i The Frugal Law Student | 2006 | October

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What The Frugal Law Student is doing now to mitigate his debt

Written by The Frugal Law Student

My goal is to leave law school with as little debt as possible. My dream would be to leave law school with a positive net worth, but that’s not likely to happen. Here follows a list of the preemptive measures I’m taking to keep my debt in check.

  1. Mrs. Frugal Law Student and I have moved in with her parents. We don’t pay rent nor do we pay utilities. (I’ll be posting later on what it’s like living with the in-laws).
  2. Mrs. FLS has a job teaching community college. It doesn’t pay that much. She had another job, but got laid off because of reorganization. Boo. We’re using that money to pay off student loans
  3. I almost have a full scholarship at the law school I’m attending. It’s private school, so tuition is expensive. About $24,000 a year. However, $20,000 is covered my scholarship.
  4. Mrs. FLS have set a monthly budget for ourselves.
  5. I brown bag it for lunch every day.
  6. We set aside 10% of our income to savings and investments. Honestly, I haven’t been doing a very good job on doing this consistently. I need to improve this.

The thing that’s helping us the most is living with the in-laws and my scholarship. I think the Mrs. and I doing a good job saving money, thus keeping our debt in check. What we need to do is think of more ways to increase our income, so we can start paying more debt off. I will take any suggestions from the collective mind of the blogsphere.

I thought we should be saving our money….

Written by The Frugal Law Student

Here’s an article on cnn.com on how consumer spending has decreased despite increase in money in consumers pocket.

Economics can be really confusing. Americans are encouraged to save, because money in savings accounts is better than debt. But, when we actually start saving, the economy starts tanking because no one is spending money, so, we’re encouraged to spend. Mixed messages.

The joys of living in a consumer society…

I thought we should be saving our money….

Written by The Frugal Law Student

Here’s an article on cnn.com on how consumer spending has decreased despite increase in money in consumers pocket.

Economics can be really confusing. Americans are encouraged to save, because money in savings accounts is better than debt. But, when we actually start saving, the economy starts tanking because no one is spending money, so, we’re encouraged to spend. Mixed messages.

The joys of living in a consumer society…

Great. I have two more years of the same?

Written by The Frugal Law Student

A copy of an e-mail that Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer wrote is on Law School Innovation. In it he talks about why 1L’s seem to be the only one paying attention in law school.

From Law School Innovation:

So what is the real problem? It is not just that students are less engaged in their second and third years. That is a symptom as much as a problem. The problem is that legal education has traditionally involved teaching one skill (thinking like a lawyer), and doing so for three years. The second and third year curriculum is thus best described as “more of the same.” The fields of law are different, but what students do in their second and third year classes is mostly just what they did in their first year classes. There is, to be sure, a bit more variety: opportunities to take some seminars and write papers, and opportunities to do clinics and externships. But at most schools these are a haphazard feature rather than a systematic part of the curriculum, and the core curriculum remains focused mainly around doctrinal field surveys. Students take these other sorts of c! lasses to relieve the monotony or to have a chance to “do some good” or have some fun while earning their degree. They are not an integral part of a consciously constructed upper level curriculum, and for most students the upper two years still consist mainly of more conventional law classes, with a handful of alternatives thrown in.

So, I have two years of more of the same to look forward to. I don’t think my law school has much to offer in the form of alternative classes. I’m probably going to join law review or perhaps do the legal clinic in order to kill the monotony of my second and third years. Anybody have any suggestions which is better?

I need to start working on cover letters

Written by The Frugal Law Student

Over on Legal Andrew, there’s a post on drafting cover letters for internships in the summer. I need to get cracking on this. My goal is to land a decent paying summer internship, so I can save for next year and not have to take out any more student loans, thus mitigating my debt. Resume and cover letters are the first step to realizing this goal. Check it out.

Article on law school debt

Written by The Frugal Law Student

Here’s an interesting article on law school debt from the DC bar. According to the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Loan Repayment and Forgiveness, the average law student graduates with $77,300 in student loans.

Crap. I’m already half way there and I haven’t even finished my first year. I have to take preemptive measures.