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throwaway12

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  1. I don't want to derail the topic, but why is this weird? I didn't realize that I needed to contact a mod when I made this account, but I have been in touch with one since this thread started. I am not going to post in any other thread outside of this one, as this is a throwaway account, and I wanted some informed opinions about my debt situation. I realize that some people are fine with talking about financial stuff openly, and props to them, but I am not. In at UBC and UVic. Which I had mentioned recently. And again, I don't want to get off topic (and I understand your frustration with uniformed questions), but of all the replies yours is somehow the most insulting. As if I would ever "!!!1!!".
  2. Well, I don't really want to divulge that info as it would be fairly easy to identify me from it. But let's just say my choice of law school will be between UVic and UBC, I'm in at both (haven't yet posted in the "Accepted 2018" threads, as I wanted to have this discussion first ), but it's unlikely that I will get any significant entrance scholarships. Yeah, I was specifically thinking of a comment you had made in a separate post when I wrote of "others" who would recommend against law school if it resulted in a six-figure debt. Based on other posts you have made, your opinion seems to be one that I would value, and so such a stark warning shook me up a little bit. But honestly, like Diplock referenced, I think the math actually makes sense in my case. If I was at 0 debt right now, and thought I had to take on an additional 100K to get my degree, that would be a different conversation.
  3. I would argue this a little bit. My 100K lowest estimate is if I manage to cover all living expenses outside of tuition (we have a some savings, I'd be able to save up this summer, etc). But I realize textbooks, clothes (suits, robes, etc), the Bar exam, etc., will add significantly onto "normal" living expenses. And so you're probably quite right to say that, with opportunity cost factored in, I'm going to reach 150K. But that's a completely theoretical number at this point because there's absolutely no way I could invest anything remotely close to that. Even with an opportunity cost of 35K before taxes per year, there is no way that I could service my debt, live, and invest heavily. If it was the choice between spending 150K of my money on law school, or investing 150K, this would be a slightly different conversation. The median income for someone with a bachelor's in the social sciences is around 57K, around 62K if you group all Bachelor degrees together. That's almost a doubling of my wage right now. You're right that I could potentially make that if I hustled, in the sense of applying to every job that my qualifications meet, but I would be forced to take a job that I know that I'm not passionate about. I mis-categorized what I'm interested in. Truly, I would love to work for the government. But I realize the competition - I know a Crown that's about to retire after 30 years. She has told me straight up that work with the government is unlikely. But while I would work hard towards something in the government, I would be happy with anything that wasn't Big law. Like maximumbob wrote, there is a wide variety of work between Big law and public service, and I would be happy with much of it. And my attraction to law is anything but superficial. I didn't watch an episode of Suits and decide that I liked the look of that lifestyle, nor am I thinking of doing it simply because there isn't anything else available to me. Anyways, this reply is coming off way more argumentative than I meant it to be. I take the main point you're making. I have looked at worst case scenarios quite closely. This could be why you think I only have a superficial interest in the law. I realize I could end up deeply, deeply in debt (I will, regardless. But I mean even more than that). And I also realize I could end up in a soul-sucking, underpaid, overworked job. But you can look at any career path and find worst case scenarios. If I decide to accept, then you can bet your ass I will be hellbent to succeed and comments from "jaded jackasses" like you will only feed the fire. Honestly though, thank you for the input. I appreciate hearing your perspective.
  4. Both are good points. I would just say that the 100K in debt, while somewhat of an arbitrary number (and your point is well taken), would be through government student loan programs. The reason why that becomes important: if a situation arises where I'm making far less than I thought (50K associate position for instance), I can apply for repayment assistance until my salary increases. If I can keep all my loans within the government realm then the pressure to obtain a high-paying job is lessened, and I can focus more on the type of law I'm interested in. I greatly appreciate everyone's input!
