Law Schools and Car

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eternallearner
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:11 pm

Law Schools and Car

Postby eternallearner » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:14 pm

This issue is definitely premature for a person in my position (taking the LSAT in June 2010), but I was wondering the following:

Do you think you would have been happier in law school if you had a car?

In college, I did not have a car and I did not feel that I was missing anything. I was young and had different expectation. I was just happy with what collegetown/college/friends provided. If my parents had given me a car at that age, it would have been a burden. Without a doubt.

I did my masters in a city (very touristy, but lacked people-friendly public transportation). Though it was the city and VERY tourist oriented, there were times when I just missed certain ethnic food, shopping centers, change of scenery, etc

After talking to a wide range of people in my masters program, I made the following observation, those who have access to cars (either own one or have good friends who have one) are definitely much happier in the program. After 3 months in the same town, the effect became apparent. Despite the prestige of the program, the feeling of being "stranded" in the town overshadows many aspects of life.

This bring me to the future: current or past law students, do you think having a car in law school will make life easier/enjoyable? Is it an extra burden (monthly car insurance/parking fees/gas, fear of break-ins, digging it out in the snow) that does not justify the benefits (change of scenery, help with grocery shopping, convenience)?

What is your recommendation to incoming law students? Or areas of consideration?

reverendt
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:56 am

Re: Law Schools and Car

Postby reverendt » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:19 pm

I think it really depends on where you go to school.
If you're in a major city with good mass transit and you have little reason to leave the city very often, you'll probably do fine without a car. They can be expensive.
I live in a city and I drive my car about once a week (usually to get groceries). There were periods during 1L where my car didn't move for 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
Ultimately this a personal matter. Beyond that, consider where you will be living.

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macattaq
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: Law Schools and Car

Postby macattaq » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:08 pm

reverendt wrote:I think it really depends on where you go to school.
If you're in a major city with good mass transit and you have little reason to leave the city very often, you'll probably do fine without a car. They can be expensive.
I live in a city and I drive my car about once a week (usually to get groceries). There were periods during 1L where my car didn't move for 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
Ultimately this a personal matter. Beyond that, consider where you will be living.


I agree. If you are in a city with good (read: reliable) mass transit, then you probably don't need a car. If you don't have a car, I'd recommend living close enough to school that you can walk or bike, because this will eliminate a lot of hassle for you (you won't have an excuse not to go to class). If you need a car for things like groceries, you can sign up for ZipCar or a similar service (alternatively, you can also get groceries delivered. I know Amazon does this in Seattle, not sure about other cities).

Uhhh...it will save you a lot of money, which is particularly good if you are living solely on savings/student loans.

On the other hand, if there are events that are far away, then it can be a little annoying having to rely on friends for a ride. However, this also means you won't ever be the DD. Heh.

too old for this sh*
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: Law Schools and Car

Postby too old for this sh* » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:54 pm

Could be worse...could be in a position of having to figure out what to do with a few extra vehicles (I'm down to three). All of them are vehicles bought with a purpose, two are fully paid for and one will be paid off in a few months.

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im_blue
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Re: Law Schools and Car

Postby im_blue » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:01 pm

eternallearner wrote:After talking to a wide range of people in my masters program, I made the following observation, those who have access to cars (either own one or have good friends who have one) are definitely much happier in the program. After 3 months in the same town, the effect became apparent. Despite the prestige of the program, the feeling of being "stranded" in the town overshadows many aspects of life.

This is how I feel about owning a car, unless you live in a city with great public transportation AND is a hassle to have a car in, e.g. NYC, DC, Boston.

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nealric
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Re: Law Schools and Car

Postby nealric » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:53 pm

I've had a car all through law school. It's nice to have around for a mental health break to get out of the city.

On the other hand, cars can add stress. I got rear ended last week, and I have no idea when I am going to be able to get around to getting the it repaired and the insurance stuff worked out. Just no time.

eternallearner
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:11 pm

Re: Law Schools and Car

Postby eternallearner » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:57 pm

Thank you all for your reply! Good wishes to you for this upcoming new semester!

I have decided against getting a new car. I will probably rent a car once a month to satisfy the need to change scenery.

I will probably use the taxis to do grocery shopping, if the grocery store is far away.




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