Feel trapped in the law by your law school debt?
I’m guessing you feel trapped in the law by your law school debt.
And I get it—I had six figures of law school debt when I graduated law school. My law school debt combined with my husband’s law school debt (plus a smattering of consumer debt) totaled over $400k when all was said and done.
But here’s the truth—even with ZERO law school debt, lawyers find themselves feeling trapped in legal practice.
That’s what happened to this week’s podcast guest, Lauren Bernadett.
Lauren spent a lot of time negotiating a full-ride scholarship to law school so that she wouldn’t find herself trapped in a law firm job that she hated.
Turns out that even if you eliminate law school debt, there are other obstacles you need to overcome as well in order to leave the law behind.
Lauren thought she would probably end up doing public interest law, but through a series of events that she shares about in today’s episode, she ended up going to a private law firm that specialized in water law.
Five years went by, and despite her best intentions and careful planning, she found herself still in private practice at the law firm, and feeling stuck.
There are a lot of things that keep lawyers stuck in the law.
Often, we think that it’s only our law school debt that makes it hard for us to leave the law.
But the reality is that there is so much more to it.
Some other things that can keep lawyers stuck in the law that have nothing to do with law school debt:
- There’s the ego boost of people knowing that we’re a lawyer.
- There’s (for some of us) the lifestyle that we’re able to afford because of our law firm job.
- There’s the fact that many lawyers don’t know what they would do if they left the law.
- There’s the fact that law has a relatively clear career path, and stepping off of that (especially after years of schooling) is incredibly daunting.
Law school debt can make you feel trapped in the law.
But as Lauren learned, there are a lot of other things at play.
In the first half of our conversation, hear how Lauren ended up in law school, figured out how to go to law school without taking on any law school debt, and the moment that she realized she still felt stuck.