Back

ABA Journal

Home

Careers

Expert: Law grad can repay entire $215K student loan debt by 2020 if he lives with his parents

Sep 23, 2013, 09:30 pm CDT

Comments

Even faster, if he gets a couple of paper routes on the side.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 23, 10:20 pm CDT

@1 Collecting aluminum cans, and keeping your eyes peeled for loose change in the sidewalk may help as well.

He might also consider selling some plasma.

By Yankee on 2013 09 23, 11:25 pm CDT

So he works as a computer programmer and gets to live win his parents until he's 30 to pay off the privilege of going to law school. I have 2 sons in High Schhol. Would never tell either one to go to law school and I got my entire education, including law school for free with scholarships. It's hardly worth being in debt equal to a nice house payment.

By Greg Moore on 2013 09 24, 1:49 am CDT

Cans, change and selling plasma would also be good ideas. Maybe he could enter a few bum fights with small cash purses. We need to get back to the concept of debtors actually trying to repay what they owe.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 24, 2:33 am CDT

Great advice, unless you don't have parents or grandparents.

By Really on 2013 09 24, 2:50 am CDT

With such frugal habits, marketable skills, and generous parents, how did he rack up $215,000 in student loan debt to begin with?

By Pushkin on 2013 09 24, 2:57 am CDT

@McLeod @4 -

Great idea. When are you Boomers going to start paying off all of your bad mortgage debt, unfunded tax cuts and wars, and absurdly-large-but-still-ineffective stimuli?

@Pushkin,

Hi. It's 2013, not 2003. $215k in student loans is not that uncommon for law school grads. A lot of private law schools cost $75k, $80k, even getting up to $85k. Per year, mind you. So that's $250k, right there. And of course, grad school loans aren't subsidized anymore, so tack on another $25k to $30k in interest by the time repayment comes around. And $5k to $10k for bar exam expenses. And let's be nice and just use the average undergrad debt of $27k. That's a touch north of $300k. Even if you get a market-rate BigLaw job in NYC, you'll still be eligible for IBR/PAYE, which are for graduates with "partial financial hardships." In fact, you'd be eligible for those programs if you made double the market-rate BigLaw salary (according to the calculators at finaid.org). And if you say "I'm not going to enroll in those programs," you'll find that your standard repayment of about $3650/month is perilously close to half of your take-home salary if you live in NYC.

By Unemployed Northeastern on 2013 09 24, 4:00 am CDT

Pay attention. I have no debt and have been very vocal in opposition to the wars and the alleged "stimuli". Also (as should be reasonably clear by now), I have opposed "unfunded tax cuts" if you mean those that are unaccompanied by spending reductions. If you are dead flat broke and in debt, you have done it yourself and with no help from me. Man up.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 24, 7:08 am CDT

Unemployed Northeastern - Pay attention - reading is fundamental. My post said someone who allegedly is as "frugal" as Post, has "marketable skills" (so he can make money on the side), and has "generous parents" (so he is not paying for everything himself), should not have $250K in debt. I take it that someone with your up-to-date "2013" understanding of things just borrows money while in law school and doesn't do anything to minimize expenses or generate income. Back in the good old days of "2003" (or before the Millennials whenever that was), people thought it was important to produce income as well as generate expenses. Some still do, and their stories can be found on blogs, but they are people who are truly frugal and whose work ethic is as well developed as their borrowing ethic. Your principal expertise seems to be borrowing. Maybe that's the reason you're (allegedly) unemployed.

By Pushkin on 2013 09 24, 12:25 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By NoleLaw on 2013 09 24, 12:47 pm CDT

I graduated from law school in 2005 with ~$60,000 in student-loan debt. My interest rate is ~1.675% and my monthly payment is $235 on a 30-year loan. I made more conservative choices in accruing debt than many of my peers. But the discrepancies between interest rates on student loans from those graduating in 2005 to those graduating in 2010 or 2013 seems unfair to me.

By ED on 2013 09 24, 3:03 pm CDT

@McLeod,

No one pays attention to you - you're just the sad little person who posts soooo much on this site that you are often mistaken for a staffer. Some life you've carved out there.

@Pushkin,

My principal expertise is trying to survive in the complete sh*tstorm the Boomers have made of the economy, hiring, and the cost of education. Like McLeod, yours appears to be a holier-than-thou countenance on a not-very-widely read legal blog.

By Unemployed Northeastern on 2013 09 24, 4:01 pm CDT

So a reference to a member of the equid family will result in comment removal, whereas a reference to a stillborn bovine fetus is acceptable. I always new the beef lobby has disproportionate influence in this country, but didn't know it reached this far. Quite the ass I've been.

By NoleLaw on 2013 09 24, 4:19 pm CDT

12, you're just feeding the trolls. Oldheads like to ignore the financial problems of the younger generation, but touch their social security and you'll a whole new level of outrage.

By DCW on 2013 09 24, 6:41 pm CDT

B. McLeod is right. If you sign the loan papers attesting you've read the fine print saying you are the only person liable for repayment, it's your problem. Crying about things being easier or harder in the old days doesn't solve the dilemma of folks who made bad bets on their future repayment prospects. Non sequiturs about someone else's perceived benefits or assets doesn't help either, but underwater loan recipients also shouldn't enjoy a huge financial windfall by demanding others rescue them by paying for their education. The prior financing system with limited paths to bankruptcy to discharge some loans or ease payment burdens seemed fairer than today's government sponsored indentured servitude.

By Cheeser on 2013 09 24, 7:24 pm CDT

Yes, of course Cheeser, we're responsible. So are the lenders, who would go under and be incapable of providing any of these loans were it not for bailouts and very favorable bankruptcy laws. But that's the nature of a republic: we elected officials, they didn't listen to our interests, and they passed laws which are highly favorable to lenders. The lending industry has grown, and so has the higher education. Some private equity firms now earn more from their for-profit universities than any other business which they've invested. Yet we keep telling minor adults to go to the best college possible, take out debt (in some instances when they're as young as 16 or 17 years old). Yet these same individuals cannot even be trusted to drink an alcoholic beverage? But they can sentence themselves to a three decades of indentured servitude and extermination of their family lines? Makes little sense. Instead, it sounds like a calamity for our economy, and a potential risk to national security (given the vast numbers incapable of paying their debts).

By Kill the Mold on 2013 09 24, 9:59 pm CDT

it does seem crazy that kids at 18 can sign up for extreme nondischargeable debt but can't get a drink to celebrate. On a related note, i went to parent day at my freshman college student's campus and saw a discount coupon for a tattoo parlor in the stduent discount book. What? they should definitely not be allowed to get tattooed, indebted over $50,000 or drunk before they're 21.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 09 24, 10:04 pm CDT

Why would they want to "celebrate" that?

Oh, and number 12, at least I have a job.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 24, 10:58 pm CDT

UCLA $200k in debt, $45k salary here. Thanks law school!

The funny thing about this story is that it portrays the kid like he's living a nightmare, which he is, but his story is far better than thousands of law school graduates. At least he had a non-worthless degree to fall back on (the CS degree) where he could earn a living. He's paying his debt down aggressively. This is a far better outcome than legions of law school graduates.

