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Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Stripper?
From the Bar to the Pole

If learning to do this was mandatory in 3L year, law schools would be doing you a favor.

The stripper with the heart of gold who shakes what her momma gave her to make it through school would be a Disney movie if it didn’t require so much T&A. We know that “I’m doing it to pay for school” is the go-to line whenever you meet a stripper in a situation where she’s expected to keep her clothes on. Most of the women who claim that they need to strip to pay for school haven’t actually read anything since their last visit to the clinic. But for a fair number of strippers, tuition or debt repayment is a chief motivator.

Most women who go to law school think that their advanced education will buy them out of taking their clothes off for money (unless, you know, it’s partner money). But as a practical reality, stripper skills are very useful. It’s a job that can be done while in school or immediately after that pays a lot of money for relatively brainless work. It’s no more exploitative than working a law firm job. And in this economy, that law firm job is probably only available to the few women who are too ugly to strip or are willing to put out.

Hell, as we’ve previously reported, some strip clubs are even proactively screening for advanced degrees.

For today’s tale of a lawyer cum stripper, we have a young lady who has ended up stripping to pay her bills and law school debts. It’s not a sob story, though; she says that in one sense the job is less hostile than any law office she’s worked in…

The story of lawyer/stripper “Carla” comes from MSNBC’s Redtape Chronicles, as part of its ongoing “Let’s Point And Laugh At People Getting F***** By The Recession” series (note: that’s probably not the real name of the series). Because this has been happening to law students and graduates for years now, I don’t find the story particularly surprising. But you know that non-lawyers respond with horror to leads like this:

When Carla graduated 10 years ago, she thought her law degree would be a permanent ticket to a high-paying job. But instead of selling her mind, Carla is selling her body. After student loans, debt, a layoff and unemployment battered her bank account, she now finds herself in an almost unbelievable position – dancing in a topless bar.

“Did I ever think I’d be taking my top off for rent money? No. I was in my mid-30s and had never danced before.”

You can just imagine people like my mother and yours (and hers) reading that and thinking, “Oh noes, she’s A LAWYER, everything was supposed to work out!”

(For the prestige whores out there, the article only says she went to law school on the West Coast. I have no idea if this picture that MSNBC uses is actually a picture of Carla or if this picture was taken in Carla’s law school library. But if you want to play “Where in the world did Carla go to law school?”, feel free.)

Of course, everything doesn’t work out just because you’ve gone law school. Whether it’s stripping, using your legal knowledge to safely sell drugs, or writing college essays for rich kids, everything has to be on the table if you want to carve a financially sound path beyond law school these days.

Carla is finding that out the hard way. “But, with our economy the way it is, especially in smaller cities … you strip or you starve,” she said.

As usual, Carla ended up stripping because she can make more money doing that than anything else she can get hired for. You can’t criticize a person for that. You can criticize a person for not learning from previous mistakes:

As her prospects grew dim, she went back to school to earn a master’s degree, hoping to bolster her credentials. But her financial aid came in lower than expected, her credit was battered and she struggled to find part-time work in her new town to keep her afloat.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA? This person had an advanced, expensive degree that she could no longer pay for because it wasn’t helping her get a job, and in response she went back to school! That’d be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard if I didn’t hear about people making the same idiotic mistake every day. Even George W. Bush understands the basic concept behind how many times you can be fooled by the same thing before you look like a rank imbecile.

Christ on a stick — Carla’s limited ability to estimate future results based on available information extends not just to the value proposition of higher education. Apparently she didn’t anticipate the lifestyle of a stripper until she tried it. She told MSNBC, “I was shocked at how horribly some men treat us. I realized that I was much more naive than I thought I was.”

How, HOW, are you sitting there in your mid-30s with your top off before you realize you have NO IDEA how the world works? How is that possible? When progressives like me “blame the parents” or “blame the system,” it’s because we can’t stand the thought that there are people out there who are just naturally this dense.

Oh, but she’s thankful for the stripping experience:

Believe it or not, she said she feels lucky, because she has a male friend at school who’s in a similar financial situation, “but there’s no male equivalent to what I’m doing. At least I have the option,” she said….

“I cannot wait to start my life over elsewhere doing something different but I will always be grateful for the lessons I’ve learned dancing and will never again look down on anyone who works in this industry,” she said.

You know what Carla’s problem is? She seems to be one of those people who can only learn by doing. Recognizing that stripping can be dangerous? Let’s strip and find out. Noticing that men cannot make as much stripping? Let’s talk to a male that’s not stripping and find out. Recognizing the fundamental human dignity of every person? Let’s work in a strip club and find out!

In any event, ladies who have the talent to strip and the needs to make ends meet shouldn’t let a person like Carla influence their decision one way or the other. I would just hope the next lawyer/stripper we write about (and there will be others) possesses some foresight about her future.

There is no substitute for engaging in rigorous thought about decisions before those decisions are made. Here, I’ll start you off with this useful thought: There is no degree that can guarantee a life off the pole.

Lawyer turns topless dancer to pay the bills [The Redtape Chronicles / MSNBC]

Earlier: Ladies: A J.D. Will NOT Prevent You From Fulfilling Your Stripper Dreams

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