Unfortunately, the reality of legal education today is that the average law student graduates with over $100,000 in student loan debt.Quote"Law school debt essentially means a lawyer must make $200,000 or more above what the holder of a bachelorís degree will make over a lifetime, to have the investment break even." - http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/news18330.html
It is truly unfortunate that a legal education is so expensive.
However, that figure doesn't seem too bad when you consider that it's over the course of a lifetime. If a new law school grad can expect say, a 30 year career, we're talking about having to earn less than $7000 per year above what a Bachelor's degree holder would earn. That seems pretty realistic.
I completely understand that the first few years out of school are very difficult for many people. I graduated in 2012, and am keenly aware of how tight the job market is. Most new lawyers will struggle to make $1500 per month loan payments on their starting salary.
But I think it's important to point out that most lawyers will increase their earning potential over the first few years. Five to seven years into a legal career, I think the average lawyer is probably making substantially more than the average Bachelor's degree holder (depending of course on what the bachelor's is in. A BS in Engineering will make more than a BA in English Lit).
Here in LA our public law offices (DA, PD, etc) start out at about $70k. By five years in, the salary will be about $100k, and in most cases will max out at around $130-140k. I think that is significantly better than what the average holder of a liberal arts BA can expect.