How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

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How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

$100K+
55
41%
$70K-99K
30
22%
$50K-69K
20
15%
$10K-49K
17
13%
$0
13
10%
 
Total votes: 135

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j.wellington
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:09 am

How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby j.wellington » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:35 pm

With a combination of scholarships, personal savings and a low-ball estimate of what I might earn during the summers, I'm looking at about $65K-70K of debt if I went with my first choice of schools that I've been accepted to so far. That's taking at face value the estimated living costs on their website. What's typical?

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sawwaverunner
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:28 am

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby sawwaverunner » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:50 pm

Well....I'm extremely debt adverse, so I'm looking at $25,000-$30,000 for the whole kit and kaboodle at my Tier 2 school. But I live at home and commute to school so that saves a ton. I honestly think keeping debt low is seriously the way to go. 65 k -70 k is pretty darn low if that's all you have for loans. I think that is lower than average.

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brose002
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:34 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby brose002 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:54 pm

100K give or take at UMN

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jks289
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby jks289 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:01 pm

I still don't know where I am going. But I have modest savings, a little family help, and my spouses' income so I am hoping against hope it will be under 100K.

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sawwaverunner
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:28 am

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby sawwaverunner » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:02 pm

It must be pretty epic to graduate with zero debt following law school.

lawduder
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:56 am

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby lawduder » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:16 pm

Probably around 100k after taking into account living and tuition. I also don't plan on living off ramen or eating crappy food.

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jbarl1
Posts: 563
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:40 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby jbarl1 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:22 pm

I got a fairly decent scholarship and will be living with my boyfriend who will be paying for most of my COL, so I will probably be around 40k or so.

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j.wellington
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:09 am

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby j.wellington » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:03 pm

I know the only real answer is "it depends," but does anyone have examples of how much people make from their summer stints? I'm not sure how to factor that in to my estimated costs. I assume it's not much.

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MURPH
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby MURPH » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:47 am

with some savings, a GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Scholarships and school scholarships, my wife working and renting out my home for 6 - 9 months a year while I drag the family across the country so I can go to school, I am looking at breaking even. Maybe.

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OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby OGR3 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:07 am

With savings, scholarships and living with my girlfriend, I hope to only take out Stafford Loans.

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Shlonster
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:04 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby Shlonster » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:40 am

Wow...... 160k sounds insane at the moment.

narkizopoint
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby narkizopoint » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:30 am

If wife doesn't work at all and I strike out every summer on getting paid work and if tuition doesn't rise substantially I am looking at about 168K

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goblue1646
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby goblue1646 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:49 am

yeah i'm thinking it'll turn out to be 160k pretty much :P

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Aeroplane
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby Aeroplane » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:19 am

j.wellington wrote:I know the only real answer is "it depends," but does anyone have examples of how much people make from their summer stints? I'm not sure how to factor that in to my estimated costs. I assume it's not much.
Following based on my job searching & anecdata:
SA/clerkship at a not tiny firm will be anywhere from $1200-$3000/week for 8-12 weeks, depending on your market and the type of firm. Small firms pay by the hour, and not too much (low double digits). In-house departments often pay, and can be >$20/hr. RA jobs pay somewhere $8-$16/hr. You can also do other work over the summer, in addition to your legal work if you need more cash (bartending, LSAT tutoring, etc).

Keep in mind that you'll probably have some summer spending too, so it's not like you'll get to put all the money you make toward your loans. If you work at a NYC firm 2L summer, then you may not keep very much of your pay (depends on your spending habits). OTOH if you work at a firm in your hometown and live with your parents who feed & house you for free, you may end up with more money in the end despite earning less.

If you're trying to estimate your costs: assume that 1L summer you'll be doing FT unpaid legal work and as much "side" work as you think you'll have energy & opportunity for, and 2L summer estimate should depend on your school (i.e. what kind of job does a median student at your school typically have for 2L summer).

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sawwaverunner
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:28 am

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby sawwaverunner » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:14 am

Aeroplane wrote:
j.wellington wrote:I know the only real answer is "it depends," but does anyone have examples of how much people make from their summer stints? I'm not sure how to factor that in to my estimated costs. I assume it's not much.
Following based on my job searching & anecdata:
SA/clerkship at a not tiny firm will be anywhere from $1200-$3000/week for 8-12 weeks, depending on your market and the type of firm. Small firms pay by the hour, and not too much (low double digits). In-house departments often pay, and can be >$20/hr. RA jobs pay somewhere $8-$16/hr. You can also do other work over the summer, in addition to your legal work if you need more cash (bartending, LSAT tutoring, etc).

Keep in mind that you'll probably have some summer spending too, so it's not like you'll get to put all the money you make toward your loans. If you work at a NYC firm 2L summer, then you may not keep very much of your pay (depends on your spending habits). OTOH if you work at a firm in your hometown and live with your parents who feed & house you for free, you may end up with more money in the end despite earning less.

If you're trying to estimate your costs: assume that 1L summer you'll be doing FT unpaid legal work and as much "side" work as you think you'll have energy & opportunity for, and 2L summer estimate should depend on your school (i.e. what kind of job does a median student at your school typically have for 2L summer).


For anyone interested in Public Interest work, a lot of schools will provide grants to students who are part of a club and line up a good internship. You can get about 1k to 3.5 k per summer, which is better than nothing for sure.

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MBZags
Posts: 552
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:21 pm

Re: How much debt will you be taking on to go to law school?

Postby MBZags » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:27 am

Probably zero, though I may have a little bit.




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