Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

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legalese_retard
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Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby legalese_retard » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:27 am

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... k_in_debt/


--LinkRemoved--

"I graduated law school in 2003, owing Harvard University just under $150,000. At the time, I had no idea what starting my professional career $150K in the hole would do to my life. I figured I’d work hard, make money, and I’d pay my loans out of my general non-disposable income funds — kind of like my cable bill.

Seven years, two careers, numerous deferments and defaults, and one global economic meltdown later, I still owe a ton of money. Now, however, I pay it to various debt collection agencies and lawyers. When prospective landlords run a pro forma credit check on my application, they come back looking at me like I’ve been convicted of multiple war crimes. Every raise I’ll ever get will be eaten up by the collection agencies until sweet death allows me one everlasting and satisfying default. And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed. So I essentially purchased a $150,000 disposable good. My time working in Biglaw was kind of like a very expensive vacation that I debt financed. "

jackgrf
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby jackgrf » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:32 am

jesus god. i will be choosing which school to attend largely based on aid, because stories like this scare me. it's probably a lot worse for non-hys grads who are currently going to school/plan on going to school too because prospects are even worse now (on all fronts).

my best friend is a 2L at a t14 and regrets paying sticker at a t14 rather than taking a full ride to his home state's ttt. it's that bad.
Last edited by jackgrf on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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dresden doll
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:35 am

So the cautionary tale of the day is an HLS kid that had the means to repay his debt but chose not to utilize them because he figured he just wasn't that into law. Kthanx.

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legalese_retard
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby legalese_retard » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:42 am

dresden doll wrote:So the cautionary tale of the day is an HLS kid that had the means to repay his debt but chose not to utilize them because he figured he just wasn't that into law. Kthanx.


Yeah this is one HLS guy who chose to leave biglaw on his own accord with this much debt. What about the 4000 or so attorneys that were laid off from big law firms last year? You think they all had their student loans paid off? I'm sure there were several HLS, YLS, and SLS alums in that mix that are currently jobless.

http://lawshucks.com/2010/01/the-year-i ... offs-2009/
The Year in Law Firm Layoffs – 2009
"we tracked 12,196 people laid off by major firms in 2009, of which 4,633 were lawyers and 7,563 were staff."

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby jackgrf » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:45 am

legalese_retard wrote:
dresden doll wrote:So the cautionary tale of the day is an HLS kid that had the means to repay his debt but chose not to utilize them because he figured he just wasn't that into law. Kthanx.


Yeah this is one HLS guy who chose to leave biglaw on his own accord with this much debt. What about the 4000 or so attorneys that were laid off from big law firms last year? You think they all had their student loans paid off? I'm sure there were several HLS, YLS, and SLS alums in that mix that are currently jobless.

http://lawshucks.com/2010/01/the-year-i ... offs-2009/
The Year in Law Firm Layoffs – 2009
"we tracked 12,196 people laid off by major firms in 2009, of which 4,633 were lawyers and 7,563 were staff."


...what's even dumber is that JAG is now as competitive as biglaw. if you're not in IP, is there any safe haven?

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legalese_retard
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby legalese_retard » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:49 am

jackgrf wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:
dresden doll wrote:So the cautionary tale of the day is an HLS kid that had the means to repay his debt but chose not to utilize them because he figured he just wasn't that into law. Kthanx.


Yeah this is one HLS guy who chose to leave biglaw on his own accord with this much debt. What about the 4000 or so attorneys that were laid off from big law firms last year? You think they all had their student loans paid off? I'm sure there were several HLS, YLS, and SLS alums in that mix that are currently jobless.

http://lawshucks.com/2010/01/the-year-i ... offs-2009/
The Year in Law Firm Layoffs – 2009
"we tracked 12,196 people laid off by major firms in 2009, of which 4,633 were lawyers and 7,563 were staff."


...what's even dumber is that JAG is now as competitive as biglaw. if you're not in IP, is there any safe haven?



Actually, everything lawyer related is (unless you want to go solo). Check out a doc review ad on craigslist now....even they have high standards for $20/hour or less. You can also check out the trolls on JDU for craigslist ads they like to whine about. Yes it sucks out there, but it's not the end of the world.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby jackgrf » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:52 am

legalese_retard wrote:
jackgrf wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:
dresden doll wrote:So the cautionary tale of the day is an HLS kid that had the means to repay his debt but chose not to utilize them because he figured he just wasn't that into law. Kthanx.


