Foreword to How to Pay for Your Law Degree

Getting accepted to law school will rank as one of the most thrilling moments of your life.  However, amidst the joy, you may experience some concern about the financial realities.  Attending law school will be one of the most significant financial commitments you will ever make.  Many law students incur $100,000 or more of debt to pursue their degree, and it can take years to pay back the loans.

 

While the legal profession is well-compensated compared to others, this statistic masks some disturbing trends.  Many legal jobs, especially public sector or public interest jobs, pay unremarkable salaries. When combined with high law school debt, the lower-paying jobs become unrealistic for far too many interested students.  Instead, many students take more lucrative but less personally interesting jobs solely because it allows them to pay back their loans faster.

 

That’s why I am so excited about this book, How to Pay for Your Law Degree.  For the first time in history, you can quickly and easily find hundreds of financial aid programs covering virtually every legal specialty.  With this book, you may be able to find unexpected financial assistance which will increase the range of jobs you can financially consider after graduation.  This book potentially could be the difference between taking your dream job and settling for less.

 

I urge you to carefully review the programs in this book and then to actually apply to those for which you are eligible.  You can always find excuses for not applying: “I’m sure lots of other students have applied,” or “I never win anything,” or “Finals are coming up.”  Or you may buy into the untrue myths about financial aid: “Financial aid is just for the poor,” or “Financial aid is only for the very smart,” or “I have a job, so I won’t be eligible for financial aid.”  You do yourself a disservice with such self-defeating thinking.  In too many situations, the programs in this book have far less competition than you think.

 

I hope you will give yourself every opportunity to be rewarded for your talents.  Best of luck in pursuing (and paying for) your law degree.

 

Professor Eric Goldman

Marquette University Law School

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

October 2003

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