The Atlanta Lawyer January/February 2015 - Page 9

Law School Life AND pay compound interest (to credit card companies, for example). It’s a beautiful thing if you are the one earning the interest. The great news for students? The younger you are, the more it benefits you. Save, invest, and be an earner. create a budget and savings plan, build an emergency fund, and think about how you will pay off your student loans. Be careful not to overspend, and don’t rely on credit cards for living expenses or emergencies. Start saving as soon as possible so that you will enjoy the advantages that compound interest offers young earners. When it comes to law students’ futures, financial planning makes great “dollars-and-sense.” Tips for Paying off Student Loans • Prioritize your loans, and pay the higher interest loans off first. • Use raises and bonuses to pay off loans instead of increasing your spending. • Check to see if consolidation can get you a lower interest rate. • Remember the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, a loan forgiveness program designed to encourage people to enter into public service careers. Only direct loans are eligible for this program, which requires 120 qualifying payments and other eligibility criteria for loan forgiveness, but consolidation of other types of loans into direct loans is an option. To learn more about PSLF, see https://studentaid. ed.gov/publicservice. http://newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/ policydocs/GradStudentDebtReview-Delisle-Final.pdf 2 The authors would like to thank Patrick J. McGonigle, Senior Associate, and Jeffrey B. Rosengarten, Associate, of Homrich Berg Wealth Management for providing a wealth of information and advice to assist with this article. They were very generous in sharing their time and knowledge. We only wish that we had the space to include all of their suggestions and comments! 1 The Law School Life column features topics written by students attending one of Georgia’s five law schools and is intended to provide perspective, insight, support, and encouragement to students as they matriculate through law school. Conclusion While going to law school is expensive and the current job market is tough, there are some steps that law students can take to prepare for financial success. Identify your goals, Find people worthy of the name on the door. That was my mentor’s advice. But the landscape has changed over the last few years. Profits are harder earned and have to be more wisely spent. So I’m getting help to ensure we’re always healthy enough to attract and retain top talent. After all, it might as well be my name on the door. WE SHINE WHEN WE HOLD OURSELVES TO A HIGHER STANDARD. Our Legal Specialty Group provides a dedicated team with tailored solutions to meet the unique financial needs of attorneys and their firms. Visit suntrust.com/law Investment and Insurance Products: Are not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured • Are not Bank Guaranteed • May Lose Value SunTrust Private Wealth Management Legal Specialty Group is a marketing name used by SunTrust Banks, Inc., and the following affiliates: Banking and trust products and services, including investment advisory products and services, are provided by SunTrust Bank. Securities, insurance (including annuities) and other investment products and services are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., an SEC registered broker-dealer and a member of the FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory products and services are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., RidgeWorth Capital Management, Inc., and GenSpring Family Offices, LLC, investment advisers registered with the SEC. © 2013 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust is a federally registered service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. How Can We Help You Shine Today? is a service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association January/February 2015 THE ATLANTA LAWYER 9