By Brack on 2013 09 25, 3:00 am CDT

Because he is smarter than legions of law school graduates.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 25, 6:09 am CDT

@ 6: Do you know what the tuition is at USC? Now add at least $25,000 per year for living expenses.

By BMF on 2013 09 25, 7:44 am CDT

@ 19 - I don't agree that Mr. Post is living a nightmare. He is not living his dream yet, of course, but he is apparently healthy, his parents are apparently healthy, he has a roof over his head, he has a job that he is capable of doing without serious risk to life or limb, he apparently has enough to eat, and enough sense to buy a suit at Goodwill when he needed to. And he has the determination to get rid of his debt quickly and appears to be making good progress. Good for him. And he will probably have a few healthy decades to practice law once he has the degree paid for and maybe raise a family while he is young and healthy enough to live to see his children grow up.

I have sympathy for him. I am sure that he is disappointed with how things have turned out. I wish that he was having better luck, given that he seems to be a hardworking and determined young man. But let's not exaggerate either. There are plenty of people in this country who really are living nightmares who would be happy to trade places with this young man. If you live in a city, you probably know what parts of town they are sleeping in doorways, or where they are waiting in the rain in the evening for the homeless shelter to open. If you live in the country you may occasionally come across their tents in the woods when you are deer hunting. Or a thousand other stories in a thousand other places. And yes, someday those people could be any of you. You may think that you have made all the right moves to protect yourselves, and you probably have covered everything that is likely to go wrong, but nobody covers every possibility. You could have ended up in a shopping mall in Nairobi, or a hotel in Bali, or worked in the World Trade Center, or even been visiting someone there. Now that is a nightmare.

By Kit on 2013 09 25, 10:40 am CDT

@22 except if you truly believe in the quality of life for future generations of your family over yourself. I readily admit I am worth more dead than alive given my student debt. The student debt discharges; I have nearly $200,000 in a life insurance policy, whereas I am paying about $5,000 per year down on my student loans (which exceed almost $250,000). In such a case, such as the WTC, that's a dream for me. I sometimes (meaning usually every morning I wake-up) hope I die so that my mother (who co-signed my loans) and more importantly my niece have a fair shot at life and aren't faced with the terrible consequences of being a middle-class American family making less than $50k per year but still required to pay the full amount for college and graduate school for their kids. Clearly, my parents couldn't, and I signed the loan papers starting at age 18. Suicide would not help my family since they would not receive the death benefits, so suicide to me is irrational. Also, I do have some religious beliefs, so I'm against suicide. Instead, I look at death almost as a more honorable path for me. One caveat: most of my cousins have listened to my plight. They've avoided the marketing gimmicks by private universities and have stayed in-state or went to smaller private schools on full scholarships. I'm thankful they have a chance and learned from my mistake.

By RE: 22 on 2013 09 25, 12:11 pm CDT

@22 - Thanks for giving this story some perspective. By all accounts, this kid is not an example of the way higher education is failing our generation; he's making six figures at 22. I mean, who could pay off all their loans in 7 years without living with their parents, or being in some form of a loan forgiveness program? The larger debate is one worth having, but on this site, all that these stories draw are the same old tired and dimwitted arguments.

By NoleLaw on 2013 09 25, 12:30 pm CDT

@ 23 - I do feel for you and your plight. It is not an easy position to be in. Thank you for sharing your story and your perspective.

I would strongly discourage suicide even if you had a policy that had been in effect long enough that your relatives would cash in. The worst part of suicide is that a large proportion do not succeed but do harm themselves incredibly badly. Don't know the percentages, but even very knowledgeable people end up in gruesome painful conditions but alive, and probably not in a position to try again for a very long time. Especially with firearms. People shoot off part of their head and live. Go figure. Now that is someone who is living a nightmare.

Your situation is seriously depressing, and it sounds like you are seriously depressed which would make It worse. Believe me, I know that from experience. I hope that you can get some help for your depression, even if it is a realistic response to your situation. And I hope that you can find a path out of your situation short of death or disability. Do you have any other marketable skills? You aren't perhaps secretly a plumber or a welder, are you? Both seem to be in demand in many parts of the country, even now. And some of them make considerably more than the bottom quarter of gainfully employed lawyers.

There was one lawyer who decided to become a maid and advertised to get clients by asking if people had ever wanted to see a lawyer scrub toilets. Boy there are a lot of people in this country who loved the idea of hiring a lawyer to clean their house. So a law degree can lead to employment opportunities you probably never anticipated. Or at least it can lead to getting told a lot of lawyer jokes!

Many people who think they are worth more dead than alive do not realize how much they mean to their families. I don't know you, but I would be extremely surprised if your mom and niece feel the same way you do.

Meanwhile, get the toll free number for a suicide prevention hotline, and call if you ever think you have found the perfect way to commit suicide and make it look like an accident. You almost certainly can't.

If you cannot call a hotline for some reason, go to an emergency room and ask for the psychiatric resident on call. Tell them it is an emergency, and they will take care of things from there on. There are plenty of people ready to help, and some of them are willing to drop what they are doing and see what it will take to keep you alive and sane. Let them. Tell your mother and your niece what you have been thinking, and promise them that you will get help so you don't do it.

I can't guarantee that things will get better, and I can't guarantee that you can handle the problems you are facing. I can pretty much guarantee that suicide will not make things better for anyone. Loosing a friend or relative to suicide or avoidable sudden death is awful. Really really aweful.

By Kit on 2013 09 25, 1:35 pm CDT

@25, thank you for your concern, but as I explicitly stated, I am not suicidal.

By 23 on 2013 09 25, 2:22 pm CDT

@ 19, 23: You are not alone. It seems bad. It is bad. I will go so far as to say that it will get better. Please, please call a hotline. They are there because they want to talk to you. Really. They won't judge, which in our profession is a blessing.

Mr. Post seems like a smart guy. I hope he realizes how fortunate he is and runs with his computer programming/law degree. At 30, with no debt, he'll still be young enough to enjoy what he's worked for.

I have been an associate, partner and managing partner. One takeaway from this article is that there is a disconnect from the profession of law and the realities of the practice of law. In my experience, admittedly 10 years out now, there are few open conversations about the realities of practice before a student applies to law school, and law school curriculum fails (or declines) to educate students in that vein. I loved so many things about the practice (in greater Boston) but ultimately I could not sustain the trend of being available 24/7, billing every moment (and beating myself up when I didn't), growing incivility (between everyone: the courts, court staff, counsel and clients) and being constantly second guessed. As a managing partner, it became increasingly difficult to balance technology costs, continuing education, salaries and benefits (including full health care for the employees in our small firm) with demands to hold the line on the hourly rate, do less with more and then compete with the marketing budgets of larger regional firms. Taxes (federal, state and local) ate much of what appeared to be my very decent salary. No retirement plan, no health care. I walked away. Sallie Mae will continue to get her payments until I am 60.

I wish someone had sat me down and really talked about what it means to be a lawyer before I signed those loans. I'm sure I would have made the same choices -but I wouldn't have that little nagging voice at 2 a.m. on bad nights that laughs: you got swindled.

