Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I'd check my next legal bill...

From today’s Washington Post: No Objections Here - washingtonpost.com

Two reasons to wonder why we continue to turn our lives over to lawyers:

1) Amy Jenkins – Summer Intern at Steptoe & Johnson and making $2,700 a week there:

“Her last serious job was working as a camp counselor in North Carolina.

"I definitely feel like a grown-up for the first time, because it's the first real responsible type of job I've had, as opposed to taking girls out to the river," she said, flanked by two tables of twentysomething contemporaries.”

(Ed. Note – Unless her employer has completely lost it – and paying any law school student that much money does cause one to wonder - Ms. Jenkins has zippo responsibilities this summer; certainly none that compare with taking girls out to a river and, you know, being responsible for their lives.)

2) "I feel like I deserve it," said Vincenza Battaglia, 25, a rising third-year law student summering at Steptoe & Johnson. "We work really hard in law school."

(If working hard in grad school somehow morally compels the market to pay you these rates, then the bidding for med school students should start at at least $10,000/week.)

These young, overpaid, soon-to-be lawyers are probably good-grades students from so-called top tier schools. When they finally start working, they’ll make lots of money while working long days. Their billing rates will have no relationship to actual value. Most will decide it sucks and go work elsewhere.

The article makes it sound like we are facing a shortage of lawyers; we’re not. There are plenty of us out there. However, few (if any) industries are as school-focused as the law. It is not uncommon for a want ad to ask for 5 years experience and a Top-10 law school degree. Any shortages then are probably self-imposed. Believe me – at half these rates, a law firm could probably go to American University or the University of Baltimore and get plenty of competent help. Instead…

Dear MC-

This is off topic a bit, but can you possible clarify something for me. In the Metro Section of today's WP there is a lengthy article about someone named Tommy Brodwell, who apparently has been a very bad boy. Here's my confusion, for some reason, the WP never actually identifies TB's political party. Is this because TB is a Republican and the WP seeks to limit that party's embarrassment, or am I missing something?

Confused in VA
thanks Confused - please see my follow-on posting
Amy Jenkins will likely be broken by the "real" world of corporate law when she enters it after law school. We'll see if she's whistling the same care-free tune three years down the road. I think likely not.
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