When it comes to paying for law school, most of us fill out paperwork to secure shiny loans that haunt us for years to come. But there are a few students who think outside the box. Law school tuition Kickstarter campaigns crop up from time to time. There was also a website set up to sell future income streams in exchange for debt payments. Generally, these efforts to outsource student debt are the work of narcissists unwilling to take personal responsibility and pay for their life decisions.
And then we see something like this:
God asked me to go to Law School for the good of the Kingdom of God. Help me raise $28,500 by 5/1/15!
Well, that’s a horse of another color! It’s not that you want a law degree without having to suffer the consequences of your actions, it’s that God wants it. Nothing reflects the model of Jesus Christ more than getting what you want without suffering at all.
Let’s check out this plea for a free law school education — complete with its own movie trailer!
As begging goes, Operation Law School is a pretty impressive effort. It’s the work of 20-something Julianna, who returned from her work as a missionary in Africa knowing that God wanted her in a courtroom. There’s a trailer and everything:
You can’t fault this woman for putting her all into this campaign. This condemns every cookie-cutter Kickstarter with a bland personal statement and a Facebook profile picture to the dung heap of law school panhandling where they belong. From now on, if you want out of your financial obligations, you’d best be ready to throw down with a full-fledged multimedia project.
Raising money for my first year of law school is weird. I get it. I don’t think anyone in the history of anyone has ever raised money for tuition, especially for law school.
Apparently not an ATL reader yet. But there is a difference between her and all the other folks out there begging for cash:
However, I will not be attending your average law school.
Indeed you’re not. Average law schools are ranked. The boondoggle that is Regent is the work of televangelist Pat Robertson, selected by ATL readers as Yale Law School’s most disgraceful graduate. Robertson took a break from publicly wishing SCOTUS justices would die and buddying up to known war criminals to found a college complete with a law school dedicated to churning out underqualified conservative attorneys to fill political appointments in Republican administrations. The law school boasts impressive alumni like Monica Goodling, so take that Yale.
But like most law schools, Regent doesn’t come cheap. Despite boasting a mere 55 percent employment score, Regent still charges students like it’s one of the big boys in the legal academy. Charge people for the U.S. News ranking you want, not the one you have.
Also, after much prayer and wise counsel, I have decided to let you in on this part of my life so that you will know what God is doing in and through me.
Thanks! Go on…
I do not believe in taking out student loans because the Word of God says not to, and He asked me specifically not to, so I have permanently declined my loans in faith, trusting that He will provide the full amount.
To borrow from Christian Mingle: “Sometimes we wait for God to make the next move, when God is saying, ‘It’s Sallie Mae’s time to act.’”
She assures us that “I believe that I will be going on His dime, 100% debt-free,” which is cagey because she explicitly wants to be going on OUR dime unless God has a new alternative to Bitcoin (I think it’s this).
Still, this effort, and others like it, indirectly highlights the true cost of law school. When she’s talking about raising $50K every year — and yes, she’s including in her request money for food and car payments and all the other stuff she needs regardless of going to law school — she really means $50K every year. That’s not what the rest of us are paying for law school. Just like she confuses God’s money with our money, most law students confuse the sticker price of law school with what they actually shell out on the back end. Law School Transparency estimates the full cost of going to Regent with a stack of loans at $206,595. Basically, the latter-day moneychangers are taking a whole additional year’s worth of money out of your pocket for the privilege of going to school. Debt is big business in this country, and Julianna’s questionable interpretation of scripture has hit on just how predatory a society based on usury can be. When you marry usury and a school willing to run up tuition while promising meager results, you can see the con game.
In a sense, the narcissists (or religious people) who refuse to play by the same rules as the rest of us expose that the rules are rigged. Still, it’s probably better to spend your money fighting the system than helping a single student skirt it.
And it’s definitely better to keep your money away from subpar law schools trying to convince their students to pay top dollar no matter how much you like the trailer.