Anonymous User wrote:Hi TLS. Hoping to get some thoughts on what to do in my predicament. I am a T2 grad at a v20 firm; graduated in 2015 so wrapping up my first year.
I was lucky enough to attend law school for free but have a bit of debt left from undergrad and living expenses. By January 2017, when bonuses are paid, I expect to have about 19k of zero interest debt left in my name with about 25k liquid (not including 401k). My monthly payment on that zero interest loan is 283 per month.
It has been a rough year. While I have enjoyed making money, I feel like it has come at a real personal cost. I feel isolated from friends and family. The summer has been slower but I feel anxious about falling behind on hours or somehow getting shunned. I have worked in office environments before and felt a lot more comfortable around colleagues; there's a certain severity among my colleagues that is hard to deal with day in and day out.
The bottom line is, given my financial situation, would you walk away or stick with it? The incentives to stay are purely financial. Another year of this would make a meaningful difference in terms of money. Walking away wouldn't give rise to a financial emergency, but I think it could mean walking away from the illusion of an UMC lifestyle that I've been able to construct this year. I might have to slum it a bit more.
For what it's worth, I'm corporate. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!
I'm basically you, except I have subsidized and unsubsidized fed loans, have more time in law. I've gotten used to the biglaw salary, but I'm working to get into public interest in an expensive city to live in.
From what I've learned so far, definitely wait for the two year mark; it'll suck, but the fact that you're working to something different will help. Boost your resume for the next job as much as possible (including getting as much experience, volunteer or otherwise, that will help with the next venture). Send out resumes, go back to your school to try to get alumni information or go to networking events for people in the industry, make coffee dates with people in the industry to get more information/show interest in the field, etc. Not only does it look better to spend at least two years at a job (and not only will many other jobs require multiple years of post-school experience), but this will allow you to develop proof that you're serious about making the switch--because you're making serious efforts to engage in public interest even with your demanding job, and are not just thinking public interest will save you from biglaw hours.
Would someone in this position maybe be able to ask HR to reduce their hourly schedule?