Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Man Drives 5 Hours Daily To and From Third Tier Law School

I give this man kudos for taking care of his disabled wife and elderly parents while driving 294 miles everyday to attend Florida International University in Miami. Do I think it was worth it? No. For someone in this situation, I think being a nurse or physical therapist would've been a more lucrative choice with a better work-life balance, and it would've been helpful in taking care of family members than practicing shitlaw. I hope a law firm in the area sees his story on the news and gives him a job just for his perseverance and character alone. Because we all know a JD from Florida International University likely won't get most of their grads anywhere right now.

He commuted 294 miles every day to attend Florida International University in Miami... and he did it all while taking care of his disabled wife and elderly parents.

His Honda Civic had 99,000 miles on it when Steve Spence bought it for the sole purpose of driving it to law school - 294 miles round trip - every day, five days a week.

"There was no law school that as close, so driving was the only way to get there. The big problem was the loss of study time. That's what was really hard because you're losing five hours and you had to be prepared for the next day and I was determined that I could not go to class and not be prepared."

While Spence worked on getting his degree, he also had things at home to take care of. His wife, Julie, is disabled and in a wheelchair.

"I call him superman because of all the things that he does. He does so much for me that I can't do anymore."

He also takes care of his parents. His dad has Alzheimer's and his mom had several strokes, but still, he never gave up.

"If you want something bad enough, it's never too late and your never too old to do it."

"Now Spence is preparing for the bar exam he'll take at the end of July. Then, he hopes to be a criminal or immigration lawyer.

Spence said his son talked him into going back to school to get his undergrad in 2003. So, he went to Hodges University in Fort Myers and that is when he fell in love with law.

I assume that Spence has not found a job yet or else they would've mentioned that in the article. This was supposed to be a feel good story, so I doubt the news station will check up on Spence a year from now to see if he's passed the bar and found a full-time legal job. You can watch the interview with Steve Spence and his wife at the Wink News website.


  1. A good cross post for Nando here.

  2. He will have to take advantange of his last name and tie it to Gerry Spence somehow.

  3. Well we know the man can drive (assuming no moving violations or accidents). Perhaps someone will hire him as a livery driver. Please tell me Mr. Spence attended this TTT on a full ride. Otherwise, he took a loooong ride to finance a full ride for his law school.

  4. So, that's it then. I don't know if this will interest anyone, but my forbearance with Access Group is up. Now, I guess what can be done is that you can get an extra 6-months, in a kind of forbearance appeals process, by jumping through any number of hoops, including providing a detailed breakdown of your income and expenses, a copy of your most recent W-2 and 1040 tax return, a list of federal loans in deferment or forbearance and (most important of all, she says) a letter detailing the "concrete events" would allow you to begin repayment.

    If you have any suggestions for what I might include in this letter I'm going to send to Access Group, I would welcome any and all suggestions. In fact, if you want to write the letter for me, I would be pleased to have some valuable career counseling (for once in my life). If not, well, then I guess I'll have to reach deep into my well of sarcasm and double-speak.

    Foreign lands, here I come!

  5. Wow - all this to attend Florida International?! Talk about commitment! I doubt it helped him land a job. But, hey you need to work hard to make it in this industry, right?!

  6. Anon 5:06: You can defer for unemployment for 3 years, and there is also economic hardship and a few other things.

    Assuming you've used all these up, there is still IBR. In fact, getting onto IBR right away might actually be the better plan. If you are unemployed it will still be $0 per payment.

    You can shoot me an e-mail at honeryx@inbox.com. I don't know everything myself but it sometimes helps to discuss situations with other people.

  7. Just tell those bastards you will see them in Valhalla. That you have run off with a nordic blonde and do not wish to be bothered. Include pictures with you letter.

    Then have them forward all remaining correspondence to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Wash., D.C.

  8. Eh, FIU actually has a decent reputation in South Florida, despite it's youth. And, no, I didn't go there but I did practice down there.

  9. @ Anon. 8:05:

    Thanks for that. I could use a laugh.

  10. I feel for the uber-commuter guy, but it makes me mad that the media are exploiting him for a feelgood story, all the while encouraging him to make his dreams come true.

    You know they won't be going back for a follow up story later on when he has to hock his wife's wheelchair to pay Sallie Mae.

  11. Tell Aunt Sallae to send them to your B&B in Costa Rica. Warm breezes, swaying palms, no Shitlaw.

  12. Hey, June 8, 2010 5:06 PM

    Send the Access Group postcards from Brazil, C.O.D. of course.

  13. anon @ 5:06: If you want me to post your question for our readers, I can do that for you. I think a lot of us need advice on what to do with our loans. I agree that you should immediately consolidate any federal loans you have and apply for IBR. Private loans do not qualify you for IBR, but you can defer you loans if you do not have a job for a considerable number of years.

  14. He is my uncle. He worked through college so no loans. He passed the bar in September. Is teaching first year law students at the University and his parents are ok for now.



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