Among those who consumed that philosophy had been Lisa S., profiled in Forbes, and Elie M. (Mystal), who has posted on it on Abovethelaw.com. Both have law degrees. Yet, the two tales are very different. One is a loser and one is a winner.
Lisa S. has about $350,000 in student loans and brings in earned income of about $20,000 from her solo law practice. She is a single mother. With two children (for one, she receives $500 monthly in child support) she is on food stamps and one child is on the free lunch program. Of course, given the interest on the loan debt that will continue to balloon to funny money. She also picked up $40,000 in credit card debt. Lisa S. is a loser.
Then there is Elie M. He pursued academic excellence at both Harvard College and Harvard Law School. The debt nut from that, the last time I read about it, was about $150,000. He did have a shot at paying that off within several years. That was because he landed a well-paying job in BigLaw. However, that kind of work did not sit well with him and he exited.
So far, this plot line seems to have all the usual details of a promising lad who winds up a major loser. But somehow that hasn't been the way it turned out. And those who research getting stuck versus success should study this.
Through a position as a journalist at high-profile legal tabloid Abovethelaw.com, Elie M. has put together a new kind of career path. Eventually it could be lucrative if he transitioned from journalism per se to glam fields such as hosting a talk show or overseeing accounts at a Manhattan public relations agency. Meanwhile he is in a stable marriage with a seemingly successful woman and resides in family-oriented Westchester County, New York with a toddler. Likely that child will not go beyond getting his ticket punched through a BA or BS degree.
In itself, over-education doesn't generate losers and winners. Neither does education debt. Nor does the acquisition of a law degree. Other factors are in play. Elie M. might do a documentary on how he and others like him are beating the odds.