I graduated from law school in 2004 with a little more than $110k in student loans. I more or less took a big law job to pay off my loans (which I finished paying off in 2012). The issue with big loans/big job are two fold: 1. you end up taking a job that you don't particularly love 2. you end up buying into a lifestyle you cant give up. People will take big paying jobs and think "oh, I'll just do this for a few years to pay back my loans." But the problem with the law is that you are only a fungible commodity for the first year or two after law school. After you've started to become trained in one area of the law, it is nearly impossible to make a career change (especially in a bad economy). I'm at the 8th year associate level and personally, I'd prefer to do a different kind of law, with less hours and more personal fulfillment. But the job opportunities just aren't there. I'm lucky to just be employed in the field I'm specialized in. The harder part (for some people), is buying into the lifestyle. Once you start working at a big firm, your social life starts to get focused on people who make as much (or much more) than you. It starts off slow but becomes all consuming. When I was a student, I would wait for hours in line at a cheap brunch place or do free movies in the park. But once I started working 60-80 hours a week, I don't have the time or patience to do stuff like that anymore. So you start paying $28 for eggs because you just want to eat. Or you take a taxi because it will be quicker and you're tired from working until 2 am. And now your suit you got at H&M looks cheap next to everyone else's nice clothes. And you need an apartment closer to work because those precious hours between 1 am and 9 am when you aren't at work don't need to be spent on the R train. So you get a nice place in the Village. And it goes on and on. I was complaining to my boss the other day about being burned out on the law and he said "you can't give up the money". I'm not 100% sure if that's true. My biggest money spenders are things like travel and housing. And if I had a better job with more time off I would be happy to go back to shoe string travel or more remote housing. But at this point I haven't found something better to do. This is all rambling but it's all just to say, taking a high paying job solved the problem of loan repayment but it didn't solve all my problems.