I’m telling you folks, the message is starting to filter through about law schools. The education costs so much and the job prospects are so uncertain for new lawyers that people are finally starting to understand that getting a J.D. is not the kind of bankable asset that it used to be.

It’s filtering through to students. But most importantly, it’s starting to filter through to parents. Raise your hand if you are in law school now because Mommy or Daddy thought it would be “good for you” to “get serious” about something. (Wait, don’t literally raise your hand, you might get called on… oh, sorry. Just say something about how the case holding “seems to contradict, at least in part” the holding from the last case you read. That’s always the right answer.)

As I was saying, it’s parents who think that law is the kind of professional enterprise that will guarantee their children good, stable incomes. Armed with this (incorrect) information, they often push their children into legal careers that their kids never wanted.

But that’s all starting to change, and today’s example of that change is Theresa Brenner. She’s decided to “postpone” making a decision about going to law school. Instead, she’s going to drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. And her parents are supporting her decision.

She’s having second thoughts, but I think we can all clearly see that driving around in a car shaped like a hot dog is a FAR SUPERIOR career choice than going to law school in this market at these prices….

Brenner is a recent graduate of THE Ohio State University and the campus newspaper, The Lantern, has her story:

Theresa Brenner said that, during her senior year, she was applying for law schools and seeking job opportunities when she decided to apply for the hotdogger job. When she got the job, she decided that law school would have to wait but wasn’t sure she was doing the best thing for her future.

“My dad said he was proud,” Theresa Brenner said. “I said to (my parents), ‘Am I silly to turn down law school and take this opportunity?’ and they said, ‘No, Theresa, go for it.’”

The hotdogger job is a yearlong position expected to end in June 2013, but Theresa Brenner said she hasn’t planned for what she will do after that.

“I deferred admissions to three different law schools, so I’ll most likely take that up but still do networking and look at other cities that I love and other great opportunities along the way,” she said. “I’m not going to pigeonhole myself or get tunnel vision and not take advantage of the great opportunities that lie along the hot dog highways.”

Of course turning down law school is the intelligent option when the alternative is driving a hot dog cross-country. It’s not even close. Wienermobiling is an opportunity that is available now; law school will be available forever. Driving a hot dog will give her opportunities to work on her networking skills — skills that she’ll desperately need if she hopes to land a job after law school or generate business. And getting onto the “hot dog highway” incurs no debt for her or her family. I doubt law school will be able to offer the same deal.

I suppose that it’s a sad commentary on the state of legal education when driving a wiener is a better opportunity than going to law school, but there it is.

If any of you know Theresa Brenner, tell her that I said I NEED A DELICIOUS HOT DOG, STAT! Then tell her I said she’s made a wise decision.

Ohio State grad travels country in Oscar Mayer Wienermobile [The Lantern]


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