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Was It Worth It? With Debt of Up to $250K, Some Law Grads Are Dubious


Zack Leshetz would like to get married and buy a home.

But his $175,000 in student loan debt is a significant roadblock, reports the Wall Street Journal in a lengthy article about the growing educational debtload being shouldered by young Americans.

Even though some of his loans are in forbearance, he is living paycheck to paycheck, the 30-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attorney tells the newspaper. Engaged since March, he is reluctant to schedule a wedding due to the cost.

“I feel like I’m putting my entire life on hold,” he says.

And he’s far from the only one wondering about the high cost of his apparent academic success.

Kristin Schlaud owes almost a quarter of a million dollars in educational debt after going on from college to earn a juris doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School and a master’s degree in real estate from the John Marshall Law School.

“I know I have accomplished a lot, but I wonder if it was all worth it,” the 28-year-old tells CNN.

A New York lawyer, Robert Applebaum has been rallying support on Facebook and an advocacy website, Forgive Student Loan Debt, for a proposal that the government should eliminate educational debt as part of an economic stimulus program, the news agency notes.

However, another attorney with a mere $90,000 or so in student debt says she believes her University of Pennsylvania law degree made it easier for her to get contract work as an attorney after being laid off from her job as a corporate associate at a law firm in Fairfax, Va.

Michelle Talbert was a mother of two children when she graduated from college at age 30, and she still believes she did the right thing by pursuing her education, reports USA Today.

“I’m really enthusiastic about not letting circumstances that could appear to be a hurdle stop you from achieving a dream,” Talbert, who is now 39, tells the newspaper. “For me, my dream was to go to college and go to law school.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “NY Won’t Admit Would-Be Lawyer Due to $430K in Unpaid Student Loans”

ABAJournal.com: “Chicago Lawyer Makes $75,000, But Worries About Bankruptcy”

ABAJournal.com: “Law Grad, 32: Don’t Do What I Did”

ABAJournal.com: “ABA Should Publish Better Job Info for Naive Law Students, Prof Says”

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