In the article Advice-Question 1, the comments of 40 first-year students who responded to the following question are provided.
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently to prepare for law school?
One of those forty students responded, "I also would have saved more money prior to coming [to law school] because there is nothing more stressful than finals and no money to eat on."
Overall, four out of the forty students, or ten percent of the responding students, provided a comment that referred to money in response to the question. It is also very likely that money was an important issue for at least a few more students, although these students did not mention money.
One of the most important things you should do once you decide to attend law school is make a financial budget for your first year of law school. In making a budget a good place to start your research is by speaking to the financial aid officer at the law school you are attending.
The financial aid officer will have good information on what expenses to factor into your budget such as tuition, book fees, rent, food, car, leisure and play, clothing, etc. To your budget's overall figure, add another fifteen percent because it is almost guaranteed that you will have unforeseen expenses.
Also, ask the financial aid officer to put you in contact with a few current students who they believe have similar financial expenses to the expenses you are expected to have. Questioning a few of these students should give you a good picture of what law school's financial demands will be.
If after making a budget it is apparent you will not have enough money to cover your daily living expenses during law school, consider postponing attending for one year. I realize this may be disappointing and not fit into your plans, but it might be the best thing to do. The additional year will give you more time to save money to cover your expenses. Furthermore, while a year may seem like a long time, it is not when you consider that you are looking forward to a thirty to forty year legal career upon graduating law school. Finally, law school is hard enough without having to struggle to get enough to eat during finals.
Other related articles on this website include Law School Debt-Two Suggestions and Law School Debt-Quick Facts. Below are two additional articles that discuss making the financial adjustment to law school.
Good luck in law school!