A few things about your blog:
Follow up questions and answers:
Thank you very much.
- I'm a college junior who has always dreamed of practicing law. I think I would be good at it. My GPA is north of 3.9, and I have scored above 170 on the LSAT. I am willing to accept that law school is not a sensible investment, but you have to understand where this leaves me. I have spent my early life cultivating "lawyering skills," which aren't very marketable outside of law school. There are a lot of blogs like yours, and I think they have good intentions on the whole. Still, if you want to help high-achieving students like me to make wiser career decisions, you should give us other options. What are the sensible choices for people like me? There are many people like me.
- Do you consider the top 14 schools in the US to be in on the scam? I prowl a lot of forums where the consensus is that three groups of people should attend law school: 1) Those with connections, 2) those with generous scholarships, and 3) those who can enter the top 14 programs (from the USNews rankings).
What sort of lawyering skills have you been cultivating?
- I'm majoring in economics and English. When I was 18, I decided to head to a liberal arts school because I knew engineering majors generally earned lower GPA's that soured their admission chances. I chose Dickens over Newton. I knew I wanted to become a lawyer, so I planned out the steps to get into a great school and followed them (I think).
What other options besides law school have you considered?
I am my school's student representative to the university foundation board, and I serve as VP of the student investment club. I have thought about things like investment banking -- you get the idea.
I came across your article about jobs in western Nebraska. I am actually a 2010 Nebraska Law Graduate who absolutely struggled to find work before starting my own successful business. After passing the bar I struggled to get a job for over a year because I really wanted to stay in Omaha. I had a couple of friends from my class suck it up and move out to western Nebraska. One originally from Lincoln moved out to Sidney. She was absolutely miserable and lasted about 7 months. Her biggest frustrations were not only being isolated but also hardly being able to make ends meet. She was even willing to pick up a second part time job for some extra cash but as there are no retail stores and a minimal number of other stores she couldn’t get anyone to hire her.Another friend was from Scottsbluff and ended up back there. She is now in Lincoln. As I was struggling with the notion of moving west myself, she offered to let me live with her for free because she was lonely and found it hard to find people to socialize with as a young professional. We came to the conclusion that she was happily employed and otherwise miserable out west, and I was happy socially in Omaha but miserable because I was unemployed.I on the other hand tried to stick it out in Omaha and find employment. Jobless for over a year I moved into the basement of a family friend. I worked a few jobs as a server to try and make ends meet. I got my first job at age 12 and have always held several jobs through high school and college, even serving through my first year of law school. However, after passing the bar it was absolutely degrading to be clearing people’s plates… To say I was depressed would be a complete understatement.Fast forward to October 2011 and I am babysitting for one of the girls I coached on a Friday night. (because when you don’t have a law job you take just about anything). She was showing me apparel and headbands she bought at a volleyball tournament and I get the idea that I should start selling the same stuff at local sports tournaments. So, out of a friend’s basement I start my own business. I couldn’t even be approved for a small business loan because I had so many law school loans and no job. Luckily my parents are absolutely amazing and gave me $2,000 to buy some inventory. (My dad makes about $35,000 a year so they don’t have a ton of extra money) I now spend every weekend working tournaments and camps across Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, and will hopefully keep expanding. My parents work almost every weekend now, as does my sister and several of my friends including law graduates looking for extra money. I expect to make at least $100,000 this year and see this business absolutely blowing up.It took me several months to get back on my feet. My credit card was up to $6,000. I paid that off in February along with one of my student loans. I was finally able to get my own place in May. Every month it pains me to pay off those student loans for a career I will never have, but I also feel blessed that I have enough money to pay more than the minimum after not even being able to pay my rent just a few months ago.The best thing that ever happened is giving up my dream to be an attorney. Selling headbands and t-shirts is much more profitable and fun than living in western Nebraska making $35,000 a year.