  5. Thanks for the responses. I would rather not say where exactly, but let's say that I've taken into account tuition costs. (I realize this speaks to future employability, but ...) My thinking is that the remaining limit on my government loans (which account for the 65K, and which have a 100K limit) would cover tuition costs. My wife covers the majority of monthly spending (rent/car/internet/her own student loan/some food), I contribute maybe 600-700 a month. That works out to 7K-8K a year, and this number could be pared down. My hope is that I would be able to continue to cover that, and the additional costs of books, etc. through a combination of savings and working during the summers. I've also read that working during third, sometimes second, year is possible and would be more than open to that if I felt it was possible. My ultimate idea is to keep the majority of my debt within the Gov't Student Loan framework. They have repayment assistance if that becomes necessary, or if my wage is too low to cover the full amount. They also remain in interest-free status while you attend school, unlike an LOC. Any additional costs I incur (living expenses, books, the Bar, etc), that I don't have savings for, would need to come from an LOC. Hence, best case scenario is 100K in debt at the end. What is likely is that I will actually have around 110K or 115K, with that 10-15K being the LOC. Worst case scenario = no savings (which we have, but say an emergency wipes them out), no summer employment, can't work during 2nd/3rd year. At that point I'm thinking I would hit 130K. Also, my wife is fully informed. She is the most important person in my life, and I would never to do anything to jeopardize my relationship with her. Yeah, this debt is no joke. Right now I'm looking at $750/month payments, but with little-to-no employment possibilities. I could get repayment assistance, and work a crappy job (with the hope of finding a better one eventually), but that would stretch my loan further. I also thought about getting into teaching (as I enjoyed my time as a TA), but all my friends who are teachers now have similar complaints: overworked, generally underpaid, no control over the curriculum, and extreme difficulty in finding work in any of the desirable regions. To become a teacher I would need to take on more debt (not near as much as for law school, obviously), have payments that reach 1000/month, but have a career with an income range significantly lower than law. Plus, if at all possible, I want to become a lawyer! Anyways. /rant
  6. I was tempted to make that title as clickbait as possible, but I refrained. I would like to get people's input on my situation, so here's the necessary details. This is a throwaway account, because I'm not in the habit of divulging personal info: - I will be an older student, in my early 30s. - I have already amassed a very significant student debt over the course of a BA and an MA. $65,000 to be exact. - I am not financially illiterate, and so the thought of taking on more debt through law school is obviously stressful. - I will need to take out more loans to go to law school, but I'm thinking I should be able to keep the total (law school + the 65K) to a maximum of 100K, although this could conceivably go as high as 120-130K. (I realize this is not an insignificant number) - I have no interest in Big Law, I am determined to work in the public sector. - My wife has a stable career: she now makes around 60K a year and that will slowly increase over the next few years. Almost all of my student debt is from my undergrad. My mom got cancer, and ended up passing away at the end of my BA. Throughout her sickness I took care of her, paid the bills, and went to school part-time. This stretched out the time it took for me to complete my degree as well as stretching the cost of it. I'm not telling this as a sob story, but to detail that my student debt is not related to rampant spending or stupidity. My Master's degree I took for interest's sake, because I felt like I may want to pursue a PhD (I don't), and because it wasn't going to cost me anything (scholarships). However, it is not a field that is employable - at most I could hope for some research-related position that would most likely pay around 35K a year. My wife and I are frugal, and I plan on being as frugal as possible throughout law school (also working during the summers and "hustling" as much as I can). This also means that I have a good grasp of the amount of debt that I am potentially looking at. I have talked to a dozen or so lawyers (some who hate their job, some who love their job, some who have left the legal field, etc), and I feel like I have a realistic idea of what this career will entail. I also realize that the career I want will not afford me Bay St pay, thus the minor anxiety I'm feeling right now. However, I am already carrying a significant debt and have no real options for a career that would pay that down quickly. I realize that I'm looking at a potential doubling of debt, but I'm thinking that I should be able to double my potential pay (35K -> 65K or 70K). Long-term, I feel like this is a strategy that makes sense: 35K over ten years (350,000 gross) vs 70K over ten years (700,000) is a substantial amount more even including repayment of the debt. Over 20 or 30 years this is only exponentially increased. A couple other minor details: my wife and I don't want to have children, and have resigned ourselves to only looking at buying a house/property after we're in our 50s (if we're lucky enough to live that long). I feel like I've looked at my situation exhaustively, including scouring these forums, and while I feel fairly confident going forward there is the SIX FIGURE DEBT that looms at the end of this path. Just wondering what people think? I've read past threads, and realize that there are people that would recommend not going to law school if the end result is 100K of debt, but I do think my already substantial debt load changes things a little. Anyways, thanks for reading. Even if you don't have a response, hope you've been entertained (and maybe you can feel good about your own, more manageable, debt after this).
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