By FormerEsq on 2013 09 25, 3:08 pm CDT

Where do people get those misperceptions of practicing law? Blame Hollywood! LA Law, Boston Legal. (The lawyers in those shows rarely have financial problems). Will there be a class action lawsuit against William Shatner?

Would-be law students should spend time observing in a courthouse before applying. While most attorney's don't spend a lot of time in court, you will get a much better impression of exactly how "glamorous and lucrative" the profession is. An often interesting profession, but not quite like how the television shows portray it.

What is alarming about this story is that USC is not a "T4" school; arguably it has been the leading school in southern California, at least in terms of employment potential. So Post is arguably not one of McLeod's mooncalves. Is the legal employment market in Southern California really THIS bad, or is this an age discrimination case?

By William Able on 2013 09 25, 7:04 pm CDT

Unemployed Northeastern, great posts.

@ 23 -
Before I start this, I am not a bankruptcy attorney. I am a JD,MBA,LLM working for $40k take home studying for the CFA so that I can get a better job. I have over $300K in debt and I am looking into this for myself.

First, as to the morality of student loan discharges: Long have the bankruptcy courts permitted unsuccessful businessmen who run their business into the ground to use bankruptcy as a means of escaping life-crushing debt. Further, individuals who outspend their income on purchases they do not need can escape debt. It is reasonable that students who, after following the advice of their school and the lead of their creditors, find themselves in a tanked-economy without job prospects should have the same relief. And they do, at the higher standard of "undue hardship."

It is my understanding that these are adversarial proceedings.

11 USC § 523(8) disallows the discharge of student loan debt unless such debt would cause an undue hardship. An undue hardship test is defined in Brunner:
1. the debtor must demonstrate a good-faith willingness to pay the loans ( Don't stop paying even if they go bad),
2. the debtor's current income-levels are such that paying back the loans over the loan repayment period would create an undue hardship, and
3. It is likely that this undue hardship would persist throughout a significant portion of the loan repayment period.

In the event of a discharge, it will likely be partial.
As for cosigners: They would likely need to take part in the proceedings and demonstrate the same. You would likely need separate attorneys.

Good luck.

By Reasonable is as Reasonable does on 2013 09 25, 7:06 pm CDT

"My goal as a college graduate, law school graduate, and attorney working 80 hours/week is to move out of my parents' house by age 35."

Let's think about this for a minute and compare to:

"My goal as a high school dropout with a welding certificate is to pay off my house by age 25."

By associate on 2013 09 25, 7:37 pm CDT

Perhaps if you weld your own house together from scrap metal.

By NoleLaw on 2013 09 25, 7:42 pm CDT

1. Require schools to hold a fixed percentage (say 10%) of each student's total student loans in their trust.
2. Make student loans dischargeable.


All of the problems will correct themselves in less than 1 year. Now, where's the party?

By associate on 2013 09 25, 7:45 pm CDT

There must be a creative solution to this student loan problem. You can't saddle hundreds of thousands of people with unpayable debts and not expect ripple effects in the economy. But then again, you could say the same thing about illegal immigration and the government doesn't care about that either.

Unlike others, I have no confidence that debtors will be bailed out from the tax bomb that hits when you discharge your debt after 25 years. I am 100% confidence that any attempt to allow dischargeability of student loans will be legislatively blocked by the higher education and banking lobbies.

If you go to law school now, you're just a moron who may not know how to read and definitely doesn't understand how to conduct mentally-handicapped-level Google research. If you earn your paycheck from a law school, just know that people have to suffer for your income.

@28 where do people get these "misperceptions" about practicing law? The law schools, the U.S. News & World Report. The law schools (almost all of them) advertise 90% employment with $160,000 average salary. It's not unreasonable to take out large loans if you're taking them out on the premise that you will make a large salary. However, as most of us have learned, law schools are run by thieves and liars who will do and say anything in order to keep the federal loan spigot flowing. I wouldn't be surprised if things get really ugly if law schools continue to destroy hundreds of thousands of young adults' lives.

By Brack on 2013 09 26, 1:56 am CDT

@Brack and all others who say that anyone going to law school must be an idiot and/or illiterate and/or just plain stupid - your broad generalization doesn't take into account that there is more to practicing law than making money. If someone is interested in law school simply because they think they're going to come out with a six-figure income, then I agree - they're really stupid and shouldn't go to law school. If someone is genuinely interested in the degree and the career opportunities behind it, then I say education is never a waste. That person does, however, have to have his or her eyes open to the cost and take all possible measures to keep costs down. I graduated from a T3 school in the midwest, but most of my class are now employed in the law in one way or another, and those of us who came into it because we loved it are enjoying what we do. Many of them are busting their butts to build their own practices since they couldn't get hired by another firm. If you're wiling to work hard and stay open to opportunities, then you can use income based repayment while you get on your feet and pay down your loans in a later part of your life when money is more flush. Or let the remainder get forgiven after 25 years of paying and figure out how to deal with the tax debt to the IRS (which, while annoying, will still be a lot less than your actual loans). Is it a perfectly rosy picture? No. Is it the same risk that ANYONE going to ANY college or professional program takes when they take out student loans? Yes. It's part of modern life. And for those of us who grew up in poverty, it's a risk we have to take.

On a side note - I do agree that we should be encouraging people who have an interest in a trade to go into that trade or schooling for that trade instead of a 4 year degree. Different people have different interests, and we need to stop devaluing trades and manual labor jobs as being somehow "less" than a job you get with a degree.

By RecentGrad on 2013 09 26, 1:44 pm CDT

@33 - Here's a solution. Sequester your funds for your own personal use, do not extend your debt ceiling or appropriate funds for the repayment of those loans.

By NoleLaw on 2013 09 26, 2:13 pm CDT

34, Wrong. There is NOT more to practicing law than money. It is a JOB. If you didn't need the money, you wouldn't be doing it. And if you would, then congrats, you have EXACTLY the scenario that you were hoping for; a job and no money.

By associate on 2013 09 26, 2:22 pm CDT

trades are good, but you got to get in to the right line of work. not just ditch digging.... buddy does big pipeline welding, makes as much (or more) as I do, works half the year, doesn't worry about sheet. yeah it's kinda physically tiring and demanding, and there's pressure to do it right, but it's not draining in the same way.

lawyering is in general a hard road. on the good side, i can probably still be lawyering away at age 80, when my welder friend will be finished...i guess that's a good side...with refinancing and deferments, the loans I started taking out at age 29 won't be paid off until i am 59! and my mortgage isn't done until 2043. so...let's keep at it, people...

By defensive lawyer on 2013 09 26, 3:22 pm CDT

@34 Agreed there is more to going to law school than making money, obviously. The problem is the tuition charged by law schools and the lies and deceptions the law schools promulgate. When you tell a prospective applicant (who cannot be expected to have a practitioner's understanding of an industry) that 90% of graduates are employed after 9 months and the average salary for graduates is $160,000, it's not unreasonable for a 22-year-old prospective applicant to think they can at least expect a $70-75k salary upon graduation. And law schools know this and exploit it by jacking up tuition expenses each and every year. The fine organization that publishes this journal and is supposedly charged with maintaining the integrity of this profession does nothing to dispel the deceptive and fraudulent behavior perpetuated by law schools.

