dixiecupdrinking wrote:How is it a "short term benefit" to choose less money for a better life? What are the "long term difficulties" of working in public interest law and getting your loans forgiven? You're framing this as if there's something virtuous about choosing to work crazy hours, in a job that teaches you little substantive skills, for money. But it's a morally neutral decision at best.
In the short term, if both a PSLF and a Biglaw dude have six-figure debt in a major market, they'll probably spend relatively comparable amounts on expenditures for at least a couple years, and the PSLF dude will have the advantage of that schedule instead of a Biglaw schedule. But ten years down the line, the Biglaw dude will probably be in-house somewhere where the hours differential between the two isn't quite so large, and the Biglaw dude will have the salary differential and according compounded investment opportunities that the PSLF dude doens't have. That means that compared to the Biglaw dude, the PSLF dude will be delayed and/or constrained in buying a house, having children, saving for retirement etc. And then there's the risk of the tax bomb not being fixed.
Anonymous User wrote:Thats what I was thinking. He said "Biglaw is a choice that's as much about your life at 47 as your life at 27." And he seemingly meant this from a financial perspective. But thats ignoring another side of the coin. Do you really want to wake up at 47, financially secure, only to realize that you are an absent father and husband, that you sacrificed your passions and dreams, that you have been ground up by stress-related depression and anxiety for years more than you would like to admit?
You have to understand that, for many people, its a conscious and calculated trade off. Yes, they are accepting that their standard of living will be lower, that they may only be able to have one kid vs. having more, may have to wait longer to own a home (which will be smaller than if they stayed in biglaw), etc. But to someone who made that calculated choice, the tradeoff is almost always viewed as infinitely worthwhile.
I would hope people aren't still working Biglaw hours at 47, or even 37, without getting paid $500k or maybe even $1M to do it. I know that by the time I'm ready to have kids, there would have to be a massive benefit for me to remain in a job that didn't let me regularly be home for dinner. That's why I think single people don't have quite as much to sacrifice working long hours as those in LTRs (with whom I'm more empathetic to get a better schedule, but that's just me). Yes, you give up the chance to do things in your twenties you might have wanted, and yes, the stress/depression/anxiety is likely to build up. And many who make the conscious, calculated trade-off are right to do so. I'd be more concerned for the dude who wakes up one day and quits out of anger when he really might've needed the money for his life goals.