Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It Never Hurts to Ask - Lessons in Frugality

Education is expensive, that is a fact of life.  I spent nine years in higher education.  First I earned a BA in political science, then a Masters in Public Administration.  I finished off my academic career with a law degree. And upon graduation I became a licensed attorney in Wisconsin.  And with that privilege came a requirement to obtain 30 credit hours of continuing legal education every two years.  Yes, even with degrees in hand, the learning does not stop nor does the cost.  I love to learn, but it adds up quickly.

Recently I learned that a national company that coordinates expensive continuing legal education seminars in my focus area (estate planning and probate) often has scholarships that go unused.  I was encourage to ask, so I did.  A fired off a short letter stating that I am a solo-practitioner with a typical client paying me $700 for documents.  A seminar fee of $1500 for courses over a week's time was too steep for me -- I would miss working, thus billing, and I won't raise my rates for clients just to pay for these types of classes.  As a result, my client base (the middle class primarily) would miss out on the great information discussed at the event.  One week letter I received notice that I would be receiving a scholarship.

Lesson to take from this post - it never hurts to ask!

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