Stanford Business School publishes a useful newsletter. The latest edition notes that the demand for legal expertise in America remains strong, along with the need for fresh talent. Associates who join major firms straight from university earn $US 160,000 a year plus substantial bonuses. This puts them in the top 10 per cent of American incomes. The newsletter notes the responsibilities that go with this financial success: “Many associates at large firms see their salaries as golden handcuffs, enabling them to pay back student loans that often top $100,000 but shackling them to their work late into the night and on weekends.” Comment: Life is about choices, so anyone can get out after paying back their loans.