The ABA Journal recently put up a brief comment from the new Georgetown Law Dean:

The new dean of Georgetown University Law Center sees an upside to the tough job market for lawyers.

In an interview with the Washington Post publication Capital Business, Georgetown law dean William Michael Treanor says grads are now more likely to focus on what they really want to do with their careers. It’s “a time when people can think through why they came to law school,” he told the publication.

“I think we’ll see more people going into public interest and doing things that are entrepreneurial,” Treanor said. “This can be an exciting time to be a law student and to be in practice if you’re looking for the opportunities that are out there.”

Treanor says the school is responding to the job market by putting together a database of firms outside the typical markets and by looking at an expansion of its externship program.

Grads who opt for law firm jobs are likely to see the nature of their work change as clients refuse to pay associates for routine, repetitious work, Treanor told Capital Business. As a result, “we’ll see more outsourcing and contract employment. So associates will be doing more work that is truly lawyerly work.”

“I think that law firms can really return to the idea of law as a profession,” he added, “and there are tremendous benefits to that not just for the firms but for lawyers.”

What’s really interesting are the comments attached to the ABA Journal post. A few excerpts:

See?  It’s all good.  Imminent starvation has the effect of focusing one’s thought processes to an astonishing degree.

Oh sure…people will just be falling over themselves to work for $33,000 a year to represent some deadbeat who has not paid his rent while they pay back their $200,000 in student loans from GULC……whihc charges more than $40k a year for tuition… finance Mr. Treanor’s nice salary.

I love the new spin… jobs and high debt….is apparently an “exciting time to try something new and different”……maybe you can open a surfboard law boutique in Waikiki!!….we are seeing alot of these articles recently…..

$120,000 in student loan debt and $15 / hour doc review jobs!!! YES—those are great opportunities!!!

They will be more entrepreneurial, because they will have no choice.  Some may yet go forth in their “Rebels” T-shirts to establish the new TentLaw sector (in which, the excitement of their new opportunities will be “in tents”).

Entrepreneurial? Like working 5 jobs to pay the bills, including a part-time a Border’s just for the discounted health insurance coupon? Or smuggling parakeets in from Argentina whilst on “vacation”? Or perhaps even whoring oneself out to Legal Zoom to review the shoddy work of hacks from India who for some unknown reason continue the unauthorized practice of law unabated while real, licensed, American lawyers wander our streets aimlessly seeking a will to write or a contract to draft? Is it just me, or am I the only one really starting TO FREAK OUT!!!!! ?

As I’m a part of this group (recent/soon-to-graduate law grads), I have have to ask:  Have these people had their heads up their asses these past three years?

At what point in time did you not open the paper or turn on the tv and see the complete meltdown of the economy? Put down that Contracts book and look at the Economist or the Financial Times. Visit Marginal Revolution, The Big Picture, or Zero Hedge if you want a really rosy view of the economy. Try to consider for a moment that there is more going on in the world other than going to law school. There seems to be this general consensus amongst a lot of Gen Y/Millennials online that going to law school was a one way ticket to cash money, fame, and power. Gen Y/Millennials seems to what to decry that they’ve been blind-sided, hood-winked, etc. At one point in time did someone else become responsible for your future other than you?

Sure it would be great if we were all living it up in the boom years, but we’re not. We’re in the midst of the Great Recession, and by many accounts, a double dip is looming in front of us. It is what it is. An investment banker friend of mine recently shared this exchange he had with another investment banker:

  • Banker A: The markets are terrible. There is no predictability. Everything is unstable. It’s so hard to make money. This is the worst time ever to be trading. What can we do? I hate the market right now.
  • Banker B(my friend): I love the market.
  • Banker A: WHAT?!? How can you? It’s so bad right now. Like this? Are you crazy? The market is horrible right now. (etc.)
  • Banker B: You know of another one? I don’t. It’s the only one we’ve got. There’s always going to be opportunities, you just have to work hard to find them.  So learn to love it or leave it.
  • Banker A: …
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