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How To Save On Law School Costs

Law school is an expensive investment. But there are ways to cut back and save.

Alexandra Summer, of National Jurist, recently published a list of ways law students can make and stick to a law school budget.

GET MONEY FROM YOUR TEXTBOOKS

Textbooks can add up in substantial cost throughout your education.

Harvard Law approximates books and supplies will run students roughly $1,375 per academic year.

To keep costs low, Summer recommends law students to never keep their textbooks longer than they need to.

“A lot of students think they’ll look back on these books frequently — and maybe even use them for bar prep,” Summer writes. “But the honest truth of it is they just take up space and grow out of date. At the end of each semester, sell back your books. It’s a great way to pay for new ones.”

DON’T BUY A NEW LAPTOP

Rather than spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a brand-new laptop, it may be wiser to simply upgrade your laptop’s operating system instead.

“While it would be nice to type notes out on the newest Mac or Microsoft product, save a huge chunk of money by upgrading it yourself (or with the help of an IT professional),” Summer writes. “Save and export your files to an external hard drive, reset the computer, and give it a good wipe-down. After you’ve uploaded your files and cleaned between the keys, you’ll find that the computer runs like new: no purchase needed.”

SIGN UP FOR BAR PREP EARLY

Another way to save is to sign up for a bar prep provider earlier rather than later.

By planning early, Summer says law students can save themselves thousands of dollars.

“Get familiar with the providers early and decide which one you like: The earlier you sign up, the cheaper it is,” Summer writes. “You can even set up payment plans and take advantage of certain bar prep benefits early.”

Planning early and saving where you can is key to saving in the long run.

“Even small steps toward frugality can pay off in the long run; no need to go full-on minimalist,” Summer writes. “Just think: one of the reasons people go to law school is the expectation of a decent salary. Don’t fret it all away before you’ve even earned it.”

Sources: National Jurist, Harvard Law