After being a broke student throughout college, I continued on as a broke law school student. However, while at law school I built certain habits that saved me money. I also developed some bad habits that cost me lots of money. Here are 10 ways I saved money as a Law Student.
10 Ways I Saved Money as a Law Student
1. I rocked my Lexis and Westlaw Points
When I went to law school, way back when Lexis.com and Westlaw Classic were our only options we at least had the benefit of earning points for our research. I could use the points on all sorts of things, I usually redeemed them for amazon gift cards and bought music. I couldn’t afford the luxury of paying for music. So I did research for my music.
I’m not sure where the points and rewards systems stand now if you are a current or recent law student let me know in the comments.
2. Free Beer Tastings
I’ll be honest, I drank an unhealthy amount in law school. But I saved money on drinking by going to free beer tastings. Harpoon Brewery was located not far from my law school and used to do free 1 hour tastings in the afternoon Monday – Friday. They have since opened a beer hall and no longer offer the free 1 hour tasting. Though if you are interested in trying some beer for cheap, they offer $5 brewery tours that end in a tasting.
3. Free Event Food
With all the different clubs and groups in law school, there was always an event with free food happening. Even if I didn’t attend the meeting or event, the leftover food was always left in the lounge for anyone to have. It was far from healthy but free was just the right price.
4. Free Entertainment
Occasionally for class I had to go and observe court. I got really lucky one day and got to observe a very interesting and entertaining case. Let just say the witness had a rap video that I immediately found on youtube once I got home. It was hilarious. So while court is obviously a place for justice, it can also be very interesting. I have many stories of funny things that have happened in court.
5. Used Free Swag
Both Lexis and Westlaw often gave out tons of free stuff. Coffee mugs, laptop bags, post-its, pens, highlighters, USB sticks, I gladly accepted and used all of the free swag I got.
6. I Didn’t Always Go Out to Drink
I mentioned earlier that I drank a lot in law school, but I saved by drinking at home. Paying for a six-pack or bottle of wine was often cheaper than buying drinks at a bar. It helped that my favorite wine cost $5 a bottle.
These days I spend a bit more on wine, but I drink a lot less so I’m still saving. I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I’m very pro free wine.
Related: Are Wine Clubs Really Worth it?
7. I Carpooled
After giving up on the MBTA sometime in my 2L year, I started driving into Boston to ensure I’d get to class on time. The problem is parking is pricey in Boston, but sharing the expense with my roommate and other classmates that lived near us helped save me money.
8. I Attended Free Events with Drink Tickets
I know, again with saving money on drinking, but I did tell you I drank an unhealthy amount in law school. Anyway, lots of the events did have the added bonus of free drink tickets, so two free drinks. If you knew the right person or someone willing to give you their tickets you could end up with even more free drinks. But I was still nice and tipped.
9. I Lived with Roommates
My 1L year I lived with three other people in a 4 bedroom apartment at the cost of $500 a month. I moved 2L year and lived with a classmate through the rest of law school. My rent was a bit more $750 but it came with a driveway (I’d gotten lots of parking tickets at my old place) and was in a better area. Well worth the extra cost but still saved me money over living alone.
10. When I Used the MBTA I Used My Charlie Card
If you could actually get your hands on a Charlie Card, you could save a little bit of money. Rather than paper tickets to use, the Charlie Card fares were slightly cheaper. I guess because it saved them on paper. I still have my Charlie Card and use it when I’m back in town.
3 Ways I Wished I’d Saved Money in Law School
1. I Wish I’d Shopped at Thrift Stores
I wish I’d shopped more at thrift stores, particularly for school supplies. As a law student, I spent so much money on binders and pens etc shopping at Staples and Office Depot. I would have spent a fraction of the office store prices if I’d just shopped at a thrift store.
2. I Wish I Drank Less
While I did find many ways to save money on booze, I would have saved even more if I’d just cut back more. Even when drinking cheaply, drinking in large quantities still costs. Not to mention how much weight I gained in law school thanks to my drinking.
3. I Wish I Ate at Home More
There was both a Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks directly across the street from my law school. I spent entirely too much money on coffee, but also on breakfast. I used to love Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches (before they changed them to fried eggs, ugh) and ordered them multiple times a week. Sometimes multiple times a day, since I would have them for dinner too.
How did you save money while in school, anything you wish you’d done differently to save money? Let me know in the comments!