If a law school told students: realistically, you can expect to make about $40-50k after you pass the bar. That's what the vast majority of grads make. If you're one of a handful of grads, you *might* have the opportunity to make $120-160k at a big firm, which will most likely let you go within 3 to 5 years. But that's clearly asking too much.

Law schools are run by greedy, rapacious, profit-motivated individuals. If a prospective law student understands that and bakes that knowledge into their decision-making process, then the market might be fair. But the information asymmetry which weighs to an unfair degree in the law school industry's favor is grossly fraudulent.

The misperceptions and misunderstanding on the part of law school applicants regarding salary and career expectations rests squarely on the shoulders of law schools. I didn't watch legal TV shows, movies, or anything like that. I researched NALP stats, U.S. News & World Report stats, and compared job statistics offered by hundreds of law schools before applying. I mistakenly believed that an institution that holds the public trust (especially so when that institution receives taxpayer funds) has a duty to disclose, to be forthcoming, and to honestly report graduate outcomes. I am still shell-shocked at how the law schools lie through their teeth about the job opportunities that await law graduates.

It's all well and good to tell law grads who have been swindled & had their financial futures decimated to move on, to grow a pair, to stop whining, etc. But is that what we tell victims of the housing crisis? Is that what we tell Bernie Madoff's victims? When investment opportunities fraudulently promise a certain level of return on investment, should an attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission turn a blind eye? Why then should law graduates who have been swindled and lied to just sit back and take it? Public awareness about the greedy lying thieves that run law schools needs to be raised significantly. Disclosure laws need to be passed regarding what sort of information education institutions can publish, not unlike the investment industry (education is always described as an "investment in yourself," no?).

The education industry has run ripshod through the public trust it earned and engaged in a disgusting grab for federal loan money. Tuition rates, professor salaries, and admin salaries bear no relation to an actual market of supply and demand. The federal government's guarantee of ungodly amounts of non-dischargeable federal loans has skewed the market and untethered it from reality. It's time for the education industry to come back to earth. A law professor who teaches Torts to first-year law students does not deserve a CEO's salary. The backlash is coming and it won't be pretty. It's only just begun.

By Brack on 2013 09 26, 3:46 pm CDT

Brack, couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you on behalf of a plurality (if not majority) of the Classes of 2007-2012!

By Contract Attorney on 2013 09 26, 4:21 pm CDT

associate @ 36: Thanks.

And before you all start piling on #36 for speaking his mind, let me add what I told the 3L in my toxic torts class years ago when she gushed "This stuff is boring! I can hardly wait until I get out and start practicing REAL LAW!"

The real practice of law is not like 'Ally McBeal' or any of those other TV shows you guys watch. It's tedious, repetitive, and it's often the mental equivalent of cleaning toilets!

By BMF on 2013 09 26, 10:57 pm CDT

@McLeod @ 18,

"At least I have a job."

I guess we'll just have to take your word for it, prolific ABA troll with very little to say.

By Unemployed Northeastern on 2013 09 26, 11:37 pm CDT

"By all accounts, this kid is not an example of the way higher education is failing our generation; he’s making six figures at 22."

Programmers don't make their money because of higher education. They learn to program by programming, and working with others who program. You think Gates, Allen, Jobs, Woz, Zuckerberg etc. were successful because of higher education?

Some great lines in this thread:
"On a related note, i went to parent day at my freshman college student’s campus and saw a discount coupon for a tattoo parlor in the stduent discount book."

"My principal expertise is trying to survive in the complete sh*tstorm the Boomers have made of the economy, hiring, and the cost of education."

As for me, I'm just thankful about what our governments (federal and state) have been doing over the last few decades to make education, health care and housing affordable. They're doing a bang-up job of that. My parents bought a house in 1973 for $25K. The house is now worth about $300K. I went to college in 1984 - total tuition for 4 years was less than $20K. Annual tuition at that school is now $40K. Now that I look at those two, health care inflation doesn't seem that bad. :-)

By Warren Redlich on 2013 09 27, 11:42 am CDT

Quick do the numbers, how long for a 63 year old solo to pay off daughters 80k loans for four year college experience in Chestnut Hill!
never? I thought so.
Hey, it was a boomers gift to his child.

By John on 2013 09 27, 12:09 pm CDT

When will the bankruptcy laws be restored. Federal student loans where dischargeable in the 90's and private student loans where dischargeable up until 2005. Law School costs more now and students have no avenue out of theses loans. I am all for paying back loans that have been given to a person on a fair assessment on that persons ability to pay back the loan, however these loans hold no such merit.

By Marie on 2013 09 27, 1:23 pm CDT

I find it hard to place too much blame on this kid for his situation. I think he, much like myself and many others, was too smart for his own good. He excelled in school and figured that this would translate to his career as well. I made a similar mistake, but thankfully, my student loan debt is much more manageable.

The thing we, and most law students, lack is experience. And there is no substitute for experience. Unfortunately, those who graduated in the last 15 years or so did not have anyone to turn to for advice. My parents had no experience with student loans and did not know the negative consequences of taking on too much debt. They saw student loans as a way of getting a degree and getting a good job.

No one told me what my monthly payments would be or what monthly salary that I could expect after graduation. The only people offering advice were the schools who focused on inflated averages and emphasized the starting BigLaw salaries (and neglected to tell me that, even graduating cum laude, a BigLaw job is not going to happen). Prior to starting law school, a current law student specifically told me to take out as much in loans as I wanted and not to worry about it because I would have a job to repay the loans.

I suspect that my experience is similar to many with high student loan debt loads. I don't blame anyone but myself for my situation, but I also know that I am lucky to be earning enough that my loan payments are manageable.

Criticizing is easy, understanding is more difficult.

By RJS on 2013 09 27, 1:32 pm CDT

I probably could have all my debts paid off by 2020 if I moved in with this grad's parents too.

By John in Florida on 2013 09 27, 2:34 pm CDT

To grads w/debt: Why has no one mentioned the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs? Manageable payments for 120 months and the remainder of the loan is forgiven. You'd be surprised how fast 10 years can fly by when you love the work that you do (more public service lawyers fall into this category than private). Law schools do seem to push huge loans to students, like Halloween candy to kids (hard to resist). If only the Fin Aid and Career Dev offices pushed part-time paid work nearly as hard. I realize that it is difficult to find the right fit/solution to an individual's law school debt problem, but an "easy" or quick solution is virtually impossible. So stop blogging and get on with it, unless of course any of this has been useful. Maybe go back to your school's financial aid department and ask for help/suggestions. By working with the schools, you can help not only yourself but future grads avoid/lessen this dilemma (maybe they'll even hire you and 10 years later you're debt-free!). Does seem to be a bit of a conflict of interest when the ones pushing the 'candy' loans are already in a public service debt forgiveness position themselves - another self-licking ice cream cone. BTW, I don't think Post has a problem, he's already come up with a creative workable solution involving little to no hardship that I can discern. Good luck.

