Skip to main content

The Dumbest Financial Decision You'll Ever Make

 When I was in law school, I used to tell other law students who asked me if I thought it was worth it "yes, this is hell, but what else could you imagine doing?" 

First of all - current law students? don't ask fellow law students for career advice. They're just as fucking dumb as you are. You've allllll taken the kool-aid at that point. All of you are trying to justify the decision and financial free-fall you've placed yourself in. 

Second of all - it was hell. I should have imagined all sorts of better things to do between the ages of 20 and 23, then spend nights collapsed on the floor crying over job prospects, sleeping three hours between Monday "night" and Tuesday morning at 4am to work a double shift that fit into my class schedule so I could pay rent and buy food and keep the creditors at bay. 

Because the secret is that law school is financially inaccessible, and it feeds a system of people who do not understand how financially inaccessible it actually is. 

Law school tuition is based off the idea that you either have generational wealth or you plan to sell your mind, body, and soul (in that order) to BigLaw after graduation. 

Side note: Friends don't let friends do BigLaw. 

If you have found yourself in 1L and gone "god this is a dumb decision I will never want to read this much, write this much, or talk to assholes like my classmates every day for the next 40+ years" - get out. Fuck the financial commitment. It will be worse in two more years, and you will be no closer to being happier. 

If you cannot imagine spending most of your professional life writing emails, talking to people, and thinking about your work even when you're on the god damn toilet, get out. 

You will be able to afford to pay off one semester - one year even - of law school tuition, after finding another career path. The more years you stay in, the harder that becomes, and the faster five figures turns into six. 

The financial return on those six figures will never be worth it for the financial stress you'll succumb to, the decisions you'll be forced to make to meet those debt burdens, and the years that compound interest will cripple you for. 

There must be some alternate universe version of me out there, who took the risk to become a writer instead of a lawyer. Who did not see law school as a means to an end to leave a cycle of poverty. Who did not go six figures into debt for the privilege of being able to put "JD" after her name. 

Do you imagine yourself doing something different? Good. Do that. You can always return to law school.

But I bet you won't.