Only Four (4) out of Twenty-Five Hundred (2500)

So, one day in late 1989, just after my position as public interest adviser at Harvard Law School was eliminated because the new dean said that there was insufficient interest among its students to warrant having such a position and because I was not immediately walked out of the building, I had time to undertake a few projects.

I decided to review the first position taken by its graduates over the previous five years – 1984-1989.

What struck me (but did not shock me since I was generally aware of what I would find) was that of the 2500 graduates of that law school – men and women who, during the previous decade or so of their lives, had lead organizations, created works of art, traveled around the world, written articles and started businesses – ONLY FOUR (4) out of 2500 had NOT taken JOBS – ONLY FOUR (4) out of 2500 had NOT become employees – ONLY FOUR (4) out of 2500 had maintained or kept the confidence they had when they entered law school that they could do something on their own. Two started City Year and two started a legal services program in Texas.

What Harvard Law School (and other selective law schools) did was the opposite of what medical schools seem to do. While the medical profession builds the future doctors’ confidence by teaching
them how to treat patients, the law schools do the opposite, systematically eroding their students self-confidence and their sense of self-worth by failing to teach them how to represent clients. When combined with the myth that BigLaw would provide training and the other gross failures of the law schools, students were eary prey for what was primarily the only game in town, the BigLaw owned (but law school placement office operated) on-campus interview funnel.