Portland, Ore., attorney Darian Stanford faced a choice: He could keep his comfortable paycheck at a prestigious law firm or give up more than half of his income to pursue principles as an assistant district attorney. In a three-part profile of Stanford, the Oregonian’s Tom Hallman Jr. reports that the decision came down to one question: Should he make money or make a difference?
A Stanford law graduate, he’d been at his firm more than five years and earned an annual salary of $130,000, which would double if he made partner in a couple of years. The 32-year-old native of Oklahoma was married and had a 2-year-old daughter. His house needed a new kitchen, he was toying with the idea of buying a vacation home, it was time to replace his beat-up 1995 Toyota, and he still owed more than $100,000 in school loans. Yet he was thinking of taking a $50,000 job with the county prosecutor.