Here is a BayNews 9 article about law school and law students: Students rethinking careers as lawyers?.
Yes, students who go to top-notch private law schools will have loans. Yes, most jobs in the public sector, where most newly-minted attorneys start out (State Attorney, Public Defender) only pay in the $40,000 range.
But there are ways to survive. The most obvious is to defer repayment. One can defer repayment on law school loans in the first few years after graduating. During that time, a new attorney can work at that $40K/year job and get valuable experience. Then, as time passes, the attorney will get promotions and raises. After a few years, private practice awaits, where one can make a great salary depending on his or her experience.
The problem this article fails to address is the “I want it all now” syndrome that so many young people have. The old fashioned concept of starting at the bottom and working one’s way up – through hard work and study – seems to be forgotten by some.
As an adjunct law professor, I can tell you that we need bright, talented, and dedicated attorneys in the profession. Those people begin as law students. I encourage anyone who has the drive to apply and go to law school.
Just realize that it is not like John Grisham’s book “The Firm”, or like some TV show, where there is a new BMW, a new home, and a corner office waiting after graduation. Toil, sweat, practice, dedication, and honesty will prevail for those who exercise those traits, as will a wonderful career in the legal profession.