Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Back On the Other Chain Gang

with 12 comments

Total Black: $412.81
Total Red: $230,476.54

Well, I’ll be back at New World Stages next weekend.  Possibly this weekend as well.  At maximum I earned about $275.00 in a week at New World Stages.  So, assuming I get anywhere around $200, coupled with the $2,000 from the contract attorney position, and I’d be making approximately $115,000 for the year.  Of course, I won’t be working the contract position for the rest of the year—at least not as far as I’m aware.  I could be working the theatre gig, however.

Today I received a comment on another post, noting that I haven’t yet had much success in bringing my debt down.  That’s true, unfortunately.  But it’s only true because of the crazy nature of the market right now.  If times weren’t tough, off-Broadway shows wouldn’t be closing and I’d still be working at New World Stages nearly every night.  If times weren’t tough, I’d be earning a decent wage for a licensed attorney and would be on a steady contract attorney project.  If times weren’t tough, I might even be able to find a few other gigs besides the medical experiment and selling art.  But that’s the reality that I’m in.  If I set this goal two years ago, it would probably be a more straight-forward process of getting debt free.  And a much more boring one to read.  Honestly . . . would you want to read about me going to work and coming home each day.  What’s the fun and excitement in that?  I’d certainly love to have a few months of steady work.  Don’t get me wrong.  But I must admit that I’ve never felt more connected to this city and more wired in return.

My former landlord, back when I lived in Brooklyn, once told me that he thinks what makes New York New York is all the people who come to the city from elsewhere, knowing what this place has to offer, and grabbing hold of it.  Most people born in New York, he said, take the city and its opportunities for granted.  Similar to how New Yorkers don’t visit many of the great spots tourists flock to.  Back then I felt like what he said did not resonated with me.  I was about to embark on an associate path at a large, corporate law firm.  But things have changed in the three years since he told me that.  And now I do feel the opportunities here.  Everyone keeps running the math and commenting on how I’d have to come up with X amount per day to achieve Y result.  No.  That’s not true.  I can come up with $230,000 in one day.  Or $229,000 in one day and $1,000 on the next.  And on and on.  I’m focused here on the journey and the end result.  Getting bogged down in how much I need per day to get to my goal is just focusing on the negatives and worrying about not making it.  If I don’t get the estimated amount per day, what other result will ensue except me worrying.  And that certainly won’t net me anything else.  I’m trusting that this city, and all it has to offer, will come through for me.

Speaking of which, I’m off to the medical experiment.  One more week until I get my money.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

January 11, 2010 at 10:52

12 Responses

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  1. So you say if you started blogging about paying off debt 2 years ago it would be boring, so instead you’re blogging about the completely impossible and ridiculous goal of paying off 230K in debt in one year? How is that interesting? We all know you’re not going to reach that goal. You need to start reading my friend, he’s been blogging his way out of debt the realistic way.

    You might as well admit you’re hoping for a secret santa lurking the intarwebs with pockets bulging with cash to pay off your debt by giving you a giant donation. Its tough to have sympathy for highly educated people who have borrowed themselves into a financial nightmare. Sorry man, outside of the lottery, poker, and pro athletes I have never heard of anyone pulling in $230,000 in one day.

    I want whatever you’re smokin! 😉


    January 11, 2010 at 11:42

  2. And actually, you will need to make substantially more than 230K this year. Don’t forget the taxes!


    January 11, 2010 at 12:28

  3. Have you thought of trying to negotiate with the IRS? There’s an offer and compromise process to negotiate down what you owe. I still think a combination of that and bankruptcy are really the most practical ways to get you to your goal.


    January 11, 2010 at 16:57

  4. Dude … who’s shittin’ who here? Not only are you not making progress but you are going BACKWARDS … here are the debt stats from your initial post (about a year back):

    So, at the outset, here are today’s stats:

    Total black: $513.94 ($500 of which is sitting in a separate checking account for an un-cashed check)
    Total red: $227,392.05

    Basically, you are down another $3k in this past year … I know you’re not a math whiz, but how many years will it take to pay down a $230k debt at -$3k/year? Quite a few I would think …

    Sorry to be a bitch,


    January 12, 2010 at 21:45

  5. What law school did you go to? Obviously not a good one because you aren’t smart enough to figure out that this won’t happen, even if you did read ‘The Secret’.


    January 12, 2010 at 22:58

  6. Hoping that your debt will go away won’t magically make it go away. Also, I love how you think people will send you money. Won’t happen. This blog is the funniest thing I have read this year. Delusional!

    Steve Johnson

    January 12, 2010 at 23:02

  7. Dude, the logic you’re attempting to employ here is so flawed it’s mind-numbing trying to deconstruct it. First, you’re assuming that graduation from a “good” law school implies financial intelligence. Not sure that’s a rule of thumb you can adhere to. The George W. Bushes aside (who did graduate from Yale business school after all)—you’re next assuming that a good law school education will help you figure out how to avoid debt, or in this case that it would help me see that I can’t get out of debt in a year. That doesn’t follow, especially since “good” law schools cost so much to begin with and since law school has nothing to do with financial literacy. So whatever law school you attend, that point is irrelevant. It’s not that if I went to Harvard I wouldn’t be in this boat but since I went to Howard, well . . . now it makes sense all of a sudden. In fact, I graduated with much less student loan debt because I went to Howard and received a near full scholarship to attend.

    When I achieve my goal, it won’t due to the law school I attended—well, at least not completely, though perhaps going to a great school like Howard taught me to believe in myself and in the goodness of others. Something other law schools surely don’t do.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 15, 2010 at 06:26

  8. I’ve already received money from other people, so you’re just factually incorrect. And clearly I’m not just “hoping” my debt will go away. If you read anything else on the blog, going all the way back to August 2009, you’ll see that I’ve been working my ass off. Some gigs may pan out. Others not so much. But that’s all the process of trying to find lucrative ways to supplement income and work my way out of debt. Not “hope” my way out.

    Guess you read Schadenfreude, eh? Glad the blog makes you laugh. Keep reading, I enjoy making others feel better.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 15, 2010 at 06:29

  9. You received $50 from the same person twice, and it’s been months since that happenen (he or she probably realized it wasn’t worth it, especially after some of your more recent posts. No one wants to give you money for an expensive gym and happy ending massages. In fact, throwing money away would be a better use of it than giving it to you.


    January 15, 2010 at 09:05

  10. 1) I never used that blog money for anything so selfish. I already noted that the first $50 was used for a USB port during the art selling gig. The second $50 I used for the bus ticket home on Thanksgiving. And I intend to “return” that money to my blog PayPal account to be used at the end of this journey for payment on a debt.

    2) I never said that every massage had a “happy ending” or that I went in search of one. I said I went seaching for human touch. Maybe like two or three had any bonus aspect to them. Instead, that I wanted to be touched, and was willing to pay for it, was the point I was emphasizing. That sometimes our debt is caused by yearnings we don’t want to own up to.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 15, 2010 at 09:24

  11. You are slowly floating away from reality…


    January 18, 2010 at 22:30

  12. Spectacle_Guy: Hey. Nice to see you back around again. You remind me that I still have to fill in that post from whence you took your name! Hopefully tonight. It’s been written in my head for over a month now.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    January 19, 2010 at 08:12

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