j2d3 wrote:Which part was demeaning? I'm sorry, didn't mean for it to be demeaning.
I guess I'm just looking for a reason to be offended or something.
I reread the post, and it's not demeaning. I think I was talking about the idea of you going into law school frivolously out of Bruce Wayne-esque boredom.
When I reread it, that wasn't the impression that I got. Instead it was that you're intellectually curious.
Haha I wish I could legitimately claim Bruce Wayne-esque boredom - but I'm not *that* rich. I'm not really rich at all - I just have gotten used to a relatively high income. I'm not very smart with my money, though, so I don't have a lot saved. I do have the capability of making more than most with part time project based work, so that's how I'll keep my debt load down during school. I'll also be trying for scholarships, but I'm willing to go into some debt for law school. Like I said, some people buy fancy cars, some people buy condos (and many who did that recently have lost more than a sticker priced JD costs), but I'm going to spend a bunch of government money on law school, because to me that would be more enjoyable and a better investment than cars or condos. I don't expect it will necessarily raise my income. I may end up making a bit less than I do now post-law-school, but probably not. It depends on what path I end up taking, and there are many to choose from, and for me, biglaw is probably not one of them.
OBSERVATIONALIST: some constructive criticism - or at least an idea 4 u. I love the metaphor about pollution and sad depressed debt-burdened individuals as an externality of law schools that they wish to cover up. makes perfect sense. I also see a metaphor or - parallel situation with the aggressive lenders who were getting people into houses they couldn't afford. These lending practices were cited as a major cause of the housing bubble (though IMHO not remotely the only cause.) The schools' practice of hiding relevant information about the level of difficulty one of their customers can expect to have paying back the loans is quite similar to the predatory lending practices of banks during the height of the expansion of the housing bubble. I believe law schools, the government, and the government-sponsored lenders who provide the loans are in collusion with one another to dupe people who will likely not be able to afford to pay back the loans by providing misleading or incomplete information about the product they are selling. It's quite the same thing, isn't it? Aren't schools + student loan vendors basically acting the same way as these "predatory lenders?"
When I was an undergrad at yale, coming from a middle class non URM background, I had to take out pretty significant loans. I was angry about this, because I realized it was going to tie me into a practical, high paying profession. I would have to become a corporate slave. I couldn't major in theater like my rich kid friends could. (Well, I could have, but to me it was an unacceptable risk.) Part of the reason I dropped out was because the financial burden on my family was so intense. Yale met "full demonstrated need," but their concept of my family's need was absurd, and their required loan burdens were high. They fully expected my parents to liquidate their own retirement accounts and for my siblings to give up any dream of going to college that would cost anything. My father's honesty on the FAFSA forms was not helpful. He disclosed all his assets to the penny.
I left and returned years later as an independent student. I was in the last class at Yale that was expected to carry any loan burden at all. The class below me had their financial package filled with zero loan obligations, as Yale followed in Princeton's footsteps. I ended up with $71,000 in debt total. Now, six years later, I've paid off a higher-interest private loan completely, as well as $13,000 in credit card debt so I'm down to $38K of extremely low interest consolidated federal loans.
One thing I noticed when reviewing the Yale Corporation's financials is that Yale spends a fraction of one percent of the *interest* generated by the massive endowment on operational expenses. If you remove the expense of operating the financial aid office, and you remove the revenue of tuition and fees, Yale would need to raise their operational expense funding from *interest* on the endowment to something like 5% (I can't remember exactly) up from 1%, and every undergrad could attend the school on a full ride regardless of their parents financial situation. They make most of their money on donations from wealthy alumni and on the interest of the endowment, and that is enough.
They could easily do this with the law school as well... meet "full demonstrated need" - charging students only what they can afford without requiring any loans be taken out! Yale does not in the least depend on income from tuition to operate. I don't understand why they don't do this, except that at the end of the day they are a for-profit corporation, and the market continues to bear the prices they charge, and students are continually willing to take out massive loans, and lenders are willing to lend this money out (especially as it is now non-dischargable - for the most part). There is something about the "professional schools" like architecture, law, business, and medicine that makes them not typically give out grants based on need (to the level that they do for undergrads)... there is some kind of notion that because they are "professional" schools, the students they churn out will all go be professionals and make lots of money. In fact, I decided not to pursue architecture grad school at Yale because even though I had one of the highest scholarships of any student there, I would still have increased my debt to unacceptable levels considering what being an architect pays. I missed making good money doing IT, so I came back to LA and forgot about school for a few years.
Now that I'm reconsidering school, I'm in a totally different place. Of course, I'd rather not take on extra debt, but I'm now confident in my ability to preserve my money making potential throughout the law school experience, and I will gain expanded capabilities in my field rather than be narrowed into a separate field with a very low income.
EDIT: The length of this post proves my assertion that I'm bored at work.