3 Money Myths Lawyers Believe
The average law school student graduates with $145,000 in student loan debt.
Guess how much the average student graduates with? $35,000.
On top of that, most people assume you don’t have any money struggles if you’re a lawyer - and we aren’t exactly the first people to admit we need help…
Which leaves many of us struggling under a crazy amount of debt with no strategy for paying it off and no one to talk to about it.
That’s why I wanted to interview my friend Jessica Medina.
Jessica graduated from law school as a single mom of twins with over $200,000 of student loan debt.
She went into big law because it felt like the only way to pay this off. Eight years later, she realized her kids were almost teenagers, and she’d spent the majority of their childhood working.
She needed a change.
So she cut the cord with her firm, and took a 50% pay cut to go into government.
This shock to her family forced her to take a long hard look at her money. What was she doing with it? Where was it going? And how was it serving her?
This experience, along with paying off $200k worth of student loans as a single mom, eventually led her to open her own business helping attorneys grow their financial know-how. She helps them pay off debt, go after long-term financial goals, and create their dream lives.
I sat down with Jessica not too long ago, and we talked about these 3 financial myths lawyers believe:
You need to pay your student loans off as quickly as possible.
Many lawyers feel like student loan debt is a debt they took on, and it’s their responsibility to get rid of it as soon as possible, or they’re a terrible person.
But law school debt isn’t your typical student loan debt. The average student graduates with $35k of debt, while the average law school student graduates with $145k (and unfortunately in this case, many of us are above average).
We’re talking mortgage-sized debt, which means we don’t use the same strategies to attack it.
Here’s what Jessica tells her clients: law school was an investment you made for the rest of your life, and you get the rest of your life to pay it back.
You have to work in law until you can pay off your law degree.
People feel guilty for wanting to leave a profession they’re still paying for. They feel like since they took out the loans for law school, they at least have to pay the debt back before they change careers.
Here’s what Jessica tells people: No one is taking that JD away from you. You will always have a lawyer mindset. That comes with all the good parts and the harder parts of having a lawyer mindset. The good news is most employers really like a lot of things you bring to the table.
If you pay your bills each month, you’ll be fine.
All their other bills are paid, so people feel like they don’t need to look strategically at their finances.
But the question is, just because you can pay that bill, is that bill the right amount for your longer term goals?
What if you don’t make that kind of money for the rest of your life? Is that still going to work? Will the choices you’re making now pan out well in the long run?
If you’re interested in hearing more from Jessica, check out my latest podcast: 3 Money Myths Lawyers Believe
Being able to speak to someone who understands what your daily life feels like and who can also take a bird’s eye and detailed view is exactly what most people need.
Find someone who can help you lift the heavy burden of your finances off your shoulders, take actionable steps toward your goals, and create a legacy for your family.
You got this, my powerhouse friend!