Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Lonely As I Am, Together We Cry"

I haven’t updated my blog in a while because [sigh...] once again, my husband and I have moved.

I wrote a few versions of this post, none of which seemed quite right because they sugarcoated things. [continue reading here]

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Letting Go

A few weeks ago, I was catching up with “Howard” (the colleague I interviewed in episodes 3 and 4 of my podcast) After chatting about what’s new in both of our lives, the conversation inevitably turned to the subject that has bonded the two of us ever since we met at the bus stop on that first day of 1L year: the practice of law. (continue reading here)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

99 Homes and the Law School Bubble: We Got Emotional About JDs

My husband and I recently watched a movie called 99 Homes, starring Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman). It’s a thriller about the foreclosure crisis that (continue reading here)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"So You Think You Can Tell"

What label describes you?
One thing that I still struggle with since leaving the law is the concept of identity. The main reason I went to law school to begin with was I didn’t know myself very well, which meant I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’d always (continue reading here)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Updates Coming Soon!

I know it's been a long time since I updated my blog, so I wanted to thank my readers - both of you - for reaching out and asking me to continue documenting my post-law journey. I'm in the process of writing... (continue reading here)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I'm Still Here

The big picture
Wow, it’s truly depressing seeing my blog comments overrun by spam. Especially such bad spam. How is it possible that sex toys are out and psychics are in? I’ll never understand people.

Anyway, I don’t intend to abandon it. It’s just that my life has taken some interesting turns since we paid off our debt (including my massivelaw school loan). For one thing, click here to continue reading

Thursday, January 16, 2014

One Crushing Tale and a Letter to a 0L

File this one under “there but for the grace of God go I.”  Here’s a profile of Andrew Carmichael, a “whiz kid” who racked up law school debt totaling $215,000.  Yep, that’s not a typo.  Two hundred fifteen large.  Continue reading here

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Podcast Episode 3: WWJD?

This week, I discuss the impact that declining law school enrollment has had on Catholic University's budget.  (Spoiler alert: they're going to continue feeding at the law school loan trough, but some art courses and such are on the chopping block).  Also, part 2 of my interview with Howard, a former law school classmate who is now working in a non-legal position.  Howard and I discuss his first lawyer gig, and why he got out.  And finally, click here to continue reading and go to the podcast

Monday, April 8, 2013

Damaged: On Legal Mythology (or, Why Do We Watch This Stuff?)

A promotional poster for Damages (FX)
*** Warning: This post contains spoilers for the pilot episode of Damages. ***

When I first quit law, I avoided watching any movies or TV shows involving lawyers or police procedure (since I mainly practiced criminal law).  It was a painful reminder not only of what I’d left behind but what would never be.  I guess you could call it nostalgia for a past that never was.  Before and during law school, I would watch The Practice and Law & Order, and feel hopeful about the adventure on which I was about to embark.  It was sort of like when I was a preteen, flipping through Sassy magazine and eagerly anticipating all of the wonderful changes that would occur once I finally became a glamorous young woman like the ones depicted in all the tampon and deodorant ads (which were peppered in between articles about teen suicide and my favorite young heartthrobs).  The reality never quite lived up to the hype.  Much like being a lawyer, being a teenager mostly involved continue reading here

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Podcast Episode 2: All Over But the Shouting

My second podcast is now up and running!  In this week's episode, I discuss an LA Times article regarding the class action lawsuits that have been filed against numerous law schools.  Plus, part 1 of my interview with a former law school classmate, in which we discuss why he went to law school.  Also, I read an excerpt from Will Meyerhofer's book, Way Worse Than Being a Dentist: The Lawyer's Search for Meaning.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Beginnings

I recently changed my blog to Legally Obligated.  Since I still feel like I need to tell my story about quitting law and getting out of student loan debt, I decided that name would be more appropriate.  This week, I worked on a podcast, which I have released on my new blog, plus I am doing my first ever blog giveaway.  I hope you enjoy it, and thank you for reading!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Long and Winding Road

Our dog, on a post payoff walk
I haven’t updated on my job situation in a while, so I thought I’d put together a little timeline of events, from when I first got out of law to our recent debt freedom.  It’s kind of fun to look back at how far we've come.

Mid 2009:  Gee, this law thing really sucks.  I should find another job.  Shouldn’t take too long since I have a JD, which is truly a versatile degree (it must be true – they told me that at law school orientation)!  (Good grief, I was so na├»ve. I wish I could go back in time and punch myself in the head.)

January 2010:  As a backup plan, I applied to a healthcare program at my local community college a few months prior and was accepted.  I had to complete some prerequisites, though, so I began taking a chemistry course at night.  

March 2010:  Shit, no one wants me because of my JD.  I’m too ‘overqualified’ apparently.  Or maybe they think I’m nuts for leaving such a ‘lucrative’ and ‘prestigious’ field?  If they only knew how not lucrative it is.  I don’t make much more than someone with a BBA, but I have twice the student loan debt.  And there isn’t anything prestigious about answering discovery in a slip and fall case, or arguing a sentence for a DUI when the statutory guidelines dictate the outcome.  Maybe it’s time to take up drinking to get through it.  A lot of attorneys do that, don’t they?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Old School: The Outdated Law School Model

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com
I came across this recent post in Outside the Law School Scam, a blog you should definitely check out.  The post was a call to action on the part of scambloggers - what are they/we looking for exactly?  I then remembered that I wrote a post about the flaws I see in the current law school model, as well as some changes I'd like to see (scroll to the bottom of my post if you want to cut to the chase) about a year and a half ago.  I think it's worth re-posting, since it could benefit anyone considering going to law school.  My ideas for change are simple, although probably difficult to implement.  So just to keep the message going about the potential financial and career pitfalls that await newly minted JD's, here you go: The Flawed Law School Model (October 2011).

What changes would you like to see implemented?  Shutting down all law schools?  Shutting down all for-profit law schools?  Caps on tuition?  Student loan reform?  I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Something Amazing Just Happened

I wrote a couple weeks ago about our progress in paying off the last of our debt, my federal student loan.  Well, since then, something really great has happened.  As of today, we are officially debt free.  How did this happen?  Well, we had saved up about $20,000 and we had $50,000 more to go.  When we moved across the country a couple years ago, we did so because my husband took a job with a start-up company.  His compensation package included stock options.  The company has since gone public, and in February, we were allowed to exercise the options.  After taxes, they were worth just over $50,000.  We took it as a sign from the heavens to cash out and be rid of the debt, so we did.  Today, we mailed the payoff. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Pizza Diaries, Part 10: Sleepless in Seattle

By spring, I was tired. 

I’d been moonlighting as a pizza delivery driver for five months, five nights a week.  The original plan had been three nights a week, but given inflated fuel costs, it was tough for the pizzeria to hold on to drivers for any meaningful period of time.  Hence, more shifts to go around.  More nights sweeping Parmesan shavings and cardboard chads from underneath the prep area while waiting for the delivery screen to light up with orders.  More nights divvying up the last of the deliveries with Lou, my favorite driver (the Thai man who spoke kitchen Spanish).

“How long you plan on being here, Lou?  Delivering pizzas, I mean.”

“Eh, six month maybe.  Saving money to retire back to Thailand.”

“And you can’t just go now?”

“Nah, gotta pay the ex-wife.  She get everything in divorce.”