Unemployed Law Grad Found An Novel Way To Start Paying Off $US100,000 In Debt

Bad Sportz Jacqueline YoungJacqueline YoungJacqueline Young

Our stories on the plight of underemployed law grads have prompted a huge response from readers — including one who never found an attorney job but did ok for herself anyway.

That reader, 31-year-old Jacqueline Young, attended University of Nebraska’s Law School (ranked 61 in the U.S.) and passed the bar after graduation in 2010.

Over the course of a year, Young applied for something like 1,500 jobs, some law-related and some not. She had no luck and worked as a food server to make ends meet. Finally, in October 2011, she got an idea for a business while babysitting a young volleyball player: selling headbands and other sports accessories at kids’ tournaments.

This is obviously not she set out to do when she took out about $US100,000 in loans to go to law school with the idea that, in her words, “it would be cool to be a corporate attorney.”

But she seems happy with where she is and she’s not doing bad financially, either. The business — Bad Sportz — had $US250,000 in sales its first year. Young has been throwing any extra cash from her sports apparel business at her student loans, and her $US100,000 debt is now down to $US60,000.

Meanwhile, a few of her law school classmates who did find work as lawyers after graduation are already looking to leave the law.

“People question me all the time about why I am selling headbands and sitting at a volleyball tournament on the weekends when I could be an attorney,” Young told me in an email message. “It’s funny because I probably make more than most of my classmates. I just smile and say there is nothing better than owning your own business.”

On the phone, I asked Young whether she regretted going to law school, and she said that she didn’t. A glass-half-full kind of person, Young mentioned that her hefty loans give her an incentive to make sure the business does well.

Still, Young said of law school, “I wouldn’t do it again, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.”

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