Thought I wanted to be a lawyer…


Veronica’s Story:

I grew up watching Law & Order.  I fell in love with the show because of the big reveals in court.  Of course there was some shocking detail that nailed the evildoer to the wall.  Guilty! Justice served!  I joined debate team and Woman in Law club.  I happily checked the prelaw box of my college applications.  I didn’t even celebrate when I was accepted to every law school that I applied to.  I never doubted my path to success.  Where ever success was I was going to head in that direction. 

I hated law school.  No worries.  Hating law school was that small piece of pain right before you accomplish something.  Like the thigh burn before completing those twenty six miles of a marathon.  I had outlets.  Before a demanding study session I crocheted a few lines of doubles on the blanket for my nephew.  During Christmas break I built a coffee table out of used wine bottles or crafted a mosaic design on an end table.

I finally reached that promise land paved with gold and accomplishment.  I was recruited by one of those firms with a million partner names that forces a cumbersome abbreviation.  I admit it took some months for the shininess associated with this lifestyle I had worked so hard for to dim.  I didn’t understand why my feet hurt after hours of stiletto stomping around the office.  Did Sex in the City Miranda ever have gripping, aching feet?  She work Manolos.  I didn’t understand why I wanted home cooked meals even though I could afford take out.  Why did I continue to make furniture even though I could afford to purchase any home décor I wanted?  Where was my time?  Where was all of the relaxing and enjoying life that this tax bracket entitled me to?  I was tired of hiding my tattoos and avoiding the magenta hair dye at the beauty supply store. 

After a year of lawyering I told my mom about the change I wanted to make.  She scoffed, “Do you really think you can switch from corporate attorney to interior designer just like that?  You owe $195,000 in student loans.”

I wish research about my career path involved more than a television show.  I don’t know how to get out of this…


President Obama’s Legacy on Student Loans


When he announced his candidacy in 2007, Barack Obama looked like he could be the one to finally stand up to the student lending system.  He was one of only two members on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee not to have taken money from the Sallie Mae PAC.  In this position he was privy to HELP Committee  and other reports detailing a broad swath of illegal and deceptive activities by the lenders, the universities, and even the Department of Education…