Law school applications: Financing Law School

Attending law school is extremely expensive. Tuition and fees at a private law school, plus living expenses and books, can run to nearly $100,000 per year. Only the wealthiest students can afford to pay this amount as they go through three years of law school. Most law students have to borrow substantial amounts to finance their law school education. The average debt for graduating law students is on the order of $120,000 to $160,000 (depending on which estimates/surveys you read); for many students at many schools, it’s well over that. These figures do not include debt from undergraduate schools. Based on the standard repayment period of 10 years, and current interest rates, the debt service on such loans starts at about $1,600 per month (and you’ll end up paying back close to $200,000 for that $140,000 you borrowed, once you add in the interest). Given these numbers, it’s critical that you do two things:

    • If you decide to attend, make a plan for how you’ll finance your education. Don’t put this off until after you finish school—I guarantee it will be the most costly procrastination of your life.

The following pages should help you understand your options sufficiently to start making your plan.

Nuts and bolts of law school tuition and financial aid



Working during law school

Loan repayment options