Not many people can say that they were able to come out of law school debt free. I can say that not only am I debt free, but I was paid to go to law school.
There are exceptions to everything in this world, whether we realize it or not. As much as I think Instagram is bullshit, I can’t deny that they’re the exception to the rule that photo apps are always losers.
The thing we need to realize is that exceptions can always be created. Before I went to law school, everyone told me that it was going to bankrupt me and I’d end up hating my life. This was coming from all of my cousins that became attorneys. They all came out with $200K plus debt and an extreme disgust with their working life.
I went to a normal law school (not insert ivy league). CUNY Law was a city law school that I chose because it had the strongest return on investment. They were 4th string, but they were accredited and the #1 law school in public law.
CUNY Law didn’t have a scholarship program.
After I received my acceptance, I received a bill to pay the extremely affordable in-state tuition of $10k. I, being the cheap miserly bastard I am, called the school to request a scholarship. The Admissions office clearly said that they don’t offer any and fellowships programs are determined by the applicant pool’s applications.
Unwilling to accept this, I draft an 1 page letter to fax over attention to their Admissions office. The letter I wrote (see below), was fairly straight-forward. It said the following:
- I want money.
- I’m a big deal. (LOL)
- Here’s proof.
Here’s exactly what I wrote…
To Whom It May Concern:
I, Cameron Keng, would like to be considered for the fellowship program at CUNY Law. The past 2 years has been an amazing experience where I’ve transitioned from my full time position at major accounting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG to my nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax clinic that offers free assistance to low-income families, the elderly and non-native English speaking immigrants.
The Keng Institute Tax Clinic sponsored by the IRS and in partnership with New York State and City has in th
ax season alone already helped generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds back into the community. We’ve processed well in excess of 5 million dollars in income through the thousands of returns we’ve processed.e past t
The tax clinic aims to provide direct aid and education. Our tax clinic is the first and only online IRS approved continuing professional education credit provider. The ultimate goal is to have an institute that can extend its services ac
ross numerous basic needs that range from tax, immigration, civil and labor laws in their native languages such as Mandarin and Cantonese.
Attached is a recommendation from the Internal Revenue Service in regards to our tax clinic. I’ve been featured on Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, Fox News, Good Magazine and Tax Analysts as a tax expert, nonprofit and social entrepreneur. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at any time by phone (718) 536-6920 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to speaking with you soon and thank you for your time and consideration.
Cam’s rules to being the exception the rule:
- Asking for something BIG.
- It is absolutely necessary to be fiercely shameless.
- Back your shit up.
CUNY Law was awesome enough to offer a scholarship that covered $5,000 dollars in light of my prior achievements and accomplishments. Standing out and becoming the exception could be as simple as asking for something that wasn’t stated.
Take this process, rinse and repeat…
The result is getting about $20k in scholarships to cover all of my costs including cost of living.
Please do the same.