In the latest article from The [F]law, Marty Strauss looks at the deeper institutional currents pushing students toward Big Law: “In Search of Sunlight: How Corporate Law Careers Outshine All Else at Elite Law Schools.”
How do the majority of students at every elite law school end up in harmful corporate jobs? Some are willing and ready to trade their souls for money. But many others would not have chosen this path had they not been nudged forward. The systemic interactions of law schools, law firms, and student loan servicers together create a culture that pushes and normalizes corporate legal work.
Law schools create a culture in which corporate jobs are not only normal but seen as the ultimate marker of success. Law firms obscure the public’s understanding of the real nature of their work through the shields of attorney-client privilege, vague language, and the inoffensive idea that “every client deserves a lawyer.” And student loan services add hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to the pile, in case you weren’t yet convinced. Money, as it’s said, talks.
Where to go from here? There are conversations that law students ought to have. There are questions that they ought to ask. There are jobs—and more importantly, careers—that they ought to pursue. There is so much more out there!
Related Systemic Justice Resources
From The [F]law:
- Rosie Kaur, Big Law’s Capture of Students of Color
- Ellie Olsen, The Dirty Work of America’s Legal Darlings
- Logan Campbell, What ‘Good’ is Pro Bono?: How Big Law Firms Use Pro Bono To Mask Harm
From The Systemic Justice Journal: