I shouldn’t laugh at this. A recent law school graduate got completely screwed by her own father and I shouldn’t find it so funny.
But I do. I find it goddamn hilarious. The student actually got a clue halfway through law school and decided to drop out. But her father convinced her to stick it out by promising to pay her tuition. She finished, she graduated, and when it came time to pay the bills, Daddy said, “Sorry, I lied.”
Ha. Hahahahaha. When will law students learn that EVERYBODY IS LYING. You know, except me. EVERYBODY ELSE IS LYING…
The story is comes from a Dear Prudence article on Slate, so we don’t know which law school benefited from this paternal subterfuge. Here’s the question:
I graduated from law school several years ago and it was the biggest mistake of my life. I had allowed my parents to persuade me of their dream for me — becoming an attorney. Law school was hell, academically and socially. I was miserable and filed the necessary paperwork to leave.
My father told me that if I completed law school that he would pay all the loans I took out. I believed him because he had paid for college and he also showed me some of his accounts to ensure that he would be able to pay without bankrupting himself. I resumed classes and upon graduation, when I inquired about loan repayments, my father said that he never intended to pay, that he lied to me to get me to finish school, and that I was on my own. He stated that there was nothing I could do because there was no contract (obviously a major mistake on my end) and no witnesses, and he doesn’t care what I have to deal with. I am disgusted that he has no remorse and is so smug at getting away with deceiving me. I now have twice the debt I would have if I had I left school. How do I get over this betrayal?
— Resentful Daughter
Prudence, bless her heart, actually consulted a lawyer — and not just any lawyer, but Professor Randy Barnett, who teaches contracts at Georgetown Law when not taking on Obamacare — to see if the daughter had any sort of claim. Short answer: Hahahaha, of course not.
But the story underscores a point we’ve made around here for a while: if law schools are the “pushers” of harmful legal education, parents are the strung-out friends who pressure you into trying it for the first time. Law school libraries are full of kids who are there because Mommy and Daddy wanted them to be there.
It’s hard to “let your parents down,” especially if they want you to go to law school more than you want to do anything in particular. But you have to remember, it’s your life, not theirs. You will always have to ultimately pay for the decision to go to law school, no matter what your parents say.
Father Fibber [Slate]