- Murder rate is way up in dozens of US cities, but why?
- Lawyer gets 4 months for stealing from law firm, is ordered to pay $160K
- Warned by judge not to drive, 4 of 8 busted motorists get behind the wheel, courthouse sting finds
- Chicago files $300M suit over red-light camera program
- ABA urges 11th Circuit to reconsider ban on gun-safety counseling by physicians
By day, Dan Griffin conducts preliminary hearings, interviews police officers and prepares drug cases as a prosecutor for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office in Chicago.
At 6:30 p.m., he sheds his suit and tie, dons jeans and a hard hat and heads to his night job, doing construction for Great Lakes Heating and Plumbing, where he toils until about 1:30 a.m.
On weekends, you’ll find Griffin bartending and refereeing children’s basketball games.
Griffin’s schedule may be grueling, but the 27-year-old says it’s necessary to pay off his $70,000 law school loan, save up for a house and simply make ends meet as the cost of living skyrockets. He is desperately hoping a law school student loan forgiveness bill he’s been hearing about for years takes effect some time soon so he can quit one of his part-time jobs — and maybe have a social life.
"I never thought I’d be working this hard as a lawyer," said Griffin. "I love my job, but the guys I work with on construction, who are union, make more than I do as a lawyer. It’s pretty ridiculous."
Griffin is part of a growing group of prosecutors and assistant public defenders who are moonlighting to make ends meet.
Government lawyers have, traditionally, turned to teaching at their law school, tutoring or even doing a few wills or real estate closings on the side to supplement their income. That is, the ones who don’t flee after a few years for lucrative private practices.