Lawyer Turns To Topless Dancing To Pay The Bills

Times are tough all over:

When Carla graduated 10 years ago, she thought her law degree would be a permanent ticket to a high-paying job.  But instead of selling her mind, Carla is selling her body. After student loans, debt, a layoff and unemployment battered her bank account, she now finds herself in an almost unbelievable position – dancing in a topless bar.

“Did I ever think I’d be taking my top off for rent money? No. I was in my mid-30s and had never danced before,” said Carla, who asked that we use her stage name and withhold her identity and some personal details. “As a little girl, I never thought to myself, ‘I just want to grow up and be a stripper,’ or, ‘All I ever wanted to do in life is climb in the lap of sweaty stranger and take my top off.’

“But, with our economy the way it is, especially in smaller cities … you strip or you starve,” she said

Carla’s story is a bit sad, only because it’s unfortunate to see someone who’s highly educated unable to use the talents they paid so much money for. Of course, it’s also a reflection of the state of the economy, and the manner in which the recession has hit the legal profession particularly hard. If nothing else, I’d say everyone who’s even thinking for a second about going to law school should read Carla’s story and ask themselves if that’s what they want to sign up for.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    What’s the difference?

  2. Anderson says:

    @Franklin: When you take off your top, you’re showing people what’s really under that. Lawyers are rarely so candid.

  3. Moosebreath says:

    It does bring new meaning to “briefs”, though.

  4. JKB says:

    What better way to meet judges and prosecutors socially?

    She sounds disillusioned but I wonder which she will regret more in her old age, being a lawyer or being a stripper?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There you go Doug. If it all goes to hell, that is your back-up career!

  6. John Burgess says:

    Back in the late 60s, employment prospects for new graduates–or new PhDs, for that matter–was pretty grim. I knew a bunch of recently-minted Philosophy PhDs who were pumping gas (when that was still an available job), teaching kindergarten, and doing lawn maintenance. Of course, their school debts, if any, were nothing like the six figures people are encumbering themselves with today.

    Some majors just don’t have great employment prospects. One of the classiest things G’town did was to close its graduate Astronomy program. It was annually producing more PhDs than there were jobs in the entire country.

  7. Tlaloc says:

    I’m just impressed with a mid30s woman in good enough shape to get a competitive job against girls in late high school and early college.

    That and why is it selling your body in one way is bad but selling your body in another way (say on an assembly line) is good? Aren’t they both dirty degrading work? And isn’t selling your mind the most degrading?

    Screwed up western sexual morality rears its ugly head again.

  8. @Tlaloc: What’s worrying is that it’s an industry that tends to eat itself. It is degrading work specifically because people regard it as degrading. This leads to a lack of respect among the general public (and forget it if her fellow lawyer peers find out), which leads to a lack of self-esteem, which lends itself to other problems as well. Whereas working on an assembly line is often seen as “honest” work, showing your body to strangers – especially when you went to school for something that at one point was a high-end job – is seen as something to be reviled. Specifically because of that silly, puritanical double-standard, it is revolting.

    Do I find it revolting? No. I think we should have more intelligent, educated people in the sex industry, partly because sex is awesome, and partly because these people tend to be activists and raise the standards for other women in what is a low-barrier industry. But so many people do that it’s bound to have a degrading effect on even even-keeled people.

  9. mike says:

    I’ve thought of this many times but my wife says i wouldn’t make much since I am so rythmically challenged.
    She turned to one of the oldest ways to make money. She’ll regret it. Very sad.