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Nuts and bolts of law school tuition and financial aid

The first step in your financial planning is to figure out how much law school is going to cost.  Every school publishes its current tuition figures on its website.  Each school also calculates and publishes its annual “cost of attendance,” or COA (sometimes referred to as the “student...

Overview

The law school application process should ideally begin about a year and a half before you intend to start law school.  At that time, you’d want to think about when to take the LSAT and how to prepare, who you’ll ask for letters of recommendation, and where...

Financing law school

Attending law school is extremely expensive. Tuition at a private law school, plus living expenses and books, can run well over $80,000 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...

Fee waivers

LSAC will grant fee waivers to applicants with demonstrated financial need. Information regarding the fee waiver application process can be found here. The application must be submitted very early in order to be considered, usually six weeks prior to the regular LSAT registration deadline. Fee waivers are available for the...

Scholarships

Law school scholarships The posted tuition cost for any given school is just the starting place. All schools offer scholarships to some extent, and an increasing percentage of students are able to attend school with some kind of institutional grant aid. Think of the tuition number as your sticker price,...

Loans

Most law students finance some part of their education through loans.  This overview should help you understand the different types of loans available, and their relative advantages and disadvantages. For more information on federal loans, the US Department of Education has an extensive explanatory website. These days, students primarily...

Working during law school

During your first year of law school, you can expect to log 12-15 hours per week in the classroom. The most often-cited benchmark for outside study time is 2-3 hours of study for every hour of class time. Please note that that figure is an average—some students will study...

Resumes

Every law school accepts and most require a resume as part of the application package. You should always submit one—it’s one more way to tell your story.  There are any number of resources available to help you create a persuasive resume, including the UMass Career Services office,...

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is an admission requirement for almost* all ABA-accredited law schools in the United States. Beginning in 2018-19, the LSAT will be offered six times a year (September, November, January, March, June, and July), and by 2019-20, it will be offered in every month except...

Optional essays

A handful of law schools offer students the opportunity to write so-called “optional” essays. For example, Northeastern University School of Law “encourages” (but does not require) you to submit an additional one-page essay telling them either about your commitment to social change, or how you would use their co-ops (internships). ...

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