By Gung Ho on 2013 09 27, 3:29 pm CDT

@ 47. There are not a whole lot of public service jobs out there.

By OH Esq. on 2013 09 27, 3:32 pm CDT

Back in the day before student loans we went to war, came home, got a job and somehow found time to go to college, grad school or law school. It wasn't easy but it was doable. Young people today are much worse off. Education costs are so much higher and jobs either aren't available or don't pay enough to finance both an education and survival. But I just don't see how an intelligent person could allow themselves to incur $215K in non-dischargeable debt for an education which may or may not prove worthwhile. I suppose it is a generational thing that us old farts will never be able to fathom. And DCW you are right about the outrage touching social security would engender among those of my generation. I have been contributing for over 50 years and continue to do so. At some point I would like my money back with a little interest. If your bank told you that they have other uses for the funds in your account wouldn't you be a little put out?

By redwood on 2013 09 27, 3:35 pm CDT

Someone above recommended that the loans be dischargeable.....why? So someone else can end up footing the bill? Who do you think pays the money when the student discharges the loan? You incurred the debt- you pay it back not someone else. That goes for businessman, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

By WINGCMDR on 2013 09 27, 3:36 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By TBP on 2013 09 27, 4:07 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By TBP on 2013 09 27, 4:08 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By TBP on 2013 09 27, 4:11 pm CDT

Dude is NOT going to be happy living with his folks for that long. Says something about the status of the profession when six-figure earners have to live with their parents to get by. Sadly, the same corporate lenders that are fleecing him for 8.5% interest borrowed that money from the government at about 1% interest if that.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 09 27, 4:11 pm CDT

@18. B. McLeod
It is simpler than that. You have succeeded by doing what the failures will not. It has always been thus.
There is always a shortage of good lawyers. There is always an overabundance of attorneys with licenses to practice.

By DE_Law on 2013 09 27, 4:23 pm CDT

It's easy to say we should discharge student loan debt. It's clearly a problem. But nobody talks about specifics and second-tier consequences. It's not like another discharged debt where you also lose the asset (house, car, business, etc) and the ability to benefit from that asset in the future. With education, the asset never goes away. We can't erase your mind. If we allow discharge, every graduate will file bankruptcy before starting their career.

Discharging student loan debt would need to go hand-in-hand with revoking any credentials the degree bestowed. For any licensed occupation, there might be a way to do this. But how do you stop an English major from ever benefiting from his degree? Ban his use of language? It is impractical.

By ExBex on 2013 09 27, 4:40 pm CDT

So...am I missing something here - the young lawyer is now making $100,000 a year as a computer programmer but can't live independently & pay his school loan payment(s) of $2700 a month? I understand he probably can't qualify for a real estate mortgage but he has to live with his parents with this kind of income? I know the costs of living is higher in sunny California than in the South but
seriously?? Plus, how did this young man get out of high school & college to enter law school at 18?If he is that smart - why no scholarships & why didn't a firm snatch him up??? Something just doesn't add up..

By Dixie Chick on 2013 09 27, 4:41 pm CDT

@51,

Yep.

@55,

I've never seen any evidence of McLeod being employed.

@56,

By your logic, then, we should not allow medical debts to be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Creditors can't reclaim your health, after all (not directly, anyhow). And they are, by far, the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy filings. Furthermore, back in the 1970's, when student loans were dischargeable, fewer than 5% of filers had student loans. The old campfire tales of doctors and lawyers filing on the way home from graduation remain just that - campfire tales. And it relies on this absurd notion that filing for bankruptcy is a fun, frivolous thing to do that does not bestow long-term consequences on the filers. Give me a break.

By Unemployed Northeastern on 2013 09 27, 5:38 pm CDT

I am quite surprised that we, as wise seniors, completely blame this kid (or any young adult) about a $200K school debt and simply call them irresponsible. How would these young'uns know? Fill out a couple of forms and BOOM $60K is given to you. The school takes $40K and the student lives a life a closed life of classmates, 4 hours of class, and free pizza for going to Westlaw tutorials. How many of these students ever had to "live in the real world" where mommy and daddy didn't cover housing or food? How many students really understand what a 30 year repayment is when they haven't even lived 30 years? I have never heard a 21 year old talk about bankruptcy or undue hardship. They only talk about making a difference or having a great future.

As for those living in the past where people went to war and debt does not exist. It is not the kids borrowing money today that did away with the draft. It is not the kids today that are voting in congress who make laws preventing dischargeable student loans. It is certainly not the kids today that raised the cost of education, approved massive student loans, and then poo-poo on the kids that realize they have been duped. That is all on us and our choices.

Blaming a 20 year old for borrowing $200K is like blaming a 3 year old for eating too much chocolate. Who gave the 20 year old access to the money in the first place? These are things we created. It would be more helpful if we came up with a solution rather than touting our own superior intellect.

By Intelligent person? on 2013 09 27, 6:04 pm CDT

back in the 70's student loan debt was tiny, filing bankrupcy wouldn't significantl;y affect net worth, so need to file. therefore no flood of filings.

if we opened stdent loans to bankruptcy , people's net worth would icnrease so drastcially from declaring bankruptcy it probably would be a flood of filings. The debt levels are nuts!

i am curious to see how it all unfolds. I love the crazy fixes humanity gets itself into. I am intereste din staying alive just to see what happens. ...

reality counselor for potential law school applicants....that's what we need. pay them handsomely. maybe i can open up a school that accepts federal loans to school these counselors.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 09 27, 6:05 pm CDT

@ 57: Yes, it's possible to enter college at a very young age, and graduate with honors. And most law schools only require a college degree--not a minimum age. Many scholarships have a financial need component for which some very bright people will not qualify--because their parents' income is too high. Even maxing out Pell grants and low-interest Stafford loans, an undergraduate or professional degree can still cost $20-$30K more per year that is not covered by low-interest govt.-backed loans. And if you are employed for more than 20 hours per week, you cannot be a full-time law student.

As for why didn't a firm snatch him up--think like a managing partner for a minute: It's often bad enough when the firm sits a client down with a senior associate who has no clue about the workings of the client's business. In these times when keeping clients is particularly difficult, would you want to take the chance that your clients might not react all that well to an attorney who appears too young to drive and still uses Clearasil.

It may never rain in So-Cal, but the cost of living will keep you poor. Remember that he has no big deductions yet, so state and federal taxes and ER subsidized benefits will take about 30% off his paycheck. So assume his take-home pay is more like $70,000 per year. Let's do the math: A no-frills 1BR apt. that doesn't overlook one of our scenic 10-lane freeways, and where you can still expect to find your car in one piece the next morning, starts at about $1,200 per month. (Double that if you want all the amenities of mom & dad's house, and you would prefer not to use your dining room as your "home office.) "Expenses: $500/mo for food and discretionary dining (a.k.a. "fast food"); $200/mo. for clothes--in addition to employer provided t-shirts and jackets; $300/mo for car; $70/mo for auto ins.; $200/mo for gas; Utilities: $200/mo. for electricity if you use A/C and heat; $40/mo per person for water; $100/mo for cable/internet access (--and it's probably considered un-American NOT to have the Movie Channel!), $90 per month for cell phone plan for smart phone. (Add extra if mom & dad didn't spring for the new upgrade for graduation.) So, if he had no social life, had not unexpected emergencies, and lived frugally for the next (?) years, he could pay the $2,700 per month--with about $223 left over . Or he could live with mom & dad, bank a portion of his savings, and invest the rest--and use any windfall toward an early payoff.

