Christian | 23 | Portland, Ore.

Christian talking about the student loan system.

Photo credit: Cara Hopkins

Is the student loan system fair?
I don’t know what’s meant by fair, but I’d say comparatively to places like Europe, no, not so much.

Why?
Just because they’re shafting us, basically. We have to take on huge debt that will take years to pay off for basically a piece of paper that’s becoming less and less valuable as time goes on.

Do you have student loans now?
Yup.

What are you studying?
This will be my last term before I get my English degree with a writing minor, and then I’ll be starting law school next fall.

So, you’re going to take out more loans for law school?
Yeah.

Do you plan to be a lawyer?
Yeah.

What kind of law?
My grandpa is into criminal law. He just retired as a prosecutor, but I’m thinking [of] specializing in international law, in case living here is less of an option in the future.

Have you done any research into what your starting salary will be?
I think poorly paid lawyers, or even if you’re not a lawyer and you get a law job, you can make at least $45,000 a year, initially. But I mean, hopefully more than that. Ideally, $60,000.

Do you have any idea how much your monthly payments might be for your loans once you’re out of school?
I don’t. I haven’t looked enough into it, but I guess the rote answer is that a lawyer who gets a law job should be able to pay off their loans in about five years; that’s probably for a responsible spender. I mean, I’m a responsible spender, but still, you can’t just go with the ideal—it might be a crappier situation.

I guess it also depends on where you end up living.
True. In a perfect world, I’d still be here at Lewis and Clark. I don’t want to go anywhere else geographically. Thankfully, it’s not super expensive here yet.

Are you from Portland?
Yeah. My dad’s family is from SoCal, but yeah.