Monday, January 26, 2009

Is $75,000 in student loan debt worth this?

So, I’m facing termination from my job within the next week. Of course, the firm I work for is not sure that’s what will happen; they might fire me, they might cut me to half time, they might not do anything.

And I might lose my little mind.

I shouldn’t be surprised. This place basically drove MJ into the ground when they gave her the boot. They reduced her to tears and overwhelming agony. Why should I be shocked when they attacked me in the same way?

Backstory: I began working at this firm more than three years ago as a law clerk. When I graduated from law school, I joined the firm as an associate attorney. My pal MJ scored me the law clerk job, which might have been a mistake on her part because a year later they pitted the two of us against each other for the one associate job available. She and I didn’t indulge in a gladiator-esque battle for the position, instead choosing to apply to other jobs and see what happened. We both figure they’d offer the job to her. I mean, she’s smarter, a far better writer, and had been at the firm a lot longer. I got offered a job as a judicial clerk and the very next day they managed to break MJ’s heart and offer me a job.

When they told MJ she was not getting the job, they did it in such a way that her confidence, her faith in herself, and her entire career path were thrown into question. As if it wasn’t enough to refuse to offer her a job she coveted, they kicked her while she was down.

Because MJ is a very good person and a very good friend, she urged me to accept the offer, since it was about an hour closer to where I live than the judicial clerk position and paid more (not significantly more, but more). She landed on her feet by getting a very prestigious clerkship (I told you she was smart) and I took the job. She harbors no ill feelings towards me because I got the offer. (Or if she does, she’s a very good actress). She’s been nothing but kind and supportive.

And I’ve needed it. When I took the job the firm was very busy. I was their first ever associate and we were going to have to learn together, but I thought it would be okay. Nope. This job has nearly killed me. I’m questioning if I’m a good lawyer, a good litigator, a good employee.

And now, this. Termination. Firing. Laying off. I have no idea what term they’ll give what they’re doing to me, but it’s pretty clear I’m going bye-bye. In the process of giving me the boot, they’ve done to me what they did to MJ: kicked me in the teeth.

Sometimes I think going to law school was the biggest mistake of my life and the past few months aren’t doing anything to make me feel better about incurring a mountain of debt to end up in a place like this.


MOLLY said...

I am not smarter and a better writer! Liars make baby Jesus cry! :) But I survived my ordeal and I know you will too. Instead of letting them kick you in the teeth like I did - fight back a little. :)

Janet said...

*sigh*... I often wonder the same thing. Except double your number, thanks to a D.C. cost of living and private education, and add the fact that the fiance is in the same boat... and, well, $300k seems like an awfully high price to pay to get kicked in the teeth on a regular basis.

I believe with all of my heart that you will find something better. Please. You must. I need to see that it is possible.