My Kid Wants To Go To Law School, What Now?

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Once your child decides to pursue a legal degree, a list of questions and concerns emerge about law school admissions. Here, we at PSU have compiled some of the most frequent questions that parents ask.

What Does Law School Cost?

  • The average 2022 tuition for law schools is $56,500.
  • The cost truly depends on the school. North Dakota University School of Law costs just over $21,000, while New York University costs upwards of $90,000.
  • These numbers factor in room and board but not necessarily books or other extra fees.

How Do I Finance It?

  • The government offers Federal Student Aid loans to help finance law school. To apply for a loan, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • While federal student loans are usually the most affordable way to borrow, they don’t always cover all the law school costs.
  • To cover the remaining amounts, there are many private lenders, such as Education Loan Finance and PNC.

How Can My Child Get a Tuition Reduction?

  • Enquire with the law school about possible grant funds. Funds are applied on a case-by-case basis, but in most cases, the more desirable the student, the higher the grant.
  • Attend a school in your resident state. Law schools offer reduced tuition to students within their state.
  • Put together a stellar application. Law schools offer tuition reductions to attract students they believe will help them with statistics like bar exam pass rate and job placement rate, and an applicant who looks likely to succeed is likely to get an offer of reduced tuition.

Is It Hard to Get a Job as a Lawyer?

  • The answer to this is somewhat subjective. There are a few factors that play into the ease of getting a job after graduation, including the reputation of the law school your child attends
  • A poor performance in law school will make for a less-than-desirable candidate. It is important to do well during school, so potential employers see a candidate that is hard-working and dedicated.
  • Obtaining a summer associate’s job can make all the difference. Hands-on experience before graduation makes you a more valuable candidate.
  • Specializing in a specific legal niche will increase your chances of being hired.

What Law School Paths Are Most Likely to Lead to a Successful Career?

  • No one path is the right path to take. What matters is that any major you pursue before applying to law school strengthens your critical thinking skills.
  • Law schools look for abstract thinking skills, excellent reading comprehension, logical thought processes, and the ability to interpret written text.
  • Majors in areas such as English, Political Science, Communications, and scientific research all help develop those skills.
  • Some areas of law are just bigger by the numbers, meaning more lawyers are needed there. For instance, it is usually easier to find work as a business law or criminal defense attorney than as human rights or free speech lawyer, but hard work during law school can open any of those doors.
  • Not all law degrees lead to lawyer jobs. Many successful journalists, entrepreneurs, politicians, and authors graduated from law school.

What Can I Do to Support My Child While They Are in Law School?

  • As a parent, you can’t shoulder the weight of law school for your child. They have to do the work themselves; however, there are ways you can help support them in their journey.
  • Whether through email, text, call, or mail, stay connected. That contact with their loved ones will help remind a student that they aren’t alone. Care packages make students feel special and thought of, and regular conversations help them unwind and stay grounded.
  • Check-in regularly. Create opportunities for them to share feelings and ideas with you. These safe moments allow your student to open up if they are struggling or share some highlights of their week.
  • Know the campus resources. Be aware of the calendar and any parent handbooks. Encourage students to use the resources available to them on campus.

What Steps Does My Kid Need to Take to Apply to Law School?

The first thing is to do your research. Before deciding on a path to law school, figure out what kind of law your student wants to specialize in. Make a list of law school requirements to fulfill before applying. This will help them decide what degree to get a bachelor’s in prior to law school. After the bachelor’s, you need to:

  • Take the Law School Admissions Test
  • Register with Credential Assembly Service, a system law schools use to collect application requirements.
  • Get your official transcripts.
  • Write a law school admission statement (personal statement)
  • Get letters of recommendation
  • Apply to schools (note that each program has different law school admission requirements)
  • Apply for loans

Posted in
Branden Frankel, Esq.

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