↪ Law School Deception, From the Perspective of an Insider
Steven J. Harper, a professor at Northwestern University Law School and retired partner at Kirkland & Ellis, follows up on the recent New York Times article criticizing law school transparency with assurances that the Times’ accusations are well-founded. Calling for greater candor on the part of law schools as to the realities of substantial debt and a lackluster legal job market, Harper provides an insight that will sound familiar to many jaded professionals, but one that is far too seldom offered to the masses of idealistic, aspiring lawyers:
Some students enter law school expecting to become Atticus Finch or the lead attorneys on Law & Order. Others pursue large firm equity partnerships as a way to riches. Few realize that career dissatisfaction plagues most of the so-called winners who land what they once thought were the big firm jobs of their dreams.
A legal degree can lead to many different careers. The urgency of loan repayment schedules creates a practical reality that pushes most students in big law’s direction. If past is prologue, the vast majority of them will not be happy there. They should know the truth—the whole truth—before they make their first law school tuition payments.