Although I will be graduating from law school next month, I will not be taking the Bar exam. Nope, I won’t be participating in what most consider the necessary culmination of a legal education. It’s not because I don’t want to be a lawyer. It’s because I cannot afford it. We’re not talking registration fees like you saw with the SAT or even the LSAT. We’re talking Bar application, Bar review course, expenses associated with gathering information and background checks for your character & fitness application, and living expenses while you study for the exam. Ouch. If you read this blog, you know this isn’t the first time I’ve shared my frustration about the situation.
Usually, folks take out loans to finance this additional, but necessary portion of law school. However, with the financial crisis we’re in right now, even Bar Loans aren’t being offered like they used to. What’s a graduating law student to do? The Alliance for Legal Education has a smashing idea:
The Alliance for Legal Education is a coalition of law schools and other organizations in the legal community working to ensure that students who have invested in a legal education have the funding they need to prepare for the bar exam. The Alliance has proposed a solution: allow costs associated with preparing for the bar to be included in the cost of attendance, which would, in turn, make these costs eligible for federal student loans.
To effect this policy change, and to do so in time to help this year’s graduating law students, it is critical to contact legislators now to urge their support of this initiative. The Alliance has established a website at http://capwiz.com/allianceforlegaleducation where you can learn more about this initiative and use the online facility to contact your legislators about this issue.
You do not have to be a law student to encourage legislators to act. You just have to think it’s ridiculous that a person should have to take out private loans, charge up their credit cards or, do like I will and postpone the exam in order to work and save money. The cost of the Bar should be figured into the cost of attendance for law school, what makes more sense than that?
The online form is really easy and takes less than 2 minutes to fill in. Thanks a bunch!
So this morning I had to take the Multistate Professional Responsiblity Exam (MPRE). It’s administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and every state (except 2) make you submit MPRE scores in order to be admitted to the Bar.
That test sucked royally. WOW. First of all, I had to go to hell Camden to take the exam. I asked to take the test at MY law school, but it got full (how the hell are there not enough spots at the law school for everyone there who wants to take it?). So I had to get a ride from a friend over the bridge to sit for the exam. The room reminded me of my high school lunchroom. Cinder-block walls. Little L-shaped desks. Bad lighting. I went to the exam without eating anything. I was just rushed with all I had to do that morning. So all during the thing my stomach was growling. LOUDLY. I was kind of embarrassed because as you can imagine the room was dead silent. It’s been forever since I took an exam where you actually needed a #2 pencil and had to fill in little bubbles marked a,b,c, and d. The whole damn thing was so… regulated. Read the instructions together. Do not open the test booklet until instructed. Blah blah. I thought law school exams were weird, but I guess I’m used to it. I haven’t taken a standardized test since the LSAT and that was over 8 years ago! Continue reading
or SOMETHING. I need to start a side hustle ASAP.
Just got a letter from the Dean of Student Affairs at my law school telling all the students that because of the financial crisis ass-raping America, it’ll probably be easier to find Bin Laden than to get a Bar Loan in 2009. Thanks, USA.
Although it may seem early to be thinking about graduation in May, we have some important information to share with you that we strongly encourage you to think about NOW. There are expenses associated with taking the bar exam, which include application fees, charges for bar review courses and, most importantly, living expenses for bar study time. We strongly recommend that students not work during the time that they are studying for the bar exam.
Bar exam loans from private lenders have been an important resource for our graduates. Due to the current crisis in the banking industry, some lenders have found it necessary to terminate the bar loan or place limits on the availability of the bar loan. Although we continue to hope future news will be good, there is some real concern that more lenders will make cut-backs to their student loan programs which will further limit bar loan availability.
The Law School Financial Aid staff has posted important information about the current bar loan situation. If you will be graduating in 2009, I strongly encourage you to review this information and ACT NOW to plan to meet your expenses while studying for and taking the bar exam.
Oh boy. When this particular dean uses caps and the words “strongly encourage” more than once, it’s about to be a problem.
See, a Bar loan is pretty important. For a few months, you’re expected to study for the Bar exam. You have to take a review course which will cost over a thousand dollars. You have to live, because you can’t really work at all during the months before the exam. Of course you have to PAY to take the damned exam which can be more or less depending on in which state you choose to practice. If there was already concern around a Bar loan because of regular credit issues, finding a co-signer, etc., well today you’ll have even more trouble. Banks are holding on to their cash pretty tightly and some are canceling their Bar loans altogether!
So yeah, I’m going to need to start collecting $$ from yall. Trying to be a lawyer means I can’t do any morally questionable things to earn money between now and May so you’ll just have to do your part.
Ugh. I hate my life sometimes!