A career in law seems lucrative, stable, and like a sound investment in the currently shaky economy. However, hundreds of thousands of Americans are thinking the same thing, and many are applying for law degrees. Applying to law school is challenging enough in its own right; the increased competition for the limited number of spaces makes it tougher than ever to gain a spot at law schools. Not only are new graduates considering law school as a way to defer entering a tough job market; those who had been in the workforce, but were laid off due to the recession are also turning to law school and other post-graduate degrees as a means of increasing their marketability.
The process of applying to law school is multi-step and challenging. LSATs will need to be taken, applications will need to be filled. Recommendations, essays, and interviews will be required. Once you’ve passed through the gauntlet of applying for law school, and you’ve been accepted, you will need to consider how you plan on paying for your Juris Doctor. Most people are ill-equipped to pay for the four or so years of law school by themselves—in fact, many will have previous student loan debts from their undergraduate years.
Many law school hopefuls will end up taking out (yet another) student loan in order to cover their higher education. Law school costscan vary quite a bit between private and public schools due to tuition, location, cost of housing and living, etc. In fact, private law school students can end up paying nearly $1600 a month in order to repay the loan. And with the average interest rate at 9 percent, this student loan is likely to last long beyond the few years you spent at law school.
While there are some safeguards in place for those who are unable to repay the loan according to schedule, you should be aware that there aren’t a lot of options when it comes time to repay the loan.
Learn more about those options and average monthly payments on a law school loan through this infographic below.