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.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Unlearned Hand has a great post about law students and the transformation from "I want to do public interest" to "I just took my law firm offer" perhaps being too quick for some, and without the self-reflection it might deserve:

my objection is that law school does not encourage law students to actively make that choice, to engage in the debate.... Instead, there is a one-way locomotive headed for Destination Law Firm. As such, many students never decide that a law firm is right for them. They just go with the flow and that's where they end up. I suppose I'm partially objecting just on autonomy grounds, lamenting the lack of conscious decision-making.
I don't really have a ton to add to what he's got there... I'll agree that law schools really don't encourage that type of thinking, and there really is a push toward the big firms that you have to expend much energy and resist much pressure to avoid.

Waddling Thunder, who also has a post from today pointing to my post below about the job advice session -- he was there too and also found it pretty appalling, writes that he doesn't really have any moral qualms about working for a firm despite that the argument can be made that they sometimes defend people and companies who do bad things. One thing he writes (and UH quotes it in his post) gives me pause, though:

the moment lawyers begin making self righteous judgments more than very occasionally about who we are and aren't going to represent zealously, we endanger the rule of law.
Maybe this makes me a bad law student, but I don't know what this means. I don't believe that I have at any point in the past two years reflected on "the rule of law" and who deserves to be represented by lawyers and who doesn't, and whether society would fall apart if we didn't let tobacco companies have lawyers. This may just mean Waddling Thunder is better suited for this law stuff, which may be the case. But I wonder whether my lack of reflection over whether concerns about the rule of law can trump any moral qualms about law firms is atypical.