5 Non-Obvious Ways Law School Loan Debt Will Impact Your Life

MoneyIf you’re considering law school, there’s a very good chance you’re planning to take out student loans. (About 80% of law students graduate with some debt, and the average amount borrowed is over $100,000. That works out to over $1,000/month in loan payments on a standard 10 year repayment schedule.)

Scary numbers, when almost half of new law grads make between $40,000 and $65,000 a year.

But what about the less obvious impact of borrowing tons of money?

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Thinking About Public Interest Work? Find Out About LRAP, Getting the Job You Want, and More!

MoneyToday’s interview is with Radhika Singh Miller, program manager for Educational Debt Relief and Outreach at Equal Justice Works. If you’re considering public interest work, Equal Justice Works has your back!

They’ll help you chose the right law school, get the in-school experience you need, and fund your work after you graduate. In addition, they’re on the front lines of the education debt fight, helping ensure that important public interest work can continue, even in the face of crippling student debt loads.

Without further ado, here’s Radhika!

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How Can Anyone Afford to Do Public Interest Work? Equal Justice Works Explains Some Options

Equal Justice Works logoLots of people start law school thinking they’d eventually like to do public interest work. Unfortunately, many of them soon encounter the harsh financial realities of such a path.

Today’s guest post, from Susan K. Gurley, Deputy Director of Equal Justice Works, outlines what Equal Justice Works is doing to help young lawyers stay on the public interest path, despite the obstacles.

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Freaking Out About Your Law School Loans? Get Help From a Debt Guru

Money funnelLaw school debt is a huge issue these days. Not surprising, when the average borrower has over $100K in loans by the time graduation rolls around!

To help you get a handle on things, we’ve recruited the very inspiring Anna Newell Jones, debt guru extraordinaire. Anna runs a blog called And Then She Saved, which chronicles her efforts to pay off all of her debt (she did it!) and has great tips and advice to help you do the same thing.

Without further ado…

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Law School Myth #6: You Can Trust a Law School’s Employment Numbers

GamblingLaw schools release a decent amount of information about their graduates’ prospects, so it’s easy to think you’re getting the full story.

You’re probably not.

Schools fudge data in a variety of ways, but the most common approach is simply not to report unflattering information on graduates’ salaries.

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Law School Myth #2: Student Loan Debt is Good Debt

Cut up the credit cardsPeople often say you shouldn’t worry about student loan debt — that it’s “good debt.” In some cases, this might be true.

Taking out student loans is an investment in your human capital.

To the extent they enable you to do something you couldn’t otherwise do, i.e., afford to pay for law school so you can become an attorney, student loans might be justifiable.

However, it depends on the specifics:
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Law School Myth #1: Lawyers Make a Lot of Money

Dollar signTo put it charitably, one reason people consider joining the legal profession is to cash in — lawyers make lots of money, right? Sure, maybe they work all the time and aren’t always happy, but they’re rich! Totally worth it.

Reality check: Most lawyers don’t make all that much money, given the time and cost required to become one.

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