Student Loans

9 Ways to Help Pay for Law School

There’s no getting around it: law school is expensive. For limited editions $53,920 per year, that’s not surprising 90% of law school students use student loans to pay for their education. The worst, i student loan debt ratio for lawyers it was $130,000 from 2021.


The cost of pursuing a law degree can be daunting. However, there are a variety of financial aid opportunities available to help you pay for your education. By learning how to pay for law school, you can take advantage of those opportunities and reduce the need for student loans.

1. Maximize Your FAFSA Award

A common misconception is that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for students pursuing undergraduate degrees only. However, this is not the case; you can also use the FAFSA to apply for significant financial aid for graduate programs, including law school.


Even if you’re upset about the delay in this year’s FAFSA, you may qualify for federal student grants and loans by completing the FAFSA. In law school, there are two loan options:

  • Direct Subsidy: Unsubsidized direct loans have lower rates and fees than Grad PLUS loans, but there are annual and aggregate borrowing limits.
  • Grade PLUS: Grad PLUS loans have higher rates and fees, but there are no limits on how much you can borrow.


Not directly funded Grade PLUS
Withdrawal Fee 1.057% 4.228%
Interest Rate 7.05% 8.05%
Annual Borrowing Limit $20,500 There is no quantity
Consolidated Borrowing Limit $138,500 There is no quantity


2. Find Lessons

Scholarships for law students they are found in universities, non-profit organizations, and private companies. Awarded to students with demonstrated achievement, scholarships vary in amount. Here are a few examples of scholarships available to law school students:

  • Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund: The American Bar Association awards Legal Opportunity Scholarships to first-year students. Eligible students can receive up to $15,000 in financial aid over the course of three years of law school.
  • LGBT Public Interest Scholarship: This scholarship is for law students who plan to work in an LGBTQ+ area of ​​public interest. It offers up to $5,000 to cover the cost of your education.
  • Cornell University’s Charles Evans Hughes Scholars Program: This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition at Cornell University for qualified law school students.

You can use the Law School Admission Council’s scholarship search tool for potential rewards.


Read more: How to Get a Scholarship

3. Law School Grants

Some states, schools, and nonprofit organizations offer grants to law students with financial need. For example:

  • California Chafee Grant: If you are a California resident previously in the foster care program, you may be eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 to pay for law school.
  • Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund: Hispanic Florida residents attending in-state public universities or eligible private schools can receive up to $2,000 toward tuition.
  • Yale Law School: Yale provides financial aid to law school students through need-based grants and student loans. According to the school, 64% of students receive scholarships or grants.

Visit yours a government educational institution and contact your school’s financial aid office to find out what grants are available.

4. Use Your College Savings Account

If you and your family opened a college savings account, like a 529 education savings plan, you may have dollars that can be used after you graduate. If so, you can use the money in the account to cover your eligible law school expenses, including tuition and fees.

5. Military Financial Support

If you are currently serving or have served in the US military, you may be eligible for military-specific financial assistance programs, including the following:

  • The GI Bill: The GI Bill can help pay for graduate degrees, including law school, and your LSAT test fees.
  • Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP): Military service members who want to join the Army Judge Advocate General Corps (JAGC) may be eligible for FLEP. This program covers the cost of law school, but you must commit to working for at least two years for each year of law school completed.
  • Yellow Ribbon Program: For costs not covered by the post-9/11 GI Bill — such as higher tuition costs at private law schools — the Yellow Ribbon Program can help cover the difference.

6. Justification of the School of Law

Law school graduates who intend to work in the public sector, such as working for a legal aid organization or government agency, may be eligible for loan forgiveness.


Another well-known one student loan forgiveness programs Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Available to federal loan borrowers, PSLF will repay your loan after you complete 10 years of full-time employment with an eligible employer and make 120 eligible monthly payments.


Read more: Student Loan Forgiveness for Lawyers

7. Loan Recovery Assistance Programs (LRAPs)

Some schools and districts use LRAPs. These programs reimburse some or all of your outstanding debt in exchange for a commitment to service in high-need areas. For example:

  • Duke University: Duke law school graduates earning $65,000 or less can receive all of their loan payments under the LRAP until they qualify for loan forgiveness under the PSLF. Graduates making between $65,000 and $90,000 can still get the program, but the program offers aid on a sliding scale.
  • University of Notre Dame: The University will cover the fees of eligible graduates for 10 years – until the graduate is eligible for PSLF. Students earning up to $100,000 are eligible for this program.
  • Florida Bar Foundation: In Florida, attorneys who work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or public service organizations may qualify for up to $5,000 per year in loan repayment assistance.

8. Part-time Jobs and Side Jobs

Although law school is rigorous, many students find that they can work part-time. Working even just a few hours a week – or presenting a side hustle around your schedule – and using your income to cover some of your expenses can reduce the need for student loans.


If you qualify for a paid internship or fellowship, you can also gain valuable experience that can help your career after graduation.

9. Pay off Private Student Loans

Let’s say you use other financial aid options, such as scholarships and grants, and reach a higher annual or total federal loan amount. In that case, private student loans it can cover the remaining costs of your law degree.


With a private loan, you can have 15 years to repay the loan, and you can borrow up to 100% of the cost of attendance guaranteed by the school.


ELFI Can Help You Pay for Law School

Now that you know how to pay for law school, you can explore your options. ELFI is the best lender if you need additional funding and are shopping for a private student loan. ELFI is a leading independent student loan lender. It offers both variable and fixed loans at competitive rates, and you can view yours law school student debt options and potential rates online.


The post 9 Ways to Help Pay for Law School appeared first on Student Loan Finance.

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