Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Being a Lawyer Means

From the Huff Post, Professor Edgar Cahn (name not ironic!) the U. of DC law school has a thought-provoking essay:
"Why become a lawyer"? As the recent decline in law school enrollment numbers suggest, this question has been unsatisfactorily answered for the last few years.
But, it is the wrong question. The question all future law students should ask is: "What does being a lawyer mean?"
[A]s you consider the question of what does being a lawyer mean, ask yourself whether the law school you choose will provide that meaning.
Cahn lists five subquestions, which focus on the essential issues of philosophical justice, teaching competence, responding to systemic injustice, law school systemic injustice, the legal system's creation of systemic injustice.  As I learned on Sesame Street, one of those things just ain't like the others!  (And is therefore worthless).

In any event, I'd like to add my humble response to What Being a Lawyer Means, in a long and ridiculous run-on sentence inspired solely by the ridiculousness of the scambloggers:
Every Monday I wake up thoroughly defeated and my mood gets marginally better as each second of the dreary week sluggishly ticks by towards the subsequent weekend until I hit the apex of hopeful relief around Friday at 3 p.m., excepting (there's always an exception, eh, 1Ls?) when I have some big project or I'm way behind on my billable share, which is fairly often, as working as a lawyer, particularly with stressed-out partners who pray that they will land a judgeship before they die of a heart attack, is like an imperceptibly slow game of drunken musical chairs where everyone is already sitting and tells you to pull up a chair, because I have miles and miles to go before retirement and it's become plain that the field is slowly shrinking; and the clients, of which the hate of the few outweighs the love of the many (or vice versa?), have the pleasantries and evils of the full population, save the desire for nonsensical spending; and the judges and juries and fickle businessmen and loopy individuals who can take hours to weeks to months to years of work on some Big Case and abort it with the hasty, non-contemplated snap of a finger, meaning that what control over the situation appears is ultimately as fleeting and illusory as that of a lowly personal assistant, and that on calm Sunday afternoons I scroll through the classified ads in the vain hopes of finding some other career that will accept my liberal artist's analytic mind and my Juris Doctorate (c), but I am drunk and passed out before succumbing to complete the Home Depot application and then dream of burning law books and liberating myself from the rusty shackles of Sallie Mae, cruel dominatrix, until I awake to repeat the process anew:  that roller-coaster of excitement is why law is a meaningful career that kicks major ass.  NOW ONLY 180K AT EXCELLENT PUBLIC SCHOOLS!  SIGN UP TODAY!


  1. This phrase needs to become standard usage:

    "Sallie Mae, cruel dominatrix"

    Unless of course you prefer:

    "Sallie Mae, destroyer of young lives"

  2. Beautiful. I think the Internet is doing an excellent job at destroying the lies promulgated by the legal education industry. They're quivering in their boots and it's fantastic.