North Carolina Law School Crowdfunds to Help Graduates Take the Bar Exam

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 14, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When studying for the bar exam, sometimes you just don't have any gas left in the tank -- literally.

That's why one law school is raising money -- to help struggling students prepare for the big test. Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law is doing it with crowdfunding.

"Through your generous contribution students are able to buy groceries, keep their bills up to date, or enable them to have enough gas in their car to get to the bar exam and a few job interviews," the crowdfunding page says.

Are We There Yet?

So far, the campaign has raised more than $15,000. That will feed a lot of hungry students, but it is not enough. The goal is $40,000, and time is running out for July test-takers.

BigLaw firms typically offer bar stipends, but small firms and public agencies do not. Dean J. Rich Leonard told the Triangle Business Journal he turned to crowdfunding for those graduates who have not received stipends.

He said the North Carolina law school has used discretionary funds to help in the past, but money is scarce this year. The dean hopes crowdfunding will be the solution.

If the campaigns works, Leonard said the law school may try it later for other projects. This time, he wants to raise enough to give stipends of $400 to $500 per student.

Starving Students

North Carolina law schools stand out among those looking for ways to help starving students. Charlotte School of Law, which has serious financial problems of its own, hosted a food drive earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Education cut off student loans to the school for failing educational standards. As a result, some students literally could not afford to buy food.

"How can we be prepared for class when we can't feed ourselves?" said third-year student Margaret Kocaj. "How can we study when we have headaches because we can't afford to eat?"

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