« on: May 24, 2012, 12:28:23 PM »
The biggest issue really is the debt versus job prospects. So you need to ask yourself what you would be willing to do if you can't find a job in six months with 150K in debt or more if you have undergrad debt still. I know a lot of lawyers and am going to a tier 4 at night, but I'll have a job waiting for me when I get out. However, if that job doesn't pan out, I need to have a plan B. I'm older and will able to finance about half of my education and won't be stuck with 100K in debt. The woman I'll be working for/with, graduated in 2007 - right before the recession hit. She worked for a title company for about 8 months when she was let go because the real estate market took the first dive. She was forced to hang her own shingle because her only experience was in real estate. So she put her name on the public defender list and started doing crappy work like traffic violaions and other misdemeanors. She only made 28k her first year. However, through those low paying assignments, she also met other attorneys and started networking. They would refer clients to each other in other areas like bankruptcies, guardianships, divorces, etc. It took a while but she is now established and going on her fourth year in private practice and loves it. She was lucky because she only had 50K in debt because she was able to get scholarships, etc.
There are other things you can do if you don't get a job right away, but you need to be prepared. Obviously, the less debt you have, the more freedom you have to explore other choices. But the debt is very real when compared to job prospects and I don't think people really take into account just how much 150K can weigh you down and scare the #$%* out of you if you find you can't get a job in six months. That's what people are trying to advise against. Especially 22 year olds with undergrad debt on top of law school debt. Now you are talking 200K in school loans, and it seems those students are thinking the debt is not that big a deal. I can assure you that it is a big deal when you can't get a job and this is an important thing to consider. Good luck.