Yeah this is one HLS guy who chose to leave biglaw on his own accord with this much debt. What about the 4000 or so attorneys that were laid off from big law firms last year? You think they all had their student loans paid off? I'm sure there were several HLS, YLS, and SLS alums in that mix that are currently jobless.

http://lawshucks.com/2010/01/the-year-i ... offs-2009/
The Year in Law Firm Layoffs – 2009
"we tracked 12,196 people laid off by major firms in 2009, of which 4,633 were lawyers and 7,563 were staff."


...what's even dumber is that JAG is now as competitive as biglaw. if you're not in IP, is there any safe haven?



Actually, everything lawyer related is (unless you want to go solo). Check out a doc review ad on craigslist now....even they have high standards for $20/hour or less. You can also check out the trolls on JDU for craigslist ads they like to whine about. Yes it sucks out there, but it's not the end of the world.


doc review for 20/hour? it does sound like the end of the world, for lawyers anyway.

do you know what the situation is like abroad for trilingualists now that law in america is screwed? (how easy is it to work abroad? assume fluency)

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NayBoer
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby NayBoer » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:27 pm

Wait, is there some sort of recession going on? Somebody needs to alert Washington.

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capitalacq
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby capitalacq » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:32 pm

and all this time I thought that law school was free.. and that I can just be a fat slob and sit on my PC all day once I graduate

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby araiza99 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:46 pm

After reading these stories I wonder if it is waste to post them on TLS. I suspect a lot of people here think "it will be different for me." I went into grad school thinking educational debt is good but after working for a couple years I realized it is just like all other debt. I think until I met other people with my same job but with a third of my debt did I realize that I was a bit foolish. Having a job while carrying educational debt it a major burden.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby SamSeaborn2016 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:51 pm

I'd be curious to see how many folks graduated undergrad with sick amounts of debt. With so many private (and now public) schools charging $40k+/yr, I would imagine the cost/benefit ratio is even worse. Most college degrees are worth little more than a high school diploma and some work experience. I'm guessing there are plenty of people who owe tons in undergrad debt who are going to double it going to law school. That freaks me out more than anything.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:53 pm

"And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed."

:lol: Proof that going to Harvard doesn't mean you're not an idiot.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby araiza99 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:57 pm

Helmholtz wrote:"And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed."

:lol: Proof that going to Harvard doesn't mean you're not an idiot.


Just curious - what experience do you have working for a law firm?

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Helmholtz
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:58 pm

araiza99 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:"And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed."

:lol: Proof that going to Harvard doesn't mean you're not an idiot.


Just curious - what experience do you have working for a law firm?


I've worked as a legal assistant for years. Have friends and contacts in everything from one of the top 5 biggest firms in the country to solo practitioners to judges to DA's.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby jackgrf » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:59 pm

araiza99 wrote:After reading these stories I wonder if it is waste to post them on TLS. I suspect a lot of people here think "it will be different for me." I went into grad school thinking educational debt is good but after working for a couple years I realized it is just like all other debt. I think until I met other people with my same job but with a third of my debt did I realize that I was a bit foolish. Having a job while carrying educational debt it a major burden.


This is what I'm scared of. Having a lot of debt with nothing to show for it. My mom keeps comparing educational debt with buying a house. At least when you buy a house you can re-mortgage, sell the house for a profit, etc. With educational debt you don't have much to show for it except "potential" because you're probably going to be learning most of it on the job anyway. It just seems very risky ite to take on a shit load of debt when you don't really have anything in hand.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby araiza99 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:02 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
araiza99 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:"And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed."

:lol: Proof that going to Harvard doesn't mean you're not an idiot.


Just curious - what experience do you have working for a law firm?


I've worked as a legal assistant for years. Have friends and contacts in everything from one of the top 5 biggest firms in the country to solo practitioners to judges to DA's.


So you know what you are getting into. You are probably ideal candidate for law school. Law school does not require what you have, only LSAT and GPA.

Were you planning on being a legal assistant when you started college?
Last edited by araiza99 on Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:09 pm

araiza99 wrote:Were you planning on being a legal assistant when you started college?


Not necessarily, but I knew I wanted to go to law school for a while now. A few years back I busted my ass to line up a legal internship, did a really good job, and they offered me a job. Legal work can be a lot different than people expect, but even if you had no clue what you were getting into, refusing to do any legal work with a Harvard Law degree in order to pay off school loans because you don't like the job is just an idiotic thing to do. Can the work be stressful and mundane at times? Sure, it is most of the time, but sometimes you just have to buckle down. If you don't, then you really don't have much of a right to whine about debt on teh internets.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby araiza99 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:13 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
araiza99 wrote:Were you planning on being a legal assistant when you started college?


