Law Schools, Money, Student Loans, UNC Law

Would-Be Law Student Solicits Donations to Attend UNC Law School

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.

When I was living in a spider hole on an uninhabitable island, God revealed to me the story of Sarah Allen. The ABA Journal reports:

Would-be law student Sarah Allen believes in a debt-free life, but it’s hard to square that vision with her desire to attend law school at the University of North Carolina, where the three-year education will cost about $105,000.

So Allen has set up a PayPal account and is appealing to the public to make donations there to help pay her tuition, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

This woman is asking people to donate money so that she can go and get an overpriced education? Am I dead? Is this Hell? What in the world is going on when people are so desperate to go to law school that they are asking for donations on the (virtual) street? Will educate myself for money? WTF?

Please tell me there is more to this story…

If I’m reading this correctly, Allen doesn’t want to go into debt but still wants to go to law school. What kind of sick joke is this? What makes Allen think she’s so special that she can escape the debt vortex of law school that sucks in so many students?

Oh, Allen promises that she’ll use her law degree for good:

“If I do become an attorney, I will have in mind that other people got me to where I am,” she told McClatchy. “I won’t be in a position where I have to take any job to pay my bills. I will have more flexibility to take cases I’m passionate about because I’m not tied to that burden.”

She would like to use her German skills in a legal career, possibly doing immigration work or serving German clients.

Can I get somebody to pay back my educational bills if I promise to write for German readers? überprüfen Sie Darlehen!

In any event, she has a blog, so there’s kind of a performance art to all of this. In one post, she writes:

For those of you curious about the areas of law I’m interested in, that would be immigration law, corporate law – particularly to serve German speaking clients (there is quite a demand for American German-speaking attorneys, yet only a limited supply) and general civil litigation (I hope to be able to help “normal” people involved in disputes who do not qualify for legal aid but are also not able to afford legal services – i.e. most people who qualify as middle class. I hope to offer more reasonable rates for legal services – which I will be able to do by not having student loan debt to repay). Ideally I want to continue to be self-employed and combine my skills as a translator with the legal profession.

You know, I’m going to ignore the whole “normal people” thing. She wants to help her own community; there’s nothing wrong with that.

But what gets me is that this is exactly the problem with prospective law students. Too many of them expect to get a really expensive legal education, yet not be forced to do stressful, high-paying work in order to pay it off.

Obviously, I speak from some experience when it comes to “refusing to pay” for legal education.

But in this economy, I don’t expect the general public will buy Sarah Allen into an easy choice. There are too many people struggling with the same financial apocalypse in this depressed legal market.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.

Would-Be Law Student Sets Up Paypal Account, Asks for Tuition Donations [ABA Journal]
Areas of law… for those interested [Going to Law School Debt-Free]
Would-be law student sends out Internet appeal for tuition help [Modesto Bee]

Earlier: Debt: The Silent Killer

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