Quote of the Week: Do what you love…Love what you do

| July 26, 2010
“We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill
Eh. Growing Up. It was the avoided topic on last week’s trip to the lake with the girls…unless, of course, we were mentioning how we never want to grow up.
As we are all about to graduate college, the topic was ever daunting. Me? I’ve decided to go after a little somethin somethin called a law degree. {shriek}
I will be honest when I say that when I first started thinking about going to law school, I had a very naive assumption about what it entailed. As time went on, I started to worry it wasn’t a right fit. I mean, I did NOT want to pursue a career based off of some materialistic pursuit of money or fame. And as much as I L.O.V.E Law & Order, I couldn’t really picture myself doing that every day.
So my little doubt trip continued pretty much until common sense came a-knockin’, and I realized there’s so much more that lawyers can (and do) do. I found this handout, 101 Things You Can Do With a Law Degree and felt re-inspired.
My love for volunteer work led me to take an interest in Public Interest law (read more about this area of law). To use a law degree to help the community… Righteous? Yes. Practical? Not so much.
According to the recent Law School Survey of Student Engagement report, “almost one-third of all third-year law students expect to graduate with more than $120,000 in debt. the overall percent of students who expect to graduate with more than $120,000 in debt has grown from 18% in 2006 to 29% in 2009 […].
Oi. Kinda makes a gal want to reconsider her career choice, huh?
Good news? There are more and more opportunities out there to reward people who choose to use their law degree for a greater public interest, given the low-paying salaries often associated with this area of law.
For example, Harvard Law School created a $1 million fund for students entering careers in public service. The new program rewards students with one-year grants ranging from a few thousand dollars to as much as $80,000 to supplement salaries in the public sector or to start non-profit organizations. (information pulled from Pre-Law magazine, Vol. 13, no. 4).
For us non-Harvard bound kids, there’s hope with the government (shocking, no?). I plan on looking into College Cost Reduction and Access Act, a relatively new federal law, offering some degree of federal loan forgiveness for those who work in post graduate public service careers. Also, there’s Loan Repayment Assistance Programs, which may also offer partial assistance for grads who go into public service.

I’m happy there are some options available out there to encourage more graduates who are passionate about public interest issues to go into that field. At the end of the day, for me atleast, it’s more important to love what I do and feel a purpose in what I’m doing than to love my paycheck (though a new pair of shoes would be nice…hee hee!).


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