The average cost of a law degree was $130,000 in 2020. And this number only includes tuition and fees.
On top of this already astronomical amount, you’ll need to spend thousands of dollars on the textbooks you need for law school.
But what if you didn’t have to spend so much on textbooks? What if you could rent them instead?
In this guide, we’ll explain why renting law textbooks is a great option for you. If you’re ready to save money on textbooks, keep reading.
1. There’s Less Hassle
While you may be able to earn some money by buying used books and then reselling them later, a sale isn’t guaranteed. You also have to go through the effort of creating a sales listing, finding a buyer, and then meeting up with them to sell the book.
When you rent, there’s far less hassle involved. You don’t have to worry about your textbook’s price falling because a new edition was released. Instead, you just pay your rental fee and return the book by the return date.
2. Renting Saves You Money
Law textbook rental can and does save you money in the long run as long as you carefully research and compare your options.
Make sure to compare the prices of textbook rentals as well as which books are the best to rent. Some books might only save you 20 dollars on a rental, while some rentals can save you more than half of the book’s list price.
For example, this student was able to save several hundred dollars on her first semester of law school textbooks by renting.
3. Casebooks Go Out of Date
When you’re in law school, you’ll be given both textbooks and casebooks. Textbooks are where you learn the concepts and information, and casebooks are a selection of relevant cases to the subject matter at hand.
But since cases come and go and laws change, casebooks can also go out of date easily. This is why there’s not much sense in buying them, especially if the casebook isn’t in your practice area.
If you make sure you take good notes on the cases in your casebook, then you probably won’t need to have the book lying around for reference.
4. You Won’t Accumulate What You Don’t Need
Every law student is excited for the whirlwind that is finals, graduation, and your new articling position. However, when you finally find some time to sell your old books, you find that they’ve gone out of date.
Not only are old textbooks fairly useless to sell, but they also won’t be of any use to you at home either. You always need to stay up-to-date with the law, so having a pile of textbooks you’re not using just takes up unnecessary space.
Plus, the law firm you will work at likely has its own library of up-to-date books and professional subscriptions, which should have all you need for work.
5. Rentals Are Delivered Quickly
Many students naturally become stressed when they try to order their textbooks online, as the seller might need time to re-stock and get the shipment ready. This is even worse with used books, as stock is limited.
Luckily, textbook rental companies understand that students need their books delivered quickly. They may even have a rush shipping option if you need it, so be sure to ask them and check if there is any extra cost for this option.
6. Rentals Have Free Return Shipping
One of the best things about textbook rentals is that they often have free return shipping. You can either go to the place you rented the textbook from (useful if the return date is really soon) or ship the book back.
You’ll most likely get a shipping label to print. Once you’ve packaged the book up securely, then attach the shipping label and head to your post office.
Shipping the book back saves you a lot of time, especially if the rental company or bookstore is far from where you live.
7. Renting Makes You Read Your Law Textbooks
You may not have considered the fact that having a time limit on your textbooks will actually force you to read them. When you’ve bought a textbook, chances are you won’t feel any sense of urgency in reading them.
You’d likely read only what was required for your class, and then let the textbook collect dust on your shelf.
But when you rent a textbook, you have a set time limit on when you need to return the book. This will force you to read the book and get as much useful information out of it as you can before the return date rolls around.
8. Renting Is Flexible
Another benefit of going through a textbook rental company is that they are often flexible. They allow you to rent textbooks for specified periods of time, such as 30-90 days.
This means you don’t have to rent a textbook for an entire semester.
For example, you may only need a certain textbook for a final exam. Instead of spending more money and renting the book for four months, you may only need to rent it for 30 days or less, which can save you a lot of money.
9. E-Books Are Cheaper and Take Up Less Space
Studying law means that you will often be pressed for time, and e-books are an excellent way to study while on the go. You can rent several e-books and read them all on one device without any extra weight in your backpack.
Of course, not all law textbooks will be available in e-book format, so make sure to check with the bookstore or rental company.
Also, figure out whether having a physical or digital copy of the book would best help you study for that particular subject.
Ready To Save Money by Renting Textbooks?
Law school can leave you with student loan debt for years.
By renting your law school textbooks, you can potentially save thousands of dollars. You could apply this much-needed money towards your tuition, fees, and living expenses.
If you’re ready to save money and rent your law textbooks, check out our handy price comparison tool. Use it to compare textbook rental companies and figure out the best rental prices for each of your required textbooks.