I recently received an email asking for my thoughts on how an aspiring law student should handle the finances of law school. Given the extraordinary cost of tuition, I’ve previously written about why students should think twice (and perhaps three or four times) before enrolling in college and law school.
But students should not consider the cost as the most important factor. Should you go to law school? Here is the way to think about it.
I saw a FIRE blogger mocking the idea of following one’s passion. Instead, the standard FIRE plan is to find a lucrative job, save money, and then retire early to THEN focus on one’s passion. And granted, I’m a lawyer, and I’m on a mini-retirement so it would seem like I would agree with that path.
But I don’t. Here are several reasons why I think you should pursue your passion.
On February 4, 2019, I quit my job. February 19 was my last day at work, and February 20 was my first day of freedom. On this one year anniversary, I’d like to look back at what happened the year that I retired at 35.
I read another blogger’s early retirement post and he could quantify a great deal of accomplishments. And I guess I can rattle off things I’ve done, but that seems like running a different kind of rat race.
I kept busy on my time off. I’ve traveled a bit – to L.A., New York, San Francisco, Redmond, Capetown, Johannesburg (South Africa), Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra (Portugal). This is what I would say if people asked me what I had done with the year. Travel seems to be the only “real” accomplishment worth noting when you’re retired. And to be fair, South Africa was eye-opening, especially after listening to Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. But to me, the really interesting changes were when I was home.
What I’m focusing on in this post is not necessarily my choices during the year, but the repercussions. I often would made one choice that led to another choice and all those choices led to a different trajectory. It’s like when I started this blog, then I started Twitter to promote it, then I met friends, and two of those friends were the duo that started Chain of Wealth, who will figure significantly in some of these adventures. You just never know where things are going to take you. And the oddest part of any journey may be where you end up.
Many Internet articles inexplicably conclude that college is a must for your child. But based on basic economic facts, college is NOT worth the cost.
Costs for four years in college average between $44,000-165,000 (public to private schools) JUST FOR TUITION. Adding minimal living costs, this total could easily balloon to $84,000-$205,000 at 5% interest. Meanwhile, the median entry-level salary for a college graduate is only $48,000. But, more and more college graduates are stuck in low-wage jobs when they can find a job at all.
Going to college could be the single worst financial decision of your life. If you look at it honestly, you’d be hard pressed to make an economic case for college.
I wish I could counter Susan Cain’s groundbreaking book about introverts, Quiet, with one about extroverts, and I’d call it, Also Quiet.
You may be thinking that if a book about introverts is called, Quiet, then a book about extroverts should be called “Loud.” But as much as Ms. Cain’s book dispels some myths about introverts, it creates quite a few misconceptions about extroverts. Here I’ve written a few things that introverts get wrong about extroverts.
Personal finance is different for each person, and that’s especially true for women lawyers. Factors like giant student loan debt, no work life balance, lack of financial confidence, the glass ceiling – are just a few things that make navigating finances as a woman attorney different from others.
It’s called personal finance because the principles are not universal. There are many unique financial challenges for female attorneys. If you’re a lawyer, you will likely accrue a lot of debt and no earnings while attending law school. If you’re a woman, you are likely to experience career breaks and disproportionate family burdens.
You might ask why this site focuses on women lawyers. It’s because female lawyers face unique financial challenges that male lawyers or women in other professions might not, due to a variety of systemic problems and societal norms. These differences are not necessarily night and day from other people’s experiences, but it’s different enough to warrant different advice. Below I explain some of the financial challenges for female attorneys.