Not necessarily, but I knew I wanted to go to law school for a while now. A few years back I busted my ass to line up a legal internship, did a really good job, and they offered me a job. Legal work can be a lot different than people expect, but even if you had no clue what you were getting into, refusing to do any legal work with a Harvard Law degree in order to pay off school loans because you don't like the job is just an idiotic thing to do. Can the work be stressful and mundane at times? Sure, it is most of the time, but sometimes you just have to buckle down. If you don't, then you really don't have much of a right to whine about debt on teh internets.


I see your point.

I went into engineering because I thought it would be fascinating but I learned that it was only fascinating to me academically. I can see how the Harvard person got trapped. Fortunately for me, my undergrad debt was almost nothing so I wasn't bitter. But I kept my job - I still had bills. However, other work experience taught me I actually liked legal work (something I would never have considered before having the hands on experience). Maybe the lesson is that law schools should do like business schools and require work experience.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:16 pm

Helmholtz wrote:"And, oh yeah, I don’t even want to practice law anymore — I quit my Biglaw job because, despite the debt, I really wanted to have a job that I enjoyed."

:lol: Proof that going to Harvard doesn't mean you're not an idiot.


+1 hahaha

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Helmholtz
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:19 pm

araiza99 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
araiza99 wrote:Were you planning on being a legal assistant when you started college?


Not necessarily, but I knew I wanted to go to law school for a while now. A few years back I busted my ass to line up a legal internship, did a really good job, and they offered me a job. Legal work can be a lot different than people expect, but even if you had no clue what you were getting into, refusing to do any legal work with a Harvard Law degree in order to pay off school loans because you don't like the job is just an idiotic thing to do. Can the work be stressful and mundane at times? Sure, it is most of the time, but sometimes you just have to buckle down. If you don't, then you really don't have much of a right to whine about debt on teh internets.


I see your point.

I went into engineering because I thought it would be fascinating but I learned that it was only fascinating to me academically. I can see how the Harvard person got trapped. Fortunately for me, my undergrad debt was almost nothing so I wasn't bitter. But I kept my job - I still had bills. However, other work experience taught me I actually liked legal work (something I would never have considered before having the hands on experience). Maybe the lesson is that law schools should do like business schools and require work experience.


Keeping your job because you had bills to pay was common sense.

Eh, personally, I think it should be left to the diligence of the student to make sure that they're getting into. We're all adults with college degrees and should be making well-reasoned choices by now, do we need schools to be holding our hands to make sure we're ready?

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:35 pm

I always find it funny how people around here laugh at and trivialize any thread that even begins to bring up the horrible gamble that many law students are making.

Without even doing any type of research you can see how bleak the outlook is for students willing to take on these massive loads of debt for a shot at a job they probably wont like.

50% of the class at every school is gonna be in the "lower half." Even then, at most schools only the top 25-30% have realistic shots at making the kind of money, at least initially, which allows them to have somewhat manageable loan payments. Being conservative, 75% of the students at aba approved law schools may not have a way to pay the debts they incur...how is that funny or trivial?

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby MU2009 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:37 pm

Stories like this just make me happy that I am going to a state school (with in-state tuition) despite the fact it isn't "ZOMG T-14!!!!" I will probably graduate with around 60-65K of debt and that is on the high end.

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98234872348
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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby 98234872348 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:40 pm

MU2009 wrote:Stories like this just make me happy that I am going to a state school (with in-state tuition) despite the fact it isn't "ZOMG T-14!!!!" I will probably graduate with around [strike]60-65K[/strike] 50k dollars of debt and that is on the high end.

FTFM

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Space_Cowboy » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:41 pm

MU2009 wrote:Stories like this just make me happy that I am going to a state school (with in-state tuition) despite the fact it isn't "ZOMG T-14!!!!" I will probably graduate with around 60-65K of debt and that is on the high end.


Its good thing there's no trade-off in terms of access to employment opportunities.

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Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:42 pm

hombredulce wrote:I always find it funny how people around here laugh at and trivialize any thread that even begins to bring up the horrible gamble that many law students are making.

Without even doing any type of research you can see how bleak the outlook is for students willing to take on these massive loads of debt for a shot at a job they probably wont like.

50% of the class at every school is gonna be in the "lower half." Even then, at most schools only the top 25-30% have realistic shots at making the kind of money, at least initially, which allows them to have somewhat manageable loan payments. Being conservative, 75% of the students at aba approved law schools may not have a way to pay the debts they incur...how is that funny or trivial?


Uh, the author of the article went to Harvard Law and quit her biglaw job because she didn't really like it. I might have a little more sympathy for somebody who was bamboozled by a tier 4 school, is in six digit debt, and can't find a job; but an HLS grad who quits a high paying legal job because it isn't fulfilling/entertaining enough? no




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