Paying for Law School: A Scholarship Recipient's Perspective

I knew I wanted to be an attorney since before I even knew what an attorney was. When I was six, I sat my mother down for a very serious conversation about why I shouldn’t be required to take naps anymore. Like any good attorney, I provided a pro and con list (in crayon, obviously) showcasing the TV shows that came on during my nap time and how nap time just pushed my bedtime back later. I never had to take naps again. I carried this dream with me all the way to college and was hit with the question many of my peers have had: how am I going to pay for Law School?
Money isn’t usually the first thing that sprouts in your mind when you have a dream, but it should be, especially if your dream is to be an attorney. In 2014, the American Bar Associated reported that the average Law School graduate’s debt was $84,000 if you attended a public school and $122,158 if you attended a private law school. Things are looking up though, even if you have a mountain of debt, a report from Robert Half Recruiting noted that the salaries for first-year associates are expected to rise in 2016 by 2.4% on average. Higher salaries, even slightly higher, lessen the risk of taking on a mountain of debt. This is great news for prospective and current law students.
Most law students take on loans to cover to the cost of Law School but another way to help pay for law school is scholarships. I am currently about to embark upon my third year of law school and I have been very fortunate to receive scholarships to help defray the cost of tuition. Last semester after taking the Family Law course at Memphis Law, I was awarded the Rice, Amundsen & Caperton PLLC Family Law Scholarship for excellence in Family Law. In addition to helping lessen the cost of my tuition, the Rice, Amundsen & Caperton Family Law Scholarship afforded me the opportunity to work for the firm this summer.
I’ve been working at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton for about six weeks now. The experience so far has been greater than any paycheck could provide. I get to work for all three partners working on a vast number of tasks and research projects. Before working here, I thought that Rice, Amundsen & Caperton exclusively practiced Family Law. That’s not entirely true. While the firm primarily works in domestic matters, I’ve gotten to research anti-trust issues, contract disputes, and of course, Family Law. Overall, paying for Law School is challenging but thankfully donors such as Rice, Amundsen & Caperton can make the three years less of a financial burden.
This blog is written by the law clerks and interns of the Rice Divorce Law. We document our experience working with Memphis Divorce Lawyer Larry Rice and Memphis Divorce Lawyer Nick Rice, as well as other members of the Rice Divorce Law. The Rice Lawrepresents clients in Tennessee, including Memphis, Nashville, Jackson, Columbia, Johnson City, and Knoxville. We hope these blog posts will be interesting and show the evolution of students as they move towards being divorce and family lawyers and paralegals. The statements in these posts should not be used as legal advice about divorce or family law.
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