Law Students HAVE NO MONEY- How do you get though?
So, people think that all Law students come from well off families and have a pot of endless money to help them pay for their studies and fund ski trips and partying along the way.
The REALITY however is that many Law students , especially mature students are self funding whilst juggling the demands of life, kids, mortgages, jobs and the pressure is huge.As I come to the end of my studies I just want to give you some of my tips how I have coped with being a law student, The poverty and a few tips to help you through.
I have been studying since 2004. I started studying when my lil eagle now aged 8 was 9 months old and my big eagle was 9. I was a single parent with NO MONEY.
MY first year of studying was part-time and this allowed me to keep some of my benefit and the biggest expense really was travelling costs.When you are on a very low-income even a few pounds is hard to muster up.
Ok so when I started as an undergraduate Law student on the LL.B the change to full-time was huge and on my journey of debt began.
Applying for a student loan was absolutely crucial. It was not enough as it was only a small amount compared to what I would need for all the books and to support my children.
Here are some tips I have learned on how to manage thourgh my life as a Law student.
1. Apply for EVERYTHING.
At University of Glasgow we have an on-line ‘funda finder’ which helps you to enter all your circumstances and it generates a list of trust and organisations that may be able to offer financial support. From first year I have applied for everything and I am delighted to say I have received at least 2 or 3 grants and bursaries EVERY YEAR – that is around 18 since I started studying.
2. As a mature student most Universities offer support and at the University of Glasgow I have been lucky in receiving funding through the Hardship and Mature students Bursaries – check out your University and go to the Registry and ASK what help is available for mature students ie : anyone over 21.- also if you do have a crisi situation most Universities will have funds available to studnets GO ASK your adviser of studies.
3. My lil eagle was only 1 when I started Law school so I needed nursery provisions and the fees at the University Nursery were steep . As a student I was entitled to a huge discount and extra funding to assist my nursery fees.This allowed me to take lil eagle to University with me for 3 years before she started school.It was great as she was on campus and it allowed me to concentrate on my studies too.
4. BOOKS – buy second-hand books if you must OR use the library.The reading lists for law are usually HUGE.Also if you do have masses of books-SELL THEM.
5. Apply for any benefits such as council tax exemption and housing benefit – you might be entitled and don’t know about its.
6 Learn HOW TO COOK – seems like a simple suggestion but it really will save you money.I bake and cook for my girls and I and can make a banquet out of the most simple ingredients.
7.Charity shops – you can get by without designer gear for a while surely. I was of the mindset that my time at University was a challenge in more ways than just academia – IT WAS MY CHOICE to make sacrifices and I gave up buying clothes.
8. Debt – get used to it.Many companies will be understanding if you explain that you are experiencing fanatical difficulties and will come to arrangements with you if you explain that you are experiencing a period of ‘having no money’. TALK TO THEM.
9.EVERYONE at law school has no money – ok maybe some of the kids from rich families do but generally mature students don’t .Take sandwiches and don’t spend money if you don’t have to.
10. IT COSTS NOTHING TO SMILE – best tip.Look around you.Soak in the ‘LAW’ and enjoy your journey to becoming a lawyer.IT is hard work, it is worrying at times but IT IS WORTH IT.A smile costs nothing.How you look at the world affects the way you feel.Take control of that and even when you have no money, smile read some law and carry on because before you know it you will be ready to enter the legal profession like me and start earning some money and of course repaying all your debt..(IT GOES SO FAST)
My girls are the most important thing to me so making sure they have everything they need comes before LAW every time. Christmas presents, new shoes, and all the things children need in general always places an extra worry on my shoulders. My family has helped me over the years with extras and necessities at times and I can honestly say that my lil eagles have gone without NOTHING.
ITS a hard journey but the benefits outweight the stresses. very soon i will starting work as a trainee solicitor and my University days will be a thing of the past.
ENJOY your time at UNIVERSITY .