If you’re not sure you can afford law school, look into part time programs. With part-time law school programs, you can continue to work full time and you go to law school at night. Because you’re still working full time, you have some financial advantage over students who are going full time.
- You can contribute to retirement. Because you’ll still be earning an income, you can continue to contribute to your retirement account. While not contributing regularly for a few years may seem like not a big deal, the power of compound interest and the market may cause you to lose out on thousands of dollars in your retirement fund.
- You still might have access to health insurance. It’s a sad fact, but most students don’t have access to affordable health insurance. When you or a member of your family gets sick or injured, medical bills can set you back financially. Hopefully, with your job you have access to health insurance.
- You can take out fewer loans. You can offset the costs of your legal education by working. Instead of having to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans for living expenses, you only need to borrow what you’ll need to pay for tuition. If you make lots of money, you might be able to get away without taking any loans out.
- Flexible entrance requirements. If you didn’t do that well on the LSAT or have a dismal GPA, you might look into to part-time programs. Usually they’re much more lenient in admission standards. If you want to see if law school’s the right thing for you, with out making too much of a commitment in money and time, then a part-time program might be right for you.
What do you all think? Are there any other financial benefits of going to law school part time? Or do you think part time law school will actually hurt you financially? Later this week, I’ll be posting on the financial pitfalls of part time law school, so I’d love to have your input.
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[tags]law school, legal, debt, personal finance[/tags]