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Renting Tips for 2Ls

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Sarah Eli Mattern

Editor In Chief at The Student Appeal
Sarah "Eli" Mattern launched The Student Appeal in April 2011 with her friend, Dawson Henry. Graduate of Florida A&M University College of Law, she practices as a Legal Aid attorney in Florida. Follow her on twitter @SarahEliMattern or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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Most students rent apartments in a continuous year-to-year succession. Renters should mark their calendars for the bar exam during their 2L year.

Here’s what I mean:

Shorter Leases - Where do you plan on studying for the bar exam? Your hometown? Great – then you probably don’t need a 12-month lease during your 3L year. For example, if you normally sign a lease in which runs August-July, and you plan on moving home for bar prep, then you only need a 9-month lease as a 3L.

Longer Leases - Okay, so you plan on studying for the bar in your own apartment. Where do you plan to live while you’re waiting on your results? Some states release their results as late as November. So, between July and November, when you may or may not be working and you are definitely running low on cash, you were planning on renting a U-Haul, putting down a deposit, and paying your first month’s rent somewhere new?

Image Copyright ASurroca (Flickr), 2012

You probably don’t want to sign another lease where you are living in case you get offered a great job another city. Consider getting a 15-month lease, or living somewhere with reasonable month-to-month options after the lease term. You want a timeline that take you through bar prep, bar results, and gives you the freedom to apply to jobs anywhere you want.

Other Options- Already signed a lease for your 3L year, talk to your landlord. My lease ended two days after I took the bar exam, and I didn’t notice until I was already studying. My apartment complex allowed me to stay an extra two weeks. The additional two weeks didn’t allow me the flexibility that a 15-month lease would have, but it did make it so that I didn’t have to rush home after the bar exam and back-up my entire apartment in 48 hours.

Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is to plan ahead. The bar exam is like an object in the right rear view mirror, it is closer than it appears.


For more bar exam tips, stay tuned to our twitter page @StudentAppeal and if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments!!


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