Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Message From a 3L: I've Got More Debt Than You. Seriously, I Win.

A 3L friend asked that I post this to encourage all of you to give as you graduate:

300k. By the time I pay it off, it'll be >600k. That's a house - my debt.

And, I'm giving $100 to the Death Penalty Clinic, because it can do better with $200 than I can. I give $100, and it becomes $200, because alumni double whatever 3Ls give to the Class Campaign. For this, I get a t-shirt, pint glass, key chain, and satisfaction that the kids in the DP clinic can buy a new printer (they really need one).

I'd have 400k of debt, but I got a ton of grants here. I worked with the center for law and technology to fund a conference on HIV and neglected disease technology platforms. When we wrote a letter and asked Edley to sign it and send it to dozens of Congresspersons and Senators, urging repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, he did it, and he took the lead in recruiting other deans to join him. MSVH let us listen to Aqua in class. Amy K introduced me to the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases, a campus unit that later gave me a fellowship. T$lley brought donuts to Corp-Fin; B*mberg*r fed us chocolate and whitefish (in a sense); and Skl*nsk* challenged us to kill the felony murder rule.

The point is that our school, for all its flaws, educated and supported me, and it was able to do that because folks who came before us supported it. Our faculty are in demand - the ones who actually changed your life, they're not free.

Each one, teach one, and each one, support the thing that supported him. Some of us have complaints about financial aid (good, put your money where your mouth is); and others about LRAP (good, support the program, because Sacramento won't).

And, I'm going to the Unveiling Party.

See y'all in the next episode. It's been a blast.



Blogger trentblase said...

So if I give away my money, I can be massively in debt like your 3L friend? Cool, sign me up.

4/20/2011 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You talk like I didn't also give 44k this year.

I may donate when I get a job, but it cannot be justified before then.

4/20/2011 12:05 PM  
Blogger James said...

Glad to see N&B commenters are still N&B commenters

4/20/2011 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are unemployed 3ls (however many of us there are) really expected to donate? If yes, with what money?

4/20/2011 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poor 3L who wrote this probably has his job paying him 160 grand,which makes his debt completely serviceable. Who cares? Let's hear from Boalties who are going to be umemployed and have their wages garnished by the government for the next 25 years, are those people in a giving mood too?

4/20/2011 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't you cheap bastards end your martyr act and just cough up $20?

4/20/2011 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you lend me $20 to donate?

I'll be a very precarious financial situation very soon. At this point, I can't afford to part with a single cent since I need what I have now to last as long as possible.

4/20/2011 7:49 PM  
Blogger James said...

Can we stop with all of this ad hominem/whiny bullshit? The point of what he wrote was to give examples of how class giving helps the things that we all enjoy and benefit from here at Boalt.

We get it, some of you don't have jobs. This is stressful.

Guess what? The more people that give, the better chance your degree (you know, the one that helps you find employment) will be more valuable.

4/20/2011 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll stop my whining when I stop getting tons of emails asking me to donate money.

It's not as though I start conversations about how I'm not in a position to donate. I only say so when I'm asked to donate.

4/20/2011 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 8:47-Exactly.

I don't want to add to all the unemployed "whining" so I'll just say this:
I am unemployed
But to look on the bright side
Ramen is quite cheap

4/20/2011 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is no matter what the economic the administration is able to recruit students to be their lapdogs and extract even more money out of the students.

4/20/2011 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen. This post is pretty clearly about figuring out what you can give, and finding a way to give it. If you are unemployed and feel like you can't give, then don't. But if you are fortunate enough to have a job, this post is a nice reminder that you should give serious thought to investing in a Boalt community that helped get you there. No need to make this anything more than it was. (In fact--this post never once asked unemployed students to donate anything)

4/21/2011 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a really beautiful message about all the good things Boalt has to offer. You're graduating in 2 weeks, 3L's - look on the bright side!

4/21/2011 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how when you you get a job it has to be credited to the Boalt community, yet when you are unemployed and collecting food stamps after graduation at your parents house, that is credited to economic circumstances.

4/21/2011 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a nice post that reminds us about the aspects of Boalt that are worthy of our support.

I graduated in 2010. Last year at this time I still hadn't found a job. I don't even remember there being many postings for entry-level attorney jobs so I didn't have much hope of finding one before the bar. Yet I still gave $50 to Boalt - I gave 10$ donations to every clinic, Center, and journal I had been apart of. It was tripled that year and I remember thinking that even though I was donating borrowed money that I'd be paying interest on, it was something I could sacrifice to support a school that did provide me with a lot of opportunities.

Anyway, in June I found out I got a Bridge fellowship. In February I started working full-time. There hasn't been a point when I really missed that 50$ (I spent at least that much on alcohol the night I found out I passed the bar). I'd encourage people to give - even a little - to a part of Boalt that they care about.

4/21/2011 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about donating to start something like this at Berkeley:

4/21/2011 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is pretty easy to do. create a counterpart to the campaign drive. pick 2-3 things that the school should do for us. reasonable things. then start a pledge drive, "i'll donate if the school does these things." get a good % of 3L and 2Ls to sign. recruit some faculty and recent alums to sign. tell the 3Ls campaign drive recruiters, "i am more than happy to contribute, as soon as the school does these 2-3 things." win-win-win.

4/22/2011 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "anonymous 3L" trying to move us with tales of his immense sacrifice despite his poverty not only has a 6 figure job lined up, but also has deep reserves of mommy-daddy money to draw upon if things ever go wrong. If you're going to inspire us with tales of sacrifice, try giving us someone who actually understands what it means to go through life without a safety net.

4/22/2011 3:27 PM  
Blogger James said...

3:27, I think you've mistaken the person who asked me to post this with someone else. Did it feel good to write that post? Or are you still angry?

4/22/2011 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:27 FTL. Bbzzzzz. Wrong answer.

4/22/2011 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:27, if your employment prospects are so dire, i pray you're better at sucking dick than you are at psychoanalyzing the author of this letter.

...because you are waaaaaaaaaaayyyy off.

4/23/2011 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, 3:27, wrong person to attack. Anyone who knows the person who wrote the original message (I do) knows just how wrong you are about that person's circumstances, and therefore just how silly your comment is. Sorry.

4/23/2011 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um 3:27 is so right.

4/23/2011 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the author of the email just doesn't understand why people have not donated. It's not because of how much debt I have; it's because of the lack of future income.

4/23/2011 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted a long comment earlier but it was probably filtered out. The gist of it was:

1) More power to the 3L for giving when there's $$$$ debt
2) But I disagree with the 3L
3) I already pay for the awesome professors, the swanky new classrooms, and whatever else that's funded through fees/tuition. I believe this includes many clinics and/or student organizations.
4) I can't and won't give until I have paid my $$$ debt off and have a steady source of income
5) I like my school but am not wedded to it. Law school was and is an investment as far as I am concerned. I've paid fees with loans, and I want at least the capital back before I let my emotions control my finances.
6) I think there's a groupthink/subtle psychological pressures about how "giving back" is such an awesome thing. I think that's just propaganda. I believe we're already paying for what we're getting.
7) If anyone got grants, when and if they are able (i.e. after paying off other law school loans), I think they should give back whatever amount they got, adjusted for inflation (and for interest if one thinks that's fair).

4/24/2011 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:44: Beautiful. Exactly.

4/24/2011 5:37 PM  

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