Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What's Wrong with this Picture.

I went to the dentist yesterday to get my teeth cleaned. There are three or four dentists there and three or four "hygentists" (Does that mean that the dentists aren't?). I have my dentist (the dentists are all male), but I have formed no attachment to any of the hygenists (hereinafter refered to as "h" in the singular and "h's" collectively)(the h's are all younger and female). I have been going there for several years and so each of the h's has cleaned my teath at one point or another. The h's have one thing in common. They talk a LOT. (It would be fine if they said nothing. Really.)

I had a new one yesterday, and, sure enough, she talked a LOT. She noted right away that I was a lawyer and asked what kind of law I practiced. Then she told me her son was applying to law school and was waiting to hear from them. That's the story I would like to tell, the story about her son as she related it to me. Nothing really earth shaking, but I am taking a break here, you understand, and this is all I've got right now.

(Note to Florida Bar: she did not engage me as her attorney, and there is no attorney-client privilege involved.)

Her son graduated a year ago from a FL school that is in the Final Four. He had a double major in Business Admin and Engineering, graduating in five years. I say more power to him, because the Lizard school has a great reputation in each of those areas. But after a year as an engineer, he decided he didn't like it and applied to law school. He quit his well paying engineering job and went to work for Legal Aid earning next to nothing, while he did his law school applications and waited to hear from them. (At this point, my right eyebrow shoots up, but she is working on my upper right molars and does not notice.)

He applied to (1) the Lizard Law School, which I consider the top one in FL, (2) the law school of the Florida Native Americans who, among other things, wrestle FL Lizards for big tourist bucks but, as far as I know, do not populate the student body in any appreciable number, and (3) the Ibis Law School, which, of the three is probably the least in terms of reputation. Not a bad law school, mind you, but I rank it number three. State resident tuition is about $7000 per year to the two state law schools and $30,000+ to UM.

For a reason which was explained to me by h at great length but which I will not detail here (I've already lost half of my readership by now to Sean's blog), he will miss admission to FL for this fall, but could get in for next fall, if he waited. That leaves UM and FSU. He wants to go to UM. (My other eyebrow shoots up, but she's on the left, lower molars by now.)


His girl friend lives here.

He wants to go to law school NOW.

Let's see here. $21,000 for a state school versus nearly $100,000 for mediocre UM.

I took that sucking thing out of my mouth and said something like, "He could fly her up every weekend for the difference!" H said, "Yeah, that's what I told him". I mumbled something, and she said, "He's really very bright and was at the top of his class at UF", etc.

Maybe its a Florida Lizard thing, but would someone help me here? This guy is going to become a lawyer with this sort of judgment? (Well, maybe he'll go into politics.)

On top of that, this family does not have the money. He will borrow this money. H said that they could probably handle the FSU tuition, but not the UM tuition. So he graduates from law school with a $100,000 debt. Nice way to start life, especially since you don't have to start that way, especially when you are getting less value for your money at UM than at FSU or Florida.

Maybe someone will explain this to me. Is he so head over heals with this girl that he is afraid to leave her alone in Miami? Does he really think he'll have all that much time to check up on her during his first year of law school even if he is in Miami? Do you think this is a genetic thing and I should ask for another h next time?

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