So, I am not the first crusader in the war against students making the retard decision to go to law school. I would be lying if I told you I was never warned. I too was warned by miserable practicing attorneys and failed to heed the warning. Now, I am stuck with debt and grim prospects in a deadend industry.
It was a beautiful winter day in 1998. It was a day where I could have turned my whole life course around. But I didn't listen. This is what happened...
I grew up in an educated, professional suburbs of a big city. My wonderful parents, although uneducated themselves, saw value in raising me "in the right neighborhood." So, at the risk of being house poor, they moved into a county with amazing schools and great neighbors and little to no crime. In my neighborhood, although my parents were not educated, it was not an option to skip college. So, I was nearing graduation and as an overachiever with nearly a 4.0 in college, graduate school was on my radar. If you have been reading my blog, you know that I decided to become a lawyer when I was 16. But I had nothing invested. I was just a stubborn asshole.
I used to work in my mother's nail salon from time to time. And it was a Saturday and I was helping out at the salon. Two of her long time customers were there at the same time--one was leaving and one was coming. Maggie and Alana were both attorneys in their 40s. Both had very young babies and were highly successful. Prior to that day, I looked at both women as examples of what I wanted to become. I was going to law school to be just like Maggie and Alana.
I will never forget what happened next.
I told them that I got into the first tier school of my choice and I it looked like I was on my way. Both women began to plead with me, simultaneously, to reconsider going. Alana was saying that she missed her daughter's first steps and first words because a nanny raiser her daughter. Her daughter even took to calling the nanny mommy and Alana, mama. She started crying. Maggie told me that she had been so focused on being an attorney that she had no time to settle down and have a family. So, her only son was a result of IVF. BOTH women told me they were still paying off their loans and that they were bogged down by these payments. Although both women had pretty prestigious government positons, those jobs didn't pay well. It was as if they were mourning the loss of their lives and the future loss of mine.
I was so fucking smart too. I said to myself, just all future law students say, it will be different for me. I am smarter and better than they are. What do they know? I did so well in college, I'll have no trouble getting exactly the type of job that I want. What a crock of shit. I wish I listened.
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