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For young lawyers and law students, hearing the news about big law bonuses going over the top can just feel cruel. After all, the vast majority of lawyers don't work at big law firms, and most law students have no realistic chance of landing one of those coveted big law jobs after graduation.

Nonetheless, when bonus news breaks, the legal blogs will cover it, good, bad, or whatever. The most recent bonus news to break will be leaving small group of lawyers with big smiles on their faces, while the rest of just ooh and ah and dream, then humbly remember what Biggie taught us.

What Are You Getting for Bonus Money?

When you were a kid, what did you do after opening Christmas gifts that had your name on them?

You looked at the rest of the presents to see what others got, right? It's human nature, at least among siblings.

Lawyers are like that when it comes to Christmas bonuses. We want to know what our brothers and sisters are getting.

Have you ever dreamed of arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court? If you're a lawyer, you probably have, but you might not have ever been motivated enough to pursue that dream.

Well, bad news first: If you've never done a SCOTUS case before, you might have to eat your fees the first few times, or maybe until you actually have a case accepted for review. But, if you can get some experience and become one of those elite attorneys that seem to make annual appearances before the High Court, you could be looking at a real nice pay day, whether you win, lose, or draw.

The lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro against Navient, the student loan servicer, could spell change for countless borrowers. According to this lawsuit and lawsuits filed in other states, Navient engages in predatory lending tactics designed to keep borrowers in debt for longer, and steers them away from more advantageous repayment options.

The federal lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction, as well as disgorgement of profits, restitution, other damages, and reformation of borrower agreements and repayment plans. And while the case may only be in Pennsylvania's federal court, a positive result here could change things across the country.

In September, 2015, news broke that Volkswagen had been using illegal 'defeat devices' on its diesel cars in order to evade emissions tests. In a matter of days, the German car company was swamped by lawsuits. While the government's VW investigation continues to play out, the consumer class action was settled last October, when U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer approved a $10 billion package as part of a total $15 billion deal settling civil claims.

It was the largest class action settlement in history and the attorneys involved have walked away with a pretty penny themselves. Last Friday, Judge Breyer awarded $175 million in attorney's fees and costs to the plaintiffs' lawyers, Courthouse News Service reports.

Lately, we've been noticing a new trend in student-debt journalism, a turn towards articles touting how one enterprising post-grad paid off hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans in just a year or so. If they can do it, the logic goes, anyone can. That's a pleasing claim for law students with loans, most of whom graduate with over $140,000 in debt.

So, how do these quick loan repayers do it? Here's the secret: these loan payment strategies probably aren't going to work for you, or anyone else.

If you're a law school grad, but you can't find or don't want a job as a lawyer, there are plenty of alternatives: president, talk show host, Cuban revolutionary, or whiskey maker. Consider, too, the cybersecurity field. Cybersecurity, or "the cyber" as some have taken to calling it, is one of the fastest growing tech sectors, with the market predicted to be worth over $200 billion in a few years. The industry is adding millions of jobs and the unemployment rate for those with cybersecurity experience is zero, according to some reports. Zero. That's way better than the unemployment rate of law school grads.

And you don't have to be a computer sciences major to end up in cybersecurity. In a recent interview with Forbes, law school grad and former attorney Shelly Westman talked about her journey from law school to tech. Here's how she got from crim law to Senior VP of Alliances and Field Operations at the data security company Protegrity.

ABA Sues for Public Interest Lawyers' Loan Forgiveness

If Uncle Sam and Scrooge had a child ...

It's possible but hard to imagine the creature that would evolve from that union. Yet more than a few lawyers have conjured up the image in the form of the U.S. Department of Education, which has taken back the offer of loan forgiveness for their student debts.

The American Bar Association and four public interest attorneys have sued the Department of Education and the Secretary of Education for reneging on the promise of the Public Interest Loan Forgiveness Program. The government has approved about 400,000 borrowers for the program, but changed its decision for some, including the ABA and its lawyers.

Like most everyone else, you graduated law school with six figures of student debt. Like most everyone else, you didn't end up with a job where you could pay back those loans in a few short years. You might even be struggling to make your monthly payments right now. You may be on an income-based repayment plan and hoping for future loan forgiveness.

Now that Donald Trump has been elected, on a promise to shake up Washington (among other things), what does that mean for your law school loans?

After stagnating for some time, attorney salaries have started to climb in recent years. And that trend should continue in 2017, according to a report by Robert Half Legal. The staffing agency recently released its 2017 Salary Guide and reports that legal professional salaries are expected to rise by an average of 3.6 percent in the coming years.

But, while a rising tide lifts all boats, not every boat is lifted equally. What sort of bump you can expect depends a lot on your workplace, experience, location, and more. Here's how the year ahead might look for you.