Schools are artificially narrowing what counts as a successful outcome of legal education. There is no justification for this restriction and it is inconsistent with deeper statements about what law school is good for.
Why are lawyers so vilified? What is the basis for all the hostility? Is it because there are just too many of us? It is really not the lawyers who are the problem but the over 200 accredited law schools dotting our country.
New York will soon become the first state in the nation to require pro bono service with Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's recent decision to mandate fifty hours of pro bono work as part of admission to the bar.
After networking with people in countless industries, I began to learn that the most successful people -- those who earn satisfaction from their careers -- don't arrive anywhere via plans. There is no entryway to adulthood or happiness or success.
Whether a school boasts an employment rate of 95 percent or 50 percent post-graduation, this does not guarantee that the numbers will stay the same from year to year. A great year for employment could be followed by a dismal one.
These students paid high tuitions, often with borrowed money, and now are without work and competing for increasingly scarce law jobs, and who face the bleak prospect of crushing debt with little hope of relief.
The information, communication and processing innovations that we bundle under the "digital" label are, like cheap printing before it, creating a wealth of new possibilities for how we can define, deliver and teach that set of rules and enforcement mechanisms we call law.
Psychologists have proposed lots of different "vehicles" over the years: grit, self-efficacy, optimism, passion, inspiration, etc. They are all important. One vehicle, however, is particularly undervalued and under-appreciated in psychology and society. That's hope.
Some might say that the crash has been a great equalizer of sorts. I disagree. The crash has removed the ability of "privileged" students to rest on their laurels to obtain high-paying private interest jobs, and stimulated the age of the networker.