Reading Mr. Goodman’s letter on “Student Debt” in the June News I was in those “shoes” in 1980. I was amazed that there was no mention in his letter about the student’s personal responsibility to research the legal market and clearly analyze what a six-figure debt would do to their future.
In 1980, I graduated college and wanted to go on to law school. I was a single parent and realized that I could not afford to be burdened by the debt that I would have had to incur (back then) to go to law school. I decided against incurring the debt and instead chose to get an MBA because it was a benefit paid for by my employer. I never lost my dream to go to law school, but did very well with the MBA. In 1992, when I could afford to pay the University of Miami tuition in full, I enrolled in law school and graduated in 1996 debt free. I may add that the first two years of law school I worked full-time while studying full-time. It wasn’t easy but if a single mother could do it so can these future students if they want it bad enough.
Since Mr. Goodman is encouraging suggestions, I would suggest that The Florida Bar address this problem by giving potential law students a realistic picture of the legal community in Florida. That would include available jobs, realistic requirements to succeed, salary potential, and how many lawyers we have in Florida vs. available good paying jobs. Finally, help these students with financial planning so they clearly understand the consequences of a six-figure debt and allow them to take personal responsibility for their decision. I believe if many of those lawyers today, with six figure debts, had this kind of resource they would not be in that situation today.
I read with interest three letters in the June News. The first dealt with the overwhelming student debt incurred along the way to becoming a lawyer. The second dealt with the 41% dissatisfaction of so many young Florida lawyers. The third dealt with The Florida Bar’s pontificated, pompous, sanctimonious, and quixotic quest for political correctness via hierarchically goaded diversity and inclusion.
So, from the perspective or priorities, I ask the current and would-be poohbahs holding any resume-padding office or job within the entire Florida Bar, do you really think you’re serving the constituency, particularly sole practitioners who have to pay rent and utilities and make a weekly payroll? If you do, come down from your ivory towers and just ask them.
I double-dog dare you, because I suggest those three letters do not reflect isolated discontent and dismay. Or do you even care?
I am one who was admitted in 1972, and has been retired for 15 years, I certainly do.
Young Harris, GA