of my living expenses, and when I graduate the car will be fully paid off so instead of having to take a car payment then (on top of starting to repay loans) I will just have the one student loan payment. In this sense there can maybe a financial advantage to it upon graduation - and it will help me keep other living expenses down when I look at total loans I'm taking for school, this will be worked in. Others will think they are graduating with, say, $100K in debt, but then have to go right away and take a car loan for $25K on top of that.

Something to think about at least.


This is valid, but since OP already owns a car, it doesn't make much sense to go into debt to purchase a new one. It would be wiser to just drive it for 3-4 years longer and buy a new car once there is enough income for it. Granted, paying $1000/mo+ for student loan payments hurts, but even if your starting salary falls at the median (50k? 60K? I haven't looked recently), it shouldn't be much of a concern.

Well, yes, op - ideally prestige enough of attending a kick ass law school should leave you unashamed. But if you can afford to be all that - going to a top school while sporting a jag convertible, more power to you. Honestly, I agree with the others though, the amount of driving you will do will likely be minimal compared to life after, and cars are the worst investment long-term - you'll be paying for something that loses value even just sitting there, and the more it sits the worse.

Having said that, hey, men spend stuipd amounts on cars while in high school even - so if you need that, do it. I know myself I'm having a tough time not trading my car (already a nice one) for a jag at the moment. Those convertibles are awesome...

the lantern
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby the lantern » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:56 pm

ruleser wrote:
macattaq wrote:
ruleser wrote:I bought a car last year - if I end up in NYC or someplace that you don't really need one, then I'll try to sell - but otherwise, I'll borrow the car payments as part of my living expenses, and when I graduate the car will be fully paid off so instead of having to take a car payment then (on top of starting to repay loans) I will just have the one student loan payment. In this sense there can maybe a financial advantage to it upon graduation - and it will help me keep other living expenses down when I look at total loans I'm taking for school, this will be worked in. Others will think they are graduating with, say, $100K in debt, but then have to go right away and take a car loan for $25K on top of that.

Something to think about at least.


This is valid, but since OP already owns a car, it doesn't make much sense to go into debt to purchase a new one. It would be wiser to just drive it for 3-4 years longer and buy a new car once there is enough income for it. Granted, paying $1000/mo+ for student loan payments hurts, but even if your starting salary falls at the median (50k? 60K? I haven't looked recently), it shouldn't be much of a concern.

Well, yes, op - ideally prestige enough of attending a kick ass law school should leave you unashamed. But if you can afford to be all that - going to a top school while sporting a jag convertible, more power to you. Honestly, I agree with the others though, the amount of driving you will do will likely be minimal compared to life after, and cars are the worst investment long-term - you'll be paying for something that loses value even just sitting there, and the more it sits the worse.

Having said that, hey, men spend stuipd amounts on cars while in high school even - so if you need that, do it. I know myself I'm having a tough time not trading my car (already a nice one) for a jag at the moment. Those convertibles are awesome...


Just for clarification, I am planning on buying like a 94-99 mustang convertible. That is a really nice car to me (lol). I'm not taking out a loan.. that is ridiculous. OP: if you are taking out a loan, that is dumb.

Kulax22
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Kulax22 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:31 pm

To clarify: no loans, I intend to basically empty my bank out though. I figure if I'm 100K in debt, would 90K have been much better?

Guys, I'm not thinking sports car here. I'm thinking used 15K sedan or some sort of decent nice ride. An acura? infiniti? I don't know. But my current car is 15 years old, banged up and as much as I love it, I'm ready for something new.

Then again, if I go to a place with great public transit, I might not want it after all. But if it's at all handy to have a car, I would like one.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:35 pm

I hope to god I won't need to bring my car to LS

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ruleser
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby ruleser » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:35 pm

Kulax22 wrote:To clarify: no loans, I intend to basically empty my bank out though. I figure if I'm 100K in debt, would 90K have been much better?

Guys, I'm not thinking sports car here. I'm thinking used 15K sedan or some sort of decent nice ride. An acura? infiniti? I don't know. But my current car is 15 years old, banged up and as much as I love it, I'm ready for something new.

