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November 27, 2007


It's amazing how much of our country is in debt. I was in the same situation, but luckily I decided to find help. The Consolidation Credit Counseling from http://www.debtguru.com absolutely saved me. Good luck to everyone.

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The word is out: if someone next year is dumb enough to go to a TTT (third tier toilet), they deserve to drown in debt. The world needs ditch-diggers too. Prospective students need to help themselves because these terrible schools will bleed them dry otherwise. If you can't get above a 160 on the LSAT, you probably should save yourself the time and money and not go to law school.

this sucks

I suspect many overstate the problems in the job market. That is, yes, you may not be able to find a job with a V50 or V100 firm, but the reality is that most lawyers don't work in those rarefied airs anyway. Have you looked at smaller firms, government jobs, public interest, in-house, or clerkships? While it's true you don't want to just take any job, the reality is that taking a job as a lawyer will probably pay more than anything you can find now which you are not as qualified for.

Considering moving. You don't have to work in a major city to pull down a nice income. If you want to be a litigator, move out to the county seats and become one of those "local counsels" that we all hated going up against b/c your opponent played golf with the judge.

Some companies will take on new lawyers in house, with the expectation that you stay there for a while to give that company a return on your investment.

Ultimately, yes, some lawyers simply won't find the job they want/need, and yes, there are too many law schools giving too many students an unrealistic view of the what happens upon graduation. But too many lawyers I know and went to school with went to law school b/c they didn't know what else to do. That isn't the Dean of Admissions' fault.

The traditional wisdom is to attend the best ranked law school that accepts you. If you rack up $150K in debt, and end up in the middle of the pack, your prospects are glum.

But is you ignore conventional wisdom, and enroll into a lower-ranked school that offers a good financial aid package, you can graduate higher in the class and with less debt.

True, the lower ranked school will make it more difficult to land a high paying job right out of school. But high salary is less important if you have less debt.

Question: did you baby boomers leave school with over 3x the median household income in non-default debt? I wonder if Harvard Business School also teaches anything about compound interest.

It's very easy to get crushed under nearly $200k of law school debt that institutions have encouraged students to take on. The numbers are staggering and for many there will be no way around them.

For example, a brief glance at the journalism jobs site shows the average salary offered for specialty journalists (legal, financial) with relevant experience to be about $40k-$45k. After federal and state taxes, you can plan on having at most about $30k left. Since these jobs will be in major metropolitan areas, you will have to spend at least $1500 for rent a month, leaving $12k. Living extremely frugally will leave you with about $3000 for things like student loans and health care. In the meantime, you may have accrued up to an additional $25k in interest. Even if you get $5k annual raises for the rest of your career you will never catch your debt.

No consumer finance company would extend $200k of unsecured credit to an individual with that kind of earning capacity because there would be an extremely high risk of default. Fortunately, educational lenders have convinced congress to bar default on these obligations, ensuring that there can be no escape from debt servitude.

JDs are resourceful people who are very capable of reassessing their situation and starting a different career path. The problem is that their ability to forge any meaningful standard of living from their new careers is hobbled by crippling financial obligations.

No amount of research on the "transformational power of adversity" can compensate for this.

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