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Monday, July 16, 2007

The Bar

No, not the type that you hang out with your friends at, the type that comes in exam form. As I am getting ready to take the exam in just over a week, I thought I would reflect on some of my observations about law school and the legal profession.

1. The bar exam you will ever have to take where a 60% is good enough. So really that is saying, "Well really you just need to know enough to get yourself into trouble so one of the older, wiser attorneys can save your behind and call it mentoring."
2. Your score on the legal ethics exam is relative to the other people taking the exam. You do not have to be really ethical than an attorney, just more ethical than the other guy.
3. Law school makes people more conservative. For me that was ok, I was probably too fiscally liberal. Now I agree with conservatives that we need to cut spending, I just want to cut spending in different places, like oil subsidies and requiring that US AID food be bought from American farmers (which by the way is more expensive, costs more to transport to countries receiving food aid, and drives down the price that farmers in those countries receive for their produce), and you know, get out of Iraq.
4. Law School crushes a person's idealism. 3 of the 4 people who were officers of the Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) my first year of law school now work for big city firms. Personally, I was very active in environmental and electoral programs my first year and lets just say not so active in either by my third year. I was informed by an associate of mine who was a public interest attorney that most of his "liberal" friend in law school thought, "I will go work for a firm, pay off my loans, and then go non-profit." 10 years after he had graduate, all of those people were still with firms. They get used to the life style and cannot let it go.
5. 90% of people who go to law school leave law school really only concerned about making money, not about making a difference. For that reason, if you want to make a difference, get a public policy, environmental science, international relations, of education degree. People who go to law school are not the same people when they get out.

There is so much to fix in this world and this country. Our best and our brightest are being taught to value personal wealth and not to worry about others or to do what is right. This is one of the many reasons why our society is slowly regressing back to aristocracy and classes. No affective system change can be made because those who have the training to change it peacefully have too much of an interest in the status quo and any of those who reject the status quo are kept on the outside looking in.