By almost any measure, I had hit the jackpot. I graduated from law school in 2013, with honors, and landed a job at one of the largest law firms in the midwest. In an era when law students were – and still are – frequently finding themselves unemployed or underemployed, I was one of the “lucky” ones. My starting salary in my first ever real job was $110,000 per year. Here I was, a 26 year old kid making a salary that my middle class parents had never earned in their entire lives. The most I had ever earned in a year before was about $20,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for 25-34 year olds in the United States is $38,324 a year. I was making nearly 3 times that amount. By 2016, my salary rose to $125,000 per year. I was a baller!
But, like almost all new lawyers (or almost anyone entering a high paying professional field), I also had sizable student loan debt: about $87,000 worth.