I don't feel too bad for this kid, though. If he's as smart as I think he is, he'll not only thoroughly learn the industry he's a part of, but sit for the patent bar--at his company's expense. By the time most associates at BigLaw are permitted to try their first cases solo, this kid will have enough capital and enough specialized knowledge to set up his own boutique firm.

I just hope mom & dad are making him do his own laundry and cooking. It's sad when engineers with stratospheric IQs get hooked on Fluff 'n' Fold, and are reduced to living on a steady diet of pepperoni and cheese Hot Pockets....

By BMF on 2013 09 27, 6:10 pm CDT

@59:

Exactly. Once the govt passed laws guaranteeing all the student loans a student would need to get their education, the predatory lenders began licking their chops and universities across the nation began jacking their tuition rates.. The blame can only partially fall on the students who were raised in a society where education is trumpeted as golden and something you can never have too much of. Anyone who thinks differently is ignorant, or jaded, or both.

By You call this coffee!? on 2013 09 27, 6:10 pm CDT

@58,

Medical debt is a more disturbing issue. You choose to go to law school voluntarily, and you choose the debt freely. You do not choose disease. And when you make the choice for treatment, you're in a state of distress, often looking at the very essence of survival. It is also distinctly different in that the asset (your medical treatment) just gets you back to a previous baseline condition (health). There is no asset, no net improvement that makes you more able to pay an increased debt load than before the treatment. Education ostensibly leaves you in an improved condition far above your previous baseline and thus forever adding a value. But the cause of the resulting debt crisis is similar to education: hyper-inflated cost of services. In that regard, society needs to address both. Debt is merely a common symptom of two very broken pricing systems.

You cannot seriously compare the discharge of 1970's student loans with the situation today. It is a question of scale. If that generation had the staggering hyper-inflated college debts of today and the unemployment of today with the same glut of college graduates, that 5% figure would be very different.

No, bankruptcy is not fun, but neither is enslavement to staggering debt. Given the choice, there would be a far greater rush to discharge the burden, because the long-term consequences of bankruptcy would be net positive for the individual (albeit not for society). So give me a break!

By ExBex on 2013 09 27, 6:13 pm CDT

As one who was able to get by on scholarships, waiting tables, and much lower costs, it seems to me that much of the above posts are flippant gallows humor and in poor taste. I believe that the bankruptcy laws on student debt discharge should be rolled back to the Clinton era, but there is small chance of that.
As to the high costs of legal education, the ABA should take a stand against it or at least publicize that it is a questionable investment for young persons.

GSL
@ Seattle

By George Lundin on 2013 09 27, 6:24 pm CDT

Never thought I'd see the day that Pushkin's comments are actually contributing to the conversation while B. McLeod is going low brow. B., I generally enjoy your comments and look forward to reading them. I hope whatever has you down in real life gets better.

By Holy backwards day! on 2013 09 27, 6:39 pm CDT

When did your standards for civility fall so low as to tolerate persons whom command other persons to "pay attention" by being responsive to their uncivil posts? You should relearn how to quietly alienate those whom don't live up to the highest standards.

By Civil on 2013 09 27, 8:57 pm CDT

Pay attention. You can review the Comment Policy at the link below. It does not bar imperiously directing the innattentive to straighten up and fly right when they post comments completely contrary to reality. Perhaps you have inadvertently gone astray and stumbled onto the wrong website.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 27, 9:41 pm CDT

Issues relating to law grads or other professionals are magnified for those with education loans in other fields. Traditional colleges and the increasing number of "For Profit" colleges and “Private Career Schools” are full of students who will not be able to find jobs in their chosen area.

The students have been sold the same type of promises–with one exception. The pressure of the sales pitch to potential law students is nothing compared to that applied by “For Profit” colleges. They account for almost half of the student loan defaults but have less than 20% of the students. The receive twice as much money through the GI-Bill per student and have graduation rates almost half of that of other types of colleges. “For Profit” colleges receive almost 90% of their revenues from taxpayer dollars. I attended one of those “major football powers” that runs infomercials during half-time. Although the value of the education they provide may be exaggerated, the fare ground out by the private educational industry is shocking in comparison. Promotional material from "For Profit" colleges and “Private Career Schools resembles the email I get from Nigeria.

By John in Florida on 2013 09 27, 10:09 pm CDT

All these pessimistic E-mails, mostly off-topic.

The story is actually about a person only two years oiut of school who is 24 now and reasonably likely to have his whole loan debt paid off in six years (i.e., by age 30). Sooner, if he follows some of the reasonable suggestions above to garner some additional income.

Although half the losers in the universe have glommed onto this thread with their tales of woe, this story about Post is about a guy who slung his pack and figured his way out of his student loan troubles. He is the antithesis of all the whining, crying mooncalves mooing for bankruptcy relief here.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 27, 10:39 pm CDT

Look - McLeod is quoting the commenting policy, just as if he were a real employee of the ABA! Isn't that the most precious thing you've ever seen? And late on a Friday night, too! You really have no life whatsoever, do you?

By Unemployednortheastern on 2013 09 27, 11:31 pm CDT

Well, look, we are lawyers. So, where can this person stash some money undetected and unmolested, and then where can he emigrate to, default on all his debts, get access to his stash and keep it? We should be able to figure that out.

Do you seriously believe the top equity partners at the most prestigious law firms wouldn't know the answers?

But would they advise this person to do it? No, of course not. No one would suggest any such thing.

They would, however, "explore the benefits and risks" with him quite candidly, and perhaps with bemusement. And I don't blame them.

Knowing there is some alternative, even a rather bizarre one, might boost his morale if nothing else.

I know I don't like feeling cornered.

By Funny Money? Sure on 2013 09 28, 4:37 am CDT

Sometimes references to the Comment Policy are important, to help the inattentive with what is and is not covered. Also, 4:41 P.M. is not "late on a Friday night," even for children. This sort of perception error may explain why Post has an income, while Unemployed Northeastern has only his bitterness toward his betters.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 28, 2:51 pm CDT

Treating others snidely is uncivil -- even where it is permitted -- and being uncivil does not cause anyone to hold the object of the remark in low regard.

By Civil on 2013 09 28, 3:03 pm CDT

McLeod,

1. Your last comment came in at about 6:45PM Eastern Time, on a Friday. That's pretty late to be on this site - at least, for anyone with family, friends, hobbies, pets, etc.

2. All you post are non-sequiturs and vitriol. It is a rare day indeed when you contribute anything on-topic or of any insight, relevance, or legal substance. This is as true today as it was when I started reading this site in like 2005.

