timbs4339 wrote:Nobody is going to give you 100K to start a small business when you have huge student loan debt
I disagree. When you start a small business, you incorporate and that business assumes its own identity. A small business loan, therefore, would have little or nothing to do with my own credit and would be based on the business. I know this personally from owning a past business. This is why LLCs exist by the way, so that the owners are protected from liability; hence "Limited liability corporation." There are also payment plans set up now so that a law graduate can pay 15% of the annual salary vs. statis monthly payments. All in all, a law school graduate can manage even the largest of student loans until their career picks up and they should be able to get a small business loan.
Now I'm sure there's some technicalities but for the most part I think you're overlooking a lot of stuff. I don't think it would be as bad as a lot of you think.
You have no clients. You have no experience. You are entering a saturated market. Nobody in their right mind is going to loan you the years worth of expenses + ad budget you need to make a go of it solo out of law school. Those are not "technicalities." They are fundamental flaws with your plan. In light of this, banks may also refuse to lend you the money without either a high interest rate or a personal guarantee.
You have to objectively admit that being unable to concentrate on studying for the LSAT is going to severely impact your ability to pass the bar exam, which is a prerequisite to getting the small firm jobs which will give you that 5-7 years of experience and connections you need to go solo. You have much more time, years even, to study for the LSAT. On the bar, it's two months from graduation to the exam date (and no, law school hardly preps you for the bar).
The problem with these "payment plans" are that the debt you are carrying is so high that you won't even be meeting the interest payments. So you'll be trapped in a scenario where your loan balance is growing, faster than you can pay it down with 2% or even 5% annual raises. And again, it assumes you are able to get a lawyer job at all. The shelf life of an unused JD is very short- about a year or so, and then the next crop of graduates is ready. Finally, if you feel fine and dandy taking out a boatload of debt you know you might not ever pay back and pushing that on the taxpayer, then maybe you do belong in the legal profession.
Nobody is saying give up on your dream. But you have to limit the downside of a negative event by limiting your debt. If you can bump your LSAT score, and reduce the cost of these schools to around 60K or so, then it's not such a bad plan. I've recommended to people that they should go solo, and it has always been with low debt.