It’s your dream to attend law school. You’ve been looking around law schools in Alabama on the internet, looking for just the right one. You’ve even conducted some on-campus school visits to see if they’re just the right fit for you. You’ve prayed about your decision. Your bottom line: your desire to achieve your dream of helping others and beginning your law practice is strong.
But you’re finding that law school costs are steep. You assume you’re facing lots of student debt and paying back steep loans over the next 20 years. Not a good feeling when you’re ready to take your life’s next big step!
Pursuing a legal career is a life-changing decision and should not be entered into without counsel and prayer. Talk with your family, converse with admissions deans, and get advice from others whom you trust to weight in.
And if obtaining a legal education is truly the path for you, only then is it time to look at the financial side. So take the time to study our 8 ways of making your dreams of affording law school achievable.
From Scholarships to Paid Internships: How to Make Law School More Affordable
It’s important to find a law school not only with the right environment, curriculum, and opportunities but one that truly wants to help you be financially sound throughout and after your law school career. Here are 8 ways great law schools work with prospective law students to better manage the cost of legal education:
#1 First and foremost, look for a law school that provides scholarship opportunities. You can tell if you are looking at a law school who has a strong desire to attract qualified students who align with that law school’s mission to serve the community by whether or not they offer healthy and abundant scholarship opportunities. Again, even if you don’t see this on your prospective law school’s website, ASK about this. Quality law schools indicate their interests and reward applicants for their hard work and ability to overcome adversity. They view scholarships as a tool that helps them craft a student body that’s diverse in all aspects, including backgrounds, ideologies, and ethnicities.
#2 Look for schools that waive the law school application fee. As you’ve probably realized, there are a number of costs associated with law school even before being admitted. Look for a school that might be willing to waive your application fee – even if you don’t see this option on the law school’s website. You might also ask if they offer a credential assembly service fee waiver to help you save even more money on the front end.
#3 Look into utilizing Khan Academy, a free LSAT prep course. For those concerned with the cost of legal education, performing well on the LSAT is an absolute must, and that starts with preparation. While in the past students would have to pay thousands of dollars to adequately prepare for the LSAT, that’s no longer the case. The LSAC, or Law School Admission Council, has partnered with Khan Academy, an organization offering a free online LSAT prep course. We’ve received great feedback on this prep course.
#4 See if the law school assists students in finding paying internships. You will want to find law schools that work with their students to find paying internships during the summer and throughout the school year. Some law schools encourage students to seek practical experience in the community while providing a wealth of opportunity in clinics and externship placements.
#5 Seek out schools who award students with Public Interest Summer Stipends. Students who work at a legal non-profit or government agency over the summer without payout can sometimes be eligible to apply for a summer stipend. Certainly, this type of program can alleviate some of the burdens of law school costs.
#6 See if the school offers flexible payment plans. Payment plans, of course, offer the flexibility that allows students to pay for law school on a schedule that works best for them. You will want to find a law school with a range of options that help make law school more affordable.
#7 Look for law schools that provide access to MAX by AccessLex. While all law schools have access to AccessLex, a nonprofit that provides free financial educational resources to students, not all are MAX partners, which offers even more opportunities for students, such as in-person workshops and one-on-one counseling. This is another often-overlooked opportunity to lessen the burden of financing your law school dreams. You, of course, want to be a law student first, but through this program, you’re going to learn about credit, the importance of a budget, best practices for paying off student loans, and other things that are important to you. This program also provides a free toll-free number staffed with experts in Federal Financial Aid law. While you can always speak with the law school’s financial aid coordinator, AccessLex is a group specializing in federal financial aid in legal education. They’re very helpful, especially for students with very unique situations or concerns.
#8 Find a school that recommends taking advantage of Federal Financial Laws. Along with other ways a law school should strive to help combat the high cost of legal education, the Federal Financial Laws provide students with even more options than you probably realize. As the law stands currently, there are flexible repayment plans that allow students to pay a fraction or a set percentage of their discretionary income for a period of time in order to help make these expenses predictable and manageable. There’s also a public service loan forgiveness program for students who’ve spent 10 years in qualifying public service positions.
Hopefully, these 8 cost-saving opportunities have opened your eyes to a wealth of options for financing your dream of achieving a law degree that you might not have known about. Ask questions, dig deep, and don’t stop until you find the financial options for which you qualify.
And you might be surprised to learn that Faulkner Law in Montgomery Alabama offers all 8 of these options! We acknowledge the fact that the cost of legal education can be enough to deter even those with a strong desire to learn and practice law. That’s why we believe in providing a number of ways to help students afford the legal education they so desire and deserve — especially those who align with our mission of seeking justice for those who are most vulnerable.
We offer two scholarship programs, including the Faulkner Law Scholarship, which is our traditional merit-based scholarship award that ranges from 10 to 100%, and the Faith & Law Scholarship that’s offered to those who particularly align with the law school’s mission and have exceptional academic quality. Of course, students with scholarships must maintain good standing, although we don’t require an inflated GPA for students to renew their award. This way, students can be reasonably confident that scholarship will be with them throughout their law school career.
Your hopes and dreams of becoming an attorney without breaking the bank CAN be realized. Ask questions. Be diligent in your law school search. And definitely make Faulkner Law one of your first choices when doing your research. We realize that our prospective students have a mission; one that is lead by your minds as well as your hearts. We at Faulkner Law want to do everything in our power to help you graduate with your law degree so that you can help others, and begin your practice of law.
Learn More About Faulkner Law in Montgomery, Alabama
Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law is a small, Christian law school in Montgomery, Alabama with a mission to provide students with a unique advantage through the rigorous curriculum and hands-on experience. While providing an education anchored by not only intellect but also character and service, Faulkner’s Jones School of Law seeks students who will not only succeed academically but who also have a desire to use their legal degree to seek justice and serve their communities – wherever that may be. Contact Faulkner Law today at (334) 386-7910.