It is very important to be resourceful. Instead of thinking “I can’t”, start asking the question “How can I? ” Then, consider your options for finding a way. Think positively and recognize that when there is a will there is a way. If you are a student and don’t have any personal income, there are people who would be willing to help you. Talk to your school if you are still an undergraduate. Talk to your pre-law advisor, instructors, deans, etc. Ask your school to sponsor your trip. In return, ask if you can go back to your school and conduct a special presentation open to the entire student body where you share what you learned with other interested students at your school who are not able to attend. Be creative. Think about ways you can give something of value back in return for your school or organization sponsoring your trip. Remember that nothing is free, so you want to give an exchange.
We also encourage you to ask family members, friends, associates, and people you know, as well as organizations you are a part of to be your sponsors. Tell them that you are an aspiring lawyer and are raising funds for a trip to a national conference in our Nation’s Capital. Let them know the amount of money you need to raise.
Understand your value and what you have to offer as an individual and based on your social identity and experiences. Give concrete reasons why it is important for you to get the information and make the connections available at the event and the fact that you otherwise would not have this chance.
Write out your budget for the trip seeking out the lowest possible hotel and bus or airfare you can find. When you take the initiative and show people you are serious and what you can personally contribute and that you are looking for the least expensive, most cost- effective way to make this happen, then many would be willing to help you.
Don’t buy into the mentality of excuses. You must be relentless, especially since you are interested in pursuing a profession that does not reward passivity. Also, ask local lawyers’ groups and law firms. Ask. Ask. Ask. Don’t get discouraged if you get no response or a “no”. Someone will be willing to help you, even if they can only contribute a few dollars. Every cent counts.
If you have to, conduct fundraisers. Sell candy, baked goods, snack items, t-shirts. Wash cars. Think of a service you can provide in exchange for a fee. It is possible to come up with a few hundred dollars for an experience that can change your life. It is an investment in your future. I’m sure you have wanted something badly and figured out a way to get it before. This is no different. If an opportunity like this is provided, you must ask yourself “How badly do I want law school?” If you are serious, then we know you find a way to get there and will attend, especially since you don’t have to worry about a high registration fee that is typically attached to conference attendance.