Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

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ben4847
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby ben4847 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:36 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby bilbobaggins » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:52 pm

ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."


It's true. Don't do the job that you want to do. You're not really helping people by helping people. Go REALLY help those people. Or just get a Big Law job so you can be ideologically pure here on TLS. Remember, don't try to get the job you want unless it's because it pays a shit ton.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby IAFG » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:58 pm

ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."

Yup. Probably the most helpful thing you can do for poor people is get a job somewhere like Jenner or Paul Weiss, do a ton of pro bono, sit on nonprofit boards, live like a student, and donate all your money to organizations you have carefully researched. But I guess the most helpful thing you could do would be "unfulfilling" for some people.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby A Swift » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:06 pm

Kid on these forums who posted he was "strictly doing PI" made me wait 10 minutes after his screener interview was over because he kept babbling to the NYC BigLaw interviewer trying to get a callback.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:20 pm

ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."

Look, there is merit to that position but it takes all sorts. There are a lot of people applying for PD jobs but are they all of the same quality? Someone who is intelligent, hard working, and actually dedicated to representing certain clients in certain kinds of situations shouldn't try to do that because there are a lot of other people also trying to do it?

Many people also want to go to work every day and feel like they have made a concrete difference in real individuals' lives. You can say that's selfish because they would be doing more good overall by going to make a ton of money and then donating it. Maybe you're right in a broader sense but at the end of the day you have to take ownership for what you spend your time and energy directly supporting. If you want to go down that ethical rabbit hole of saying its selfish to work in lower income PI jobs and not to maximize your own spending power in order to support causes you believe in, we might as well just say that altruism in general is selfish, which is pretty much a freshman philosophy class argument. Maybe it's true, but so what.

Anyway, it's a good thing that not everybody sees things your way, because if they did there wouldn't be such an oversupply of people wanting these jobs and it would fall to the dregs of the legal profession to represent the neediest people. Like I said, it takes all sorts.

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ben4847
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby ben4847 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:31 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."

Look, there is merit to that position but it takes all sorts. There are a lot of people applying for PD jobs but are they all of the same quality? Someone who is intelligent, hard working, and actually dedicated to representing certain clients in certain kinds of situations shouldn't try to do that because there are a lot of other people also trying to do it?

Many people also want to go to work every day and feel like they have made a concrete difference in real individuals' lives. You can say that's selfish because they would be doing more good overall by going to make a ton of money and then donating it. Maybe you're right in a broader sense but at the end of the day you have to take ownership for what you spend your time and energy directly supporting. If you want to go down that ethical rabbit hole of saying its selfish to work in lower income PI jobs and not to maximize your own spending power in order to support causes you believe in, we might as well just say that altruism in general is selfish, which is pretty much a freshman philosophy class argument. Maybe it's true, but so what.

Anyway, it's a good thing that not everybody sees things your way, because if they did there wouldn't be such an oversupply of people wanting these jobs and it would fall to the dregs of the legal profession to represent the neediest people. Like I said, it takes all sorts.


Or maybe the rest of us would provide huge grants to pay them 160k so that the best students would gun for those jobs.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:33 pm

ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."

Look, there is merit to that position but it takes all sorts. There are a lot of people applying for PD jobs but are they all of the same quality? Someone who is intelligent, hard working, and actually dedicated to representing certain clients in certain kinds of situations shouldn't try to do that because there are a lot of other people also trying to do it?

Many people also want to go to work every day and feel like they have made a concrete difference in real individuals' lives. You can say that's selfish because they would be doing more good overall by going to make a ton of money and then donating it. Maybe you're right in a broader sense but at the end of the day you have to take ownership for what you spend your time and energy directly supporting. If you want to go down that ethical rabbit hole of saying its selfish to work in lower income PI jobs and not to maximize your own spending power in order to support causes you believe in, we might as well just say that altruism in general is selfish, which is pretty much a freshman philosophy class argument. Maybe it's true, but so what.

Anyway, it's a good thing that not everybody sees things your way, because if they did there wouldn't be such an oversupply of people wanting these jobs and it would fall to the dregs of the legal profession to represent the neediest people. Like I said, it takes all sorts.


Or maybe the rest of us would provide huge grants to pay them 160k so that the best students would gun for those jobs.

