Saving up for law school (CAN) and parents refuse to pay my tuition if I choose this path.

Lawyer here, think good and hard before you decide to go to Law School. Law School is a huge commitment and going through 3-4 years of essentially un or underemployment has huge financial implications especially considering how much debt you incur. Its not uncommon to incur $260+ in student loan debt and in the current job market not uncommon to not have any significant job prospects for a good six months even after passing the Bar (that's if you pass the first time, if not tack on an additional 6 months of restudying, retaking and waiting for results). All in all that's approximately $200K in debt (Conservatively estimating that you get some scholarships and lower tuition) and 3-4 years in which you are making little or no money (3 years for law school and approximately 8-12 months assuming you pass the bar your first time and can get a full time job within a reasonable time once you get results in November).

That's also assuming that you actually have the right motivations for going to Law School. Too many people go to law school with the assumption that its a quick ticket guarantee to riches or that they'll make great lawyers because they "love to argue". Do you have any prior experience in law or working at a firm? Do you understand the nature of what the work actually entails first hand or what area you would be interested in? I'm incredibly fortunate that I ended up loving what I do. When I started though I had no idea what I wanted or was getting myself into. Many people however find themselves in $40K in debt after 1 semester and only after realizing that they've set them self on a career path that isn't right for them.

If you have to take out student loans look into what the standards for Income Based Repayment are for Federal Loans. I was lucky enough to have mine apply and essentially pay pennies on what a private loan would be making me pay. IBR is generally based on the year the loan was incurred though so you'd better make damn sure it applies before you take any out.

My advice to you, is to hold off for a year after graduating. You can go to law school any time but can only incur so much debt once. Work as a legal assistant for a year, understand what the job entails, and make an educated decision as to whether that career path is something you're truly passionate about. This is not to discourage you if its something you're completely set on becoming an attorney. Its an incredible career and opens up a lot of doors. It's a long path though and there are a LOT of pitfalls along the way so you'd better make sure its something you absolutely want to do.

/r/personalfinance Thread