Then again, if I go to a place with great public transit, I might not want it after all. But if it's at all handy to have a car, I would like one.

Ah, ok, then what I recommend:
1) Wait to see where you get in to see if you'll want one
2) Fly out to Cali to buy one - here, because everyone buys such nice cars and due to the weather there is no deterioration (no rust at all ever, no wear and tear from rain/slush/mud, no salt in the air, etc) so that 8-10 year old cars look/run like new - you can get a kickin used car for 6-10K - for about 8 you could get a mercedes hard top convertible - I saw a really nice Jaguar X-Type for 8K the other day - body in perfect shape of course, like every car here. You can get a used Acura or Infiniti or whatever you want for well under 15K.

Batman2
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Batman2 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:42 pm

Oblomov wrote:NYU, no. Franklin Pierce, yes. It really is going to depend on the school. I'd say that its practically necessary for very few schools, nice to have for most, and not even worth it for a few.

Unless your car is a 80's Trans-Am, a Gremlin, or a new Beatle as a male driver, you have nothing to be ashamed of.


Um, what's wrong with an 80's Trans-Am?

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hi_im_josh
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby hi_im_josh » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:00 pm

If you're going to law school in a major city like DC or NYC, you don't need a car at all.

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:00 pm

Batman2 wrote:
Oblomov wrote:NYU, no. Franklin Pierce, yes. It really is going to depend on the school. I'd say that its practically necessary for very few schools, nice to have for most, and not even worth it for a few.

Unless your car is a 80's Trans-Am, a Gremlin, or a new Beatle as a male driver, you have nothing to be ashamed of.


Um, what's wrong with an 80's Trans-Am?


Doesn't look too good to me :P

--ImageRemoved--

Batman2
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Batman2 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:03 pm

TheLuckyOne wrote:
Batman2 wrote:
Oblomov wrote:NYU, no. Franklin Pierce, yes. It really is going to depend on the school. I'd say that its practically necessary for very few schools, nice to have for most, and not even worth it for a few.

Unless your car is a 80's Trans-Am, a Gremlin, or a new Beatle as a male driver, you have nothing to be ashamed of.


Um, what's wrong with an 80's Trans-Am?


Doesn't look too good to me :P

--ImageRemoved--


It would if I painted some flames on the sides.

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ruleser
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby ruleser » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:04 pm

Batman2 wrote:It would if I painted some flames on the sides.

You have to have poofy, feathered-back hair to drive one of those...

Batman2
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Batman2 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:07 pm

ruleser wrote:
Batman2 wrote:It would if I painted some flames on the sides.

You have to have poofy, feathered-back hair to drive one of those...


And the restless spirit of a wild stallion.

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:07 pm

Batman2 wrote:
TheLuckyOne wrote:
Batman2 wrote:
Oblomov wrote:NYU, no. Franklin Pierce, yes. It really is going to depend on the school. I'd say that its practically necessary for very few schools, nice to have for most, and not even worth it for a few.

Unless your car is a 80's Trans-Am, a Gremlin, or a new Beatle as a male driver, you have nothing to be ashamed of.


Um, what's wrong with an 80's Trans-Am?


Doesn't look too good to me :P

--ImageRemoved--


It would if I painted some flames on the sides.


--ImageRemoved--

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Georgiana
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Re: Do you need a car in Law School?

Postby Georgiana » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:09 pm

ruleser wrote:I bought a car last year - if I end up in NYC or someplace that you don't really need one, then I'll try to sell - but otherwise, I'll borrow the car payments as part of my living expenses, and when I graduate the car will be fully paid off so instead of having to take a car payment then (on top of starting to repay loans) I will just have the one student loan payment. In this sense there can maybe a financial advantage to it upon graduation - and it will help me keep other living expenses down when I look at total loans I'm taking for school, this will be worked in. Others will think they are graduating with, say, $100K in debt, but then have to go right away and take a car loan for $25K on top of that.

Something to think about at least.

Just a side note... I'm sure it is different for all schools, but at least here car payments cannot be the basis for increased loan amounts. You may want to check with the schools before you decide to take the car.




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