In March of 2018, I spent 12 days on vacation with my family. On the plane and on the beach, I read a fantastic John Grisham novel that contained a surprise for me that made my hair stand on end. What was it? The principal characters were all coping with horrific law school debt.
I’ve spent my entire professional life getting college students and grad students to careers they excel at and love with zero student loan debt. I spent years researching and writing a book on this subject. I can tell you, Grisham’s research on this topic is right on the money. He nails it.
BEWARE. Law school debt has the potential to destroy your kid’s life.
I am not overstating this. Students who attend law school are at frightening risk of not being able to earn enough afterward to pay even the required minimums on their law school debt and interest. Law students from elite law schools who land the “big time” jobs will still struggle to pay—many times while working grueling 80+ hour workweeks that can feel more like indentured servitude than a great, fulfilling career.
Don’t fool yourself. It’s possible to get a great, fulfilling, high-paying professional career while avoiding law school.
Pages 133–151 of my book explains exactly how parents can use three career assessments to figure out what that great, fulfilling, well-paying career might be for their teen or 20-something.
Using practical career strategy early on can help your kid to avoid just blindly picking one of six careers he’s heard about on TV.
It can help him start moving purposefully toward a career he’ll excel at and love, and toward a solid, stable financial future.
You can’t put a price on that.
If you’ve got a kid who’s considering law school, get John Grisham’s book The Rooster Bar now. Don’t wait.
Read it yourself, and then ask your child to read it. Schedule a beach vacation for the two of you if that’s what it takes to get him or her to read it.
*Note: The Rooster Bar contains adult themes not suitable for every reader. Discretion is advised.
You can read the shocking Atlantic article that inspired John Grisham to write The Rooster Bar here.
If your child already has student loan debt, I provide valuable, free, step-by-step help with it here.
In addition, check out this article by my friend The Student Loan Hero. It’s about three lawyers who dug themselves out of 6-figure student loan debt, and while it’s encouraging and inspiring, it also issues a shocking wake-up call to anyone who thinks that paying off law school debt is going to be easy.
Full disclosure: In the consulting work that is my day job, I do help some students apply to law school.
But I only do so after I do these two things:
1. I make certain that the student is an ideal fit for a career that absolutely requires law school. I do all I can to prevent my clients from attending law school first and then thinking about a career plan after that.
2. I strategize carefully how to get the student a real, high-quality law degree with the least possible amount of student loan debt. Here’s one way students I consult with are able to accomplish that.
These days, I spend far more time talking students out of applying to law school than I do helping them get into it.
If you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help me by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.
Remember, the very best way to keep grad school debt low is to help your kids finish undergrad debt-free.
For clear, step-by-step help with this, it takes only 7 hours to read my book:
You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently at bit.ly/
You can see more than 90 reviews of it on Amazon at:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see why financial planners and wealth managers love LAUNCH, here.
You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCH, here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it–especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12–29?
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What about you? What has your experience with law school and law school debt been like?
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, author, speaker, and podcast host. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.