Half of more than 200 prelaw students responding to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep said they plan to use their law degree in a non-traditional legal field, according to a press release. Forty-three percent said they plan to use their law degree to pursue a job in the business world.
I can picture Nando and the Scambloggers now, collectively banging their small heads against a wall like a frustrated algebra teacher whose kids just won't understand that 2x + y = 5 and x + 3y = 10 means that x = 1 and y = 3 and u = more fucked than a hooker on shore leave day. "How do we reach these kids?!"
0Ls are convinced - like religious-level fervor - that you can get a job in "the business world" with a law degree. It's a safe outlet for when "the legal world" dries up and is over-saturated, that they'll just use that sparkling JD to land themselves in banking or insurance or consulting. You know, good white collar 35-hours-a-week stuff.
They simply don't care that "the business world" is largely a myth and that your application to modern corporate America will be looked at by the HR drone who gets it as some sort of queer foreign artifact meant for another department, particularly the legal one. And that's only if they haven't rigged the computer software to filter out "JURIS DOCTOR" yet like it's a disease or Viagra spam. All your resume will do, 0L, is confuse the hell out of "the business world," as it wonders why you aren't practicing law. You know, the thing people go to law school for.
But WHO is propagating the myth?
Why, look no further than your local law school administrator's office!
Here, for example is Jay Conison, Dean of Valparaiso and future dean of Charlotte, speaking after rattling off a list of job titles held by Valpo alums he knows personally (including "art gallery owner" and "fundraiser"):
The irony of this list is that law schools have long said that they prepare people for this range of business, government, and other professional careers. Law schools emphasize their expertise in developing highly versatile skills and competences -- in particular, critical reading, analytical reasoning, persuasive writing, and problem solving -- that are valuable in an enormous range of jobs, fields, and business settings. One commonly hears it said -- emphasizing this versatility -- that a J.D. is at least as useful as an M.B.A., if not more.
It's ironic alright!
Here's Wendy Perdue, Dean at Richmond, shilling away on Michigan's career services site:
A legal education is also tremendously versatile – the legal and analytic training that one gets in law school is a terrific foundation for a career in business, politics, public policy, non-profit organizations, law enforcement, and a host of other careers.
And here it is in a BOOK targeted at 0Ls by a Ruth Lammert Reeves, a former dean of financial aid at Georgetown:
It is true, a law degree is perhaps the most versatile professional degree...
Lawyers can function in the business world, whereas MBA's cannot function in a legal position. And although lawyers cannot be doctors, neither are they as closely held to their "field" as MBA's.
RUTH I WANT TO HAVE YOUR SLIMY GREEN BABIES.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and remember, if you see a 0L, tell them the business world needs more JDs who can do that critical thinking thing and that the JD is so much more credited than the dreadful MBA. That extra year...it makes all the difference...when I'm buying Champagne...