Let’s say you swept through your law courses, got your JD, you’re made of gold, and nothing could dare stop you. That is, except not getting hired. Let’s say you are like St. Thomas Law School graduate Thomas McGregor and you had incredible loans but no prospects? “I paid off $108,000 of law school loan debt. All I had to do was put my life on the line,” not so much by defending clients on high profile cases, but by defending the country and its interests: he joined the army.
Taking up his gun and fighting in Afghanistan for three years seemed a more solid bid for financial freedom for McGregor than withering away with no legal job. He was bright and bubbly and hoping to get “a good job right away,” when he began circulating his resume and working an unpaid internship at a legal aid clinic.
But no dice, instead, he returned to the same job he’d worked summers for 13 years, at the family’s roofing distribution center, at $15 an hour with no benefits, managing roofing material orders with a forklift.
“I’d load up the pick-up truck or unload returns, it was pretty much manual labor,” he said, as Above the Law reported. Meanwhile he owed $1,200 a month.
“I was just being realistic. I’d be paying those loans off forever and I knew interest compounding would make it go up. I couldn’t think of any better options.”
Though he needed to remain on the Army for only three years, he enjoyed it and stayed on.
“Joining the Army is something people can only decide for themselves,” he said. “It was a great opportunity… I don’t think any other job would be close to this.”
Except maybe lawyering, assuming, though, that one has a taste for it – which hopefully he would if he invested so much as 3 years, a bar exam, an an unpaid internship in it.