Wall Street Journal, Starting Out: Boston on $50K a Year:
How far does a $50K salary go when you’re starting out? ... Here is the story of Catherine Falvey ...
Occupation: Research director for the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Where do you live? How much do you pay for rent?
I live in a two-bedroom apartment in South Boston, colloquially known as Southie. I always wanted to come back to Boston after going to college [at Elon University in North Carolina], having grown up around the city. I came back in 2015 to go to Suffolk University Law School.
My parents own an apartment here, so my roommate and I contribute half of the mortgage each month. We pay about $500 each, which is incredibly low compared to rent in the area. I have friends who each pay $1,400 in a $2,800 two-bedroom apartment, and pay $3,600 for a three-bedroom. Living in a property my parents own is the only way I can afford where I live. ...
strong>Did you find it difficult to find a job after law school?
My first job after law school was at a small real-estate law firm. It wasn’t my first choice and it wasn’t the area of law I was interested in, but I took it because I was afraid of not having an income. I worked there for 11 months before I got my current job in cannabis law.
I didn’t expect to make six figures right off the bat, but I thought that [my law degree] would bump my pay grade up a little bit, to maybe $60,000 or $70,000. The idea that a law-school grad is immediately going to have a massively successful job is unrealistic, at least in this city. ...
Do you have student loans?
>I am lucky enough not to have student loans. I got a scholarship for law school, which paid for about half of my total tuition. My parents paid my tuition for undergrad and the rest of my law school tuition.