3. When people start talking about their actual real-world problems, as they are in this thread, you have nothing but snark and disdain for them. This doesn't accomplish anything for you except expose you as a sad, little person of limited empathy and understanding. You set a horrible example for the ABA, which is struggling to gain younger members, and quite frankly, your desperate need to lead the conversation in every single thread on this board is pathetic. The issue of law school debt and un/underemployment are actually quite serious, no matter how many times you call us mooncalves, anonymous internet poster who has never had the stones to tell the group what schools you attended, where you've worked, in what practice areas, etc.

Unemployed Northeastern. I don't have to write "NOT ON ABA STAFF" because I have better things to do with my time.

By Unemployed Northeastern on 2013 09 28, 4:45 pm CDT

Wow. The whole country does not run on "Eastern time." There are jobs in other places, too. Perhaps some year, you will grow hungry enough to go look for one.

My comments often provide insight, relevance, and substance. They are not helpful to you simply becaue you have already made every mistake in the book and you refuse to try to help ypurself. However, even the most dullwitted mooncalf who has not made those mistakes or has not given up may profit by my comments, thereby avoiding your unemployed, debt-ridden fate.

Further, my disdain is not primarily for the self-caused problems of the whining mooncalves, nor even for their stupidity. What I disdain is their continuing to wallow in self-pity as they wait for their fairy godmother, or bankruptcy, or some other miracle that isn't coming to solve their problems for them. It is not going to work, and again, even the most dullwitted mooncalf who finally listens to that point will be further ahead than those who simply adopt all your crybaby rants and sit about scratching themselves on dungheaps. In this way, my comments are potentially helpful to them, while yours are not and never will be. I am practically a saint in taking as much time as I do to try to educate and inspire a bunch of mooncalves, and I am surprised you don't appreciate it.

B. McLEOD,
NOT ON ABA STAFF

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 28, 5:11 pm CDT

@74 Unemployed Northeastern

6:45 pm, even on a Friday, is often a work hour for attorneys. Some of us typically have to work until 10 pm (or even 3 am) and can only take off Saturday nights (and not always). Or any time of the night, depending on where in the world we are working that week.

Besides, McLeod is obviously in the Chicago area, where it would have been only 5:45 pm.

By William Able on 2013 09 28, 5:15 pm CDT

Heh. For such a omnipresent troll, McLeod, you've proven to have a very thin skin. How amusing.

1. I'm glad you can parrot my phrase "insight, relevance, and substance." That doesn't mean it's true. Feel free to link to your most recent comment that involves actual legal substance.

2. People on this thread - not me, you'll notice - are talking about hoping that they can file for bankruptcy. Some are even talking about suicide. Your response to those people, at post 69, is to call them "whining," "crying" "losers." That makes you a very low piece of trash. Don't worry, though, old-timer: someday those people you now trod on will be dancing on your grave. Oh, and if you read real carefully, you'll note that I haven't talked about my situation at all, and in fact you have no real idea if I am actually unemployed or indebted.

3. For a dull-witted mooncalf, this pseudonym has certainly been invited to write for a number of publications: the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Atlantic, etc. Heck, less than two months ago, Chris Zombroy over on the print side of the ABA Journal asked if he could use one of my comments in the monthly magazine. I turned him down. I know that shocks you, since posting here appears to be your life's calling, but it doesn't mean that much to me.

OK, I'm going outside now. Enjoy your bitterness and schadenfreude, little man. I look forward to reading many, many thousands more posts from you in the coming years. I'll be laughing at you (not with you) after each one.

By Unemployed Northeastern on 2013 09 28, 6:28 pm CDT

50, I don't advocate making all loans dischargeable... just all NEW loans. That, combined with making the schools keep a piece of the crap sandwich they're shoveling on others will change the value proposition in a single summer. The situation continues because it can. Change the incentives, and it will immediately rectify itself.

The point of making NEW loans dischargeable is to end the run-up in student debt. It wouldn't solve the backlog, but as the market corrects (i.e., law school enrollment goes to zero for five years or so), those with debt and no jobs could find work.

By associate on 2013 09 28, 6:33 pm CDT

@ Unemployed Northeastern

You're comments are not doing credit to your law school's reputation, if you are really from that school.

Northeastern (at least previously) has had a reputation as being a solid school, well-known for its coop programs. I'm not a graduate of that school, but I've had great respect for their coop approach, and I urge other readers (and potential employers) not to consider "Unemployed Northeastern" as representative.

By William Able on 2013 09 28, 7:42 pm CDT

Unemployed Northeastern, it is fascinating how you alternatively grouse about your inability to earn, and then boast about the plethora of people you contend want to acquire your inestimable writing skills.

You can hand-hold the people crying for death and bankruptcy if you want, but it won't help them. (Just as you have never been able to help anyone, even yourself). What they need is a good, strong dose of William T. Sherman and George S. Patton, not another crybaby crying with them.

As for your laughing, why not? It isn't like you are doing anything productive anyway. It is probably less a waste of time than your coming here, as a total failure who has never done anything of note, to tell us all what's what with the world according to you. Maybe the extent of your own, totally cocked-up life, your absence of a job, and your continuing bitterness toward those smarter and more skilled than you is a reflection of the true worth of your opinions and advice? I would say so.

That's why the Journal is writing about Post (who is doing something about his troubles) and not about you.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 28, 9:12 pm CDT

Ah, the joy of trolls. Don't let them keep you down Unemployed Northeastern. I hear you pal, loud and clear. Keep your chin up, and don't let the likes of Messrs. Able or McLeod hold you down. Their idea of helping the profession is pissing in the wind and squawking in rhetoric and jest. At least you articulate actual issues facing the profession Unemployed Northeastern. Besides, I imagine the reason Unemployed Northeastern writes here is this is the official journal of the American Bar Association. If someone from the ABA (which controls law school accreditation) is going to notice a comment online, it would be here. Or maybe not. Either way, at least Unemployed Northeastern is attempting to warn future generations, and perhaps even make a change for a better for them, realizing s/he and I are already screwed for life.

By K Attorney on 2013 09 28, 10:37 pm CDT

Of course, B. McLeod is also attempting to warn future generations, but with the really stupid ones, it is not easy.

The last couple of years, applications are down. At responsible schools, class size is down. I doubt this is primarily (if at all) attributable to the whiners, who are too easily dismissed by mooncalves as having an axe to grind. Rather, it can only be due to the credible and objective voices of those who did not incur six-figure debt while failing to achieve employable status, telling mooncalves to PAY ATTENTION.

And so, the market is correcting, as even mooncalves begin to see the magnitude of the downside to the six-figue law school risk play.

By B. McLeod on 2013 09 28, 11:23 pm CDT

@78 Associate,

I like your way of thinking. People who have existing loans would cry foul, but going forward, that is the type of solution we need. A financial interest makes for greater accountability than any regulation. Schools that hold significant portions of loans would do a great bit more to keep costs down and ensure students are trained for gainful employment. And it still gives students an exit for dire situations.

Yet, those new students could still game the system, file bankruptcy anyway to discharge the debt, and go on to gainful employment. But I guess the hope would be that loans go down in size so bankruptcy is seen again as not being worth the consequences. People will always do what is in their self-interest.

