Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Friday, August 16, 2002

There's an article on today called Letters to a Young Law Student, with advice for incoming law students (like me!). Basically it's three tips for law school mental health: (1) Know why you are going, (2) Know why you are not going, and (3) Have a life. Not really much to argue with there. (Except that advice like that gets its own article... although it is just Slate, not the New York Times magazine...)

The author, a lawyer (obviously), warns against getting swept into the law school tide and pushed into doing things just because everyone else is -- and by "things," she means ending up at a corporate law firm. You know, if there's one theme that ties together everything I've heard and read about law school it's that (1) corporate law firms are evil, horrible places and (2) everyone ends up working for them. I understand they offer a lot of money, and I understand they look nice on a resume, but what I don't understand is what turns the tide -- apparently (all I have to go on is what I've heard and read -- so this is probably a gross overstatement of the truth) virtually everyone goes into law school committed to never working for a corporate law firm, finding his or her own passion, not selling out, doing good for the world, etc. And then at some point in the course of law school, they all somehow get brainwashed by the corporate recruiters and end up working for Long, Boring, and Hard, attorneys at law.

So my question is "how does this happen?" And it's not even that I'm personally so dead set against working for a corporate firm -- I feel stupid admitting it, but I don't really have any idea what lawyers at a firm actually do, so I certainly don't feel informed enough to know what I want to do after graduation -- but I'm just curious what happens at law school to change everyone's mind, or at least make the idea of "selling out" palatable and acceptable to people who were dead-set against it beforehand.

I think that's enough rambling for tonight. Hopefully in a few months I'll have a better idea why corporate law is so evil yet popular and I can edit this entry to make believe I had it all figured out even before I started.