Skip to comments.What is my generation supposed to do?
Posted on 07/14/2011 1:45:59 PM PDT by wrhssaxensemble
So I recently graduated from law school and passed the bar exam in 2 New England states. I went to a public high school because it was all that my family could afford. Luckily my school was one of those rare public schools that offered exemplary education, often even better than the private schools in the area. During high school non-stop up until now I have worked at jobs, usually full time, in addition to school. Still broke, I went to my state's best public university. It was all that I could afford. I graduated summa and near the top of my class. I then went to law school and despite going to a lower ranked school because they offered me a substantial scholarship, I owe $100,000 in student loan debt. Other than that I have no debt. I paid off my credit cards before the bills became due and earned every penny beyond my student loans from working at numerous jobs.
I graduated near the top of my class from both the JD and an MBA program that I tacked on for only an extra semester of school. I kept costs low while in law school by living with family. In part it was great because it helped me financially but more so because it let me keep an eye on my elderly grandparents who had health difficulties. Now I am officially sworn into the bar and make $11.89 an hour with absolutely no benefits (no health insurance, etc.)beyond a very small amount I can afford to put into my 401(k).
I have a job lined up for the fall- I am very grateful for it as most of my friends don't have any- but the pay isn't nearly what most people would expect for an attorney. It is not enough for me to move out into my own place and be able to afford heat, electricity, food, etc. It would be enough but with taxes- 7.5% FICA, 28% Fed income tax and 5% state income tax- I can't afford it. On the other hand I am tired of having to rely on my family to survive. I am a grown man and should be able to go live on my own now.
By all intents and measures I think I have thus far followed all the rules one is supposed to. I stayed away from drugs, alcohol, casual sex, etc. and just tried to work hard and be a good christian. Now there's no jobs anywhere that would be enough to meet all my bills. I want to move to TX but it would require paying another $5000 to take a bar exam and I am not sure the job prospects are any better there.
Now I'm not stupid. I know the current debate is not fully over social security for the current elderly. The real issue for spending is in part over the fact nothing will be left when my generation is old enough. But what are the people in my generation supposed to do? Anyone? We are not all self-centered sex-obssessed morons in my generation. Yes some are but that would be akin to saying that I can blame all of the problems of today on every baby boomer because there are many selfish people in their generation.
I guess my point is how can I and people my age in similar circumstances survive in light of the government's enjoyment of destroying our future? A recap:
-the government undervalued higher education by demanding that social justice requires a higher ed for everyone - the government made loans thus jacking up the price of such a degree -the government said there weren't enough lawyers to provide social justice so demanded more law schools and lawyers - the government said everyone deserves a home regardless of whether they work for it, thereby causing the current economic mess we are in -the government spent excessively to "fix" the problem but just made it worse
How can someone like me who despite trying to do things the right way, to avoid government handouts, to work hard, to try to be a good christian survive when the government has forced us into working poor status and is trying to force us into dependence?
Learn to work with your hands and you’ll never go wrong.
Dump the collectivist mindset. Thte question is, what are YOU prepared to do with the gifts and opportunities you've been given, and have earned?
There's a million stories in the big city, your is only one of them.
Make a plan, and do it. Examine the results, learn what you can, make a new plan, and do that.
Repeat forever, rain or shine. Welcome to human life.
Sorry for this but another lawyer in this country isn’t exactly a godsend.
Hotel and hospital work is international.
It is when 75-80% of them are leftists. You need people to hold them back from fullscale adopting progressive crap through the courts, legislatures and executive branch
Sign on for a three year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. You’ll never regret it.
That's a question which has been wrestled with since the beginning.
Focus on optimizing your own life to mitigate the damage to it from events outside your control. What exactly this will mean for you will depend on the life you want.
Sounds like you are well on the way to this.
Be smart enough to be self reliant.
Also, read history. Perspective matters. Read about life for the average person in the Middle Ages or ancient times. You'll feel pretty darn happy to just have a roof and food in your stomach.
Couple your current degrees with technical certification in one of the sciences: engineering, pharma, medical etc. Take courses in areas that would lead to employment in the pharma field—in my area (RTP) clinical trial research is big — and LEGAL is a BIG component. Just a suggestion. Build a practical knowledge on the base of your law degree.
Follow a budget.
Get a roommate.
Invest your time in learning how to network and promoting your firm relentlessly and get the reputation as a rainmaker.
You’ll be fine.
“How can someone like me who despite trying to do things the right way, to avoid government handouts, to work hard, to try to be a good christian survive when the government has forced us into working poor status and is trying to force us into dependence?”
Work harder and better than everyone else. Works every time.
I think over time you will find that there is always a way for a good attorney who works hard, returns phone calls, is conscientious, and honest, to make a decent if not good living.
Just focus on doing a good job for your clients. The legal profession is not easy, but, few professions are. Hang in there, and you’ll be just fine.
This is a serious suggestion.
Consider a career as a JAG for the Navy/USMC.
Look up how you, as a JD can go through OCS and be a lawyer in the Navy.
You can keep your expenses low, have a truly honorable career, and perhaps make a shift in career to intelligence+law. The reasoning skills you have learned getting your JD just mught help you in Intel.
Also, a good friend of mine who had a lifelong career in corporate law has now become a doctor and entered private practice (well, in a small group).
But back to the core idea — the Navy won’t pay you much, but your cost of living can be pretty miniscule. AND you can get a lot of different experiences as counsel for the defense or prosecutor in the militray equivalent of both civil and criminal law, plus makea shift to contract and/or international law. Lastly if you do well in the NAvy they will pay you to keep advancing your education. You can become a skilled lawyer AND _____________.
I had a dream to be a marine biologist. I was going to be the next Jacques Cousteau.
I have been in technology and healthcare technology for 30+ years ;-)
Emigrate. If you are willing to travel overseas (most Americans are not, due to family obligations and/or serious misconceptions about the quality of life outside the USA), there are companies that may want to ex-pat you. It was a great leg up for me to go to Singapore for a few years straight out of school. Just don’t spit gum on the sidewalk and you’ll love it.
Lawyers and Unions: Responsible in large part for the decay of this country.
Get a job doing what you have been trained to do. Get real-world experience in your field. At this point, your resume is all scholastic, you need actual experience.
Eventually, the opportunities will avail. But you don’t start at the top. You’re a n00b ;)
I think the FIRST thing you need to recognize is that you won’t get everything you want immediately. Paying off debt, achieving success and building weatlth is a long, cumulative process that requires discipline. But, it sounds like its discipline that has gotten you where you are, so just apply it to this situation. Its also the little things, like starting off with a not-so-fancy car, eating lunch at your desk, and saving part of every paycheck.
Five years from now, you’ll probably be making good $$ with your college debts nearly paid off. In ten years, you’ll be living in a nice home and have basically everything you need. Twenty years from now, you’ll have more $$ then you know what to do with.