By ExBex on 2013 09 29, 12:01 am CDT

No student loan discharge - or at the least, only with cut backs on the amount of student loan availability. Whether the commodity is housing, health care or student aid, massive government involvement and subsidy results in higher prices.

By Jim Cossitt on 2013 09 30, 4:51 am CDT

@82, McLeod, who said:

"The last couple of years, applications are down. At responsible schools, class size is down. I doubt this is primarily (if at all) attributable to the whiners, who are too easily dismissed by mooncalves as having an axe to grind. Rather, it can only be due to the credible and objective voices of those who did not incur six-figure debt while failing to achieve employable status, telling mooncalves to PAY ATTENTION.

And so, the market is correcting, as even mooncalves begin to see the magnitude of the downside to the six-figue law school risk play. "

Yes, McLeod, it's kind of funny what people are able to see when law schools are forced by the ABA to be more honest in their statistics, isn't it? This market correction that you highly tout only occurred because people began to insist that law schools be held accountable for false statistics. What a coincidence that now that law schools can no longer lie with impunity the market is beginning to correct at just the exact same time!

Of course, none of this would have happened if your lame comments - you know, the ones that continually blamed newbies' laziness for their lack of jobs - were the only ones in this conversation. Fortunately, the newbies realized what a crock of crap they had been sold and weren't afraid to go to the Internet to warn others to stay away from the scam known as the legal profession.

For those that take the time to comment on the true state of the legal market, don't be deterred by the comments from those who prefer to keep the status quo exactly the way it is. Because of your honesty and willingness to demand much better than law schools thought they had to give, you have made an enormous difference. You have allowed people to see the hypocrisy in this profession for what it is and have caused many to now question the value of a law degree - in other words, your honesty countered decades of false advertising. Keep up the good work!

By Forced Honesty Does Wonders on 2013 09 30, 5:50 pm CDT

@ 85 Forced Honesty Does Wonders

TRUTH

By TBP on 2013 09 30, 6:02 pm CDT

a market is only as good as the information available in it.

B. McLeod seems to argue that new applicants should have been able to see the truth through law school lies.

There is some truth in that.

But the balance of the responsibility lies on the part of the law schools. Theya re older. They actually know the truth of the situation. they have an ethical obligation to lay out the truth.

I kind of think 85 is right.

To say the market will sort it out is probably correct. But to say the market was working great is not. And to say the law schools had no part in this is kind of, wel,l sickening.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 09 30, 6:26 pm CDT

Please be advised, we don't allow personal attacks masquerading as comments. From here on out, comment about the article, rather than each other.

- <b>Lee Rawles
Web Producer
ABAJournal.com</b>

By Lee Rawles on 2013 09 30, 8:20 pm CDT

I'm confused as to why this is news? I mean, good for him, but really? Newsworthy?

"Guy gets job allowing him to repay debt faster than allowed by his loan agreement and choosing to live in his parents basement."

Though rereading the article, if his $215,000 debt is generating $2700 a month payments, he must still be on the 10 year repayment plan. I bet if he refinanced into a 15 or 25 year repayment plan, he could probably move out of his parents house.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 09 30, 9:12 pm CDT

Well, sure guys. Now that the ABA has "fixed" those "statistics," and made them useful and good, you should all totally borrow another $250K and go to law school a second time.

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 01, 2:44 am CDT

Having reread the article again, it seems like he graduated two years ago, so 2011, and he'll repay the loan "by 2020", which means that he'll technically repay the loan in 9 years (or maybe 8ish) which is only slightly faster than the apparent 10 year amortization his loans are currently on.

So, again, how is this newsworthy?

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 01, 3:18 pm CDT

It's newsworthy because the guy makes over $100,000 a year, but STILL has to live with his parents to pay off his law school debt. It's newsworthy because it shows just how much of a scam law school has become. Tuition is ridiculous and law schools lie to trick people into paying the outrageous tuition. It's become a money grab because of federally insured student loans and greed by law schools. So even people making over $100,000 grand a year must live with their parents to pay off their outrageous law school debt!!!!

By TBP on 2013 10 01, 3:26 pm CDT

If he has a law degree and a computer science degree he should consider taking the patent bar - now there is a lucrative career.

By Pocahantas on 2013 10 01, 9:26 pm CDT

@92

That's the thing there TBP, he doesn't HAVE to live with his parents, he chooses to in order to pay his loan off quicker. That means he's paying extra, and his payment plan appears to be on the quickest amortization for a student loan.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 10 02, 3:13 pm CDT

Pocahantas, you're living in a dream world. I'm a patent attorney nearly a decade in. I've had more than one friend leave the firm to go BACK to engineering for better pay and work environment.

By associate on 2013 10 04, 7:11 pm CDT

B. McLeod, and all others who enjoy putting puppies' noses in doo-doo, would you please just shut up for awhile? Even if it's not your own personal fault that our economy is wrecked, totally wrecked [it's everybody's fault], and working enormous injustice all over the country, and even if you personally would have made different choices [because you were the only one of us that was apparently never an ignorant twit when you were young and stupid, and you've apparently never made a dumb mistake in your life] telling everyone experiencing hardship that it's their own damn fault is getting quite tiresome. Just stop it. Stop saying the obvious; everyone who has made decisions that they regret obviously knows it's their fault. That doesn't mean there aren't structural problems with our society that need discussion and thought.

By Helen C. on 2013 10 04, 9:33 pm CDT

No, of course not. I want each and every would-be mooncalf to know that if they proceed to sign up for law school in the face of what you term "the obvious," I will mock them ceaselessly. The same for the ones who have already done it and now just sit around and cry instead of taking the steps needed to better their situation. From sunrise to sunset, I shall make sport of their idiocy.

In the end, if it saves even one (1) mooncalf, it is all worthwhile (I am practically a saint).

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 04, 11:31 pm CDT

What's the mooncalf reference Saint McLeod? If you are going to insult people use more current terminology. I doubt they are familiar with Shakesperean references. Say what you mean. Call them idiots. Don't put on airs. Stick with your usual low brow commentary.

By Redwood on 2013 10 05, 12:15 am CDT

"Mooncalf," connoting a foolish person, was good enough for W.C. Fields, and it's good enough for me.

"Idiot," like "icking fuddiot," is too harsh and less literally applicable, and would likely not survive the Comment Policy (whereas, "mooncalf" merely makes Lee grit her teeth).

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 05, 11:36 am CDT

W.C. Fields was not an attorney. In turn, as members of the legal profession we are held to a standard reflective of our profession; not the forum's comment policy and certainly not the standards of an early 20th century comedian.

For those of you whom have forgotten, attorneys use to treat others (and each other) with dignity and respect, not to elevate the esteem of those others, but to convey to others the quality of our integrity, character, and dignity.

A lawyer should avoid bias and condescension toward, and treat with dignity and respect, all parties, witnesses, lawyers, court employees, and other persons...

By Civility on 2013 10 07, 1:35 pm CDT

Hey, I don't see how a lawyer can do much better than practically a saint. Sometimes, there just isn't a kissy-face, patsy-hand way to say "mooncalf."

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 07, 4:28 pm CDT

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.