Why Law School?

Given that my main goal in life is to retire early and spend my days in quiet leisure tinkering, reading, enjoying art, socializing, blah blah blah, why am I bothering to attend law school when I could just get a job and get on with the task of saving money?

The answer is basically that I have an opportunity before me that is somewhat unique. My first year of school was free and a severance from my employer ensures that I will have a living stipend through my 2nd year of school as well (it’s a union thing).  That money goes away though, if I get a job.  So my choice is basically, 1. sit home and do nothing and collect the money. 2. Get a job, work 40 hrs/week and make the same amount of money I’d make if I did nothing. Or 3. collect the money and use the opportunity to work towards my law degree (4. I suppose I could also collect the money and simultaneously work on developing some under-the-table side business). But this income makes for a great excuse to continue on to year 2 of law school rather than quitting and getting a job.

Financing the tuition is an issue, which is why I’m anxious to the see the financial aid numbers.

But basically, due to my unique situation, law school for me represents only 1 year of opportunity cost (money I could have made working full-time) which will happen during my 3rd and final year of school. For the typical person, law school represents 3 years of lost income, a much steeper price. In addition, the average person pays for all 3 years of school themselves. I will only have to pay for 2 years and hopefully I will have a few grants and scholarships to defray my obligation further.

Now, while my goal is to retire early, I still will need to work for about 5-7 more years to retire comfortably (by my standards), and I would prefer those years of work to be something enjoyable and meaningful, rather than something arduous and draining. By spending a little money on school and giving up that one year of lost income, I help to make those 5-7 years a time of accomplishment and enrichment rather than one long countdown to my freedom from work.

Besides, I’m actually having a good time in school, things are coming easily to me, the schedule’s terrific and I’m surrounded by good friends every day. Who wouldn’t want to keep that going a little longer?

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