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Useless degree/returning to school

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    Originally posted by koen411 View Post
    I am in a dilema. I am 31 and have a law degree from a public university. I have about $60,000 in remaining student loans. I have only been able to obtain temporary work in the legal field, and currently earn about $62k per in a position with little room for advancement. I realize law school was a gigantic mistake and I would like to leave the legal field and go to pharmacy school to increase my earning power to around $110,000 per---but only after 5 more years of school. Would it be wise to:

    1) pay down $9,000 more in debt, then:
    2) Liquidate my IRA of about $50k and pay off my loans, (I previously worked in a factory and saved for retirement in the 90s and my investments did well)
    3) Return to pharmacy school and accumulate more student loans.

    Stop thinking about 'job' and start thinking about how to apply your skills. In one sense both legal and pharma have more restrictions around them re: selling your skills, but you can get very creative. Specialize in a particular niche and start serving people in that niche freelance style. Are you licensed to practice law? Become a mobile lawyer - come to people's offices or homes to work with them through particular paperwork or situations. The startup IT field often needs legal assistance, although most can't afford full/time lawyers.

    Basically expand your thinking and look beyond 'job'. Yes, working for someone else might mean you'll be 'stuck' in the mid 60s, but with some creativity and hustle you can no doubt do a lot better. A friend of mine has become a lawyer but is now somewhat stuck in the 'I have to work in this practice' situation due to a number of situations, but largely because he didn't build his own name and network, and relied too much on working for the 'big players' in town. *THEY* worked hard for years to build their name/network/reputation, and that's who people turn to. My friend is now in his early 40s and regrets not having struck out on his own earlier to build his own name in the legal field.