Here is a disturbing email that Above the Law received today:So I am an NYU grad who is starting to realize that my time in my big law job will probably end sooner rather than later — and that realization has sent me into a bit of a tizzy.
I see a therapist weekly (have a history of depression) and I told him that I’m starting to feel very depressed/anxious about my career prospects, and he asked me if I was thinking of hurting myself; before I could even contemplate the question, I immediately, almost reflexively, said: “I would never stick my dad with my loans like that.” (He cosigned my loans).
… I just thought it perfectly sums up the misinformed decision to go to law school and take out heavy debt (I have about ~145k remaining…) for a chance at a big law job that likely will last less than five years. The immediate, instinctive reason I gave for not offing myself was not something optimistic about the future or because I love my friends/family; instead, it was because I can’t stick my father with the financial burden of my student loan debt after everything he’s done for me.
Paying sticker even for T6 schools is a horrible proposition at this point. Even if you go to Harvard, you're going to have to last 5 yeas in Biglaw to make a significant dent in your law school debt. Very few people who get Biglaw last more than 5 years (it's less than 25%). Either they get pushed out or they just can't stand it. Remember, Biglaw is a pyramid scheme that relies on there being far too many associates to ever make partner. The more associates per partner, the more profit on the associates' billable hours each partner can skim off.
Just take on a manageable debt load given your family's wealth. If you don't have a grandpa that's going to give you $100K when he dies to pay off your loans, you should think twice about signing your financial future away to law school bureaucrats.