« on: April 24, 2006, 04:01:34 PM »
Screw this sugarcoated soft talk. This guy is about to make a major decision, let's give it to him straight.
Dude. $200,000. $1500-$1600/month for longer than you can conceivably imagine (you can't really plan beyond a few years at any given time, and even that's a stretch most of the time). Let those numbers and what they mean settle in. Let it marinate.
That's rent for a decent place and nice car. A mortgage. A condo. Investments. Vacations. Leisure. TIME!! Time that you could spend doing something enjoyable. Time that you won't get back. Take your pick. You will NEVER be able to look at those payments and not think about what else you could be doing with it. If you fall into the middle of the road and earn $50-70K, you're going to be talking some serious regret.
Planning to have kids? Your wife better be caking it. BTW, that's a lot of debt to take on in a marriage, and an astute woman will see that and consider it.
$200K? The f.uck outta here. Right now you're designing the blueprint for your own prison and giving yourself a life sentence.
Dude, don't believe the hype. Three years is nothing. By the time you feel like you really can't take anymore, it's almost over.
Personal note: the last 3 years have been hell for me. I'm dead serious man, I'm living in a city I can't stand, surrounded by people who are at best background noise, have been soul searching the whole time and only recently finding anything worthwhile (i.e. answers). I can't imagine that law school could contrive any situation as stressful and anxiety provoking as what I've gone through. I've had to plot, scheme, edure sh*t, eat sh*t, and bide my time until I could plan a way out. But you know what, it's pretty much over and even though I wish I could have avoided it all, I'm stronger for it. That's life. Some of it sucks ass, some of it kicks it. The Madness will never stop, dude, it just bypasses your sometimes. To me, your choice looks like a) suck it up for 3 years, or b) pay out the ass for the next couple of decades to skirt three years of unpleasantness. Don't do it, man, don't do it.
Look, you can reason that going to a law school where you're the most comfortable will maximize your chances of making it to the top of your class. True. But what is also likely to be true is that everyone else attending that school is of the same mindset. Given the absence of any other information (which will continue to be absent since you can't see the future) you should put yourself right at the mean, and look at what that will get you. The fact that you guess $50K shows that you have at least given this some consideration.
Did you say something about having the option of going to another school for much less debt? Unless that's in a place where you really don't want to practice after law school, go there. Or at least seriously consider it. You have options. Not the least among them is taking another year to think and come up with even more options. I dunno about four years in the service. That sounds to me like a decision that has more to do with avoiding something than a strong desire to move toward something. Unless you're avoiding something really bad, be careful not to make such a decision. But, you would know better than me.
This has been a longer post than I intended. I usually lurk more than I post, but i felt like this needed my attention. Hope it helps some.