Yeah I'm sure that would happen. Jesus Christ I want what you're smoking.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby bilbobaggins » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:21 pm

ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
ben4847 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:If you want to work directly with an indigent client population (family law, legal services, public defense) then going to BigLaw is going to be immensely unsatisfying. There's a lot of handwringing here about "good PI" over "bad PI" but the fact is a lot of students went into law in order to help certain people in a direct fashion, and for those students, working in a shitty office, making little money, and having a good deal of career uncertainty are worth it. If you aren't especially dedicated, though, when the firms come calling it feels like (and probably is) a rational decision to jump on board.


I think people are being ridiculous going into law in order to help people, as if there weren't enough lawyers trying to get those jobs helping people, when it is among the most competitive legal jobs.

If they want to help people, they should go help people. PI organizations need funds, need fundraisers, need organizers, etc. They should go do those jobs. Saying that you only want to help people by doing legal work and being funded by an organization is a pretty ridiculous way to be "helping people."

Look, there is merit to that position but it takes all sorts. There are a lot of people applying for PD jobs but are they all of the same quality? Someone who is intelligent, hard working, and actually dedicated to representing certain clients in certain kinds of situations shouldn't try to do that because there are a lot of other people also trying to do it?

Many people also want to go to work every day and feel like they have made a concrete difference in real individuals' lives. You can say that's selfish because they would be doing more good overall by going to make a ton of money and then donating it. Maybe you're right in a broader sense but at the end of the day you have to take ownership for what you spend your time and energy directly supporting. If you want to go down that ethical rabbit hole of saying its selfish to work in lower income PI jobs and not to maximize your own spending power in order to support causes you believe in, we might as well just say that altruism in general is selfish, which is pretty much a freshman philosophy class argument. Maybe it's true, but so what.

Anyway, it's a good thing that not everybody sees things your way, because if they did there wouldn't be such an oversupply of people wanting these jobs and it would fall to the dregs of the legal profession to represent the neediest people. Like I said, it takes all sorts.


Or maybe the rest of us would provide huge grants to pay them 160k so that the best students would gun for those jobs.


It's a joke to think that this is how the legal world correlates all of the time.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:30 pm

Ben doesn't speak absolute truth, but he's really onto something. It is fantastic that so many people want to do PI, and I applaud them for it. But why legal PI? Is that really the most effective way to help people? Maybe it is for some, I don't know. But I suspect for many others, it isn't the best way to give back. There are ways to help underserved communities that are often more effective than a law degree, and these avenues don't require the huge amount of time and debt that a law degree involves. And while it's not about money, there has to be at least some degree of financial considerations at play here here.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:39 pm

romothesavior wrote:Ben doesn't speak absolute truth, but he's really onto something. It is fantastic that so many people want to do PI, and I applaud them for it. But why legal PI? Is that really the most effective way to help people? Maybe it is for some, I don't know. But I suspect for many others, it isn't the best way to give back. There are ways to help underserved communities that are often more effective than a law degree, and these avenues don't require the huge amount of time and debt that a law degree involves. And while it's not about money, there has to be at least some degree of financial considerations at play here here.

I get what you guys are getting at, but you're framing it as a false choice. Someone doesn't have to do the absolute most efficiently or effectively helpful thing to do something helpful. Perhaps it would provide more overall utility if they went and became social workers instead or something. But just because someone wants their career to be focused on the public interest doesn't mean they don't get to pursue job functions that they think they will also find interesting or satisfying. Maybe people want to be lawyers instead of social workers because they think the legal issues are interesting, or even just because they want the prestige; it doesn't matter why. Wanting to do public interest but not wanting to absolutely martyr yourself in the name of doing the most good doesn't make you a hypocrite.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby flem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:42 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I get what you guys are getting at, but you're framing it as a false choice. Someone doesn't have to do the absolute most efficiently or effectively helpful thing to do something helpful. Perhaps it would provide more overall utility if they went and became social workers instead or something. But just because someone wants their career to be focused on the public interest doesn't mean they don't get to pursue job functions that they think they will also find interesting or satisfying. Maybe people want to be lawyers instead of social workers because they think the legal issues are interesting, or even just because they want the prestige; it doesn't matter why. Wanting to do public interest but not wanting to absolutely martyr yourself in the name of doing the most good doesn't make you a hypocrite.


Bingo.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:48 pm

flem wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:I get what you guys are getting at, but you're framing it as a false choice. Someone doesn't have to do the absolute most efficiently or effectively helpful thing to do something helpful. Perhaps it would provide more overall utility if they went and became social workers instead or something. But just because someone wants their career to be focused on the public interest doesn't mean they don't get to pursue job functions that they think they will also find interesting or satisfying. Maybe people want to be lawyers instead of social workers because they think the legal issues are interesting, or even just because they want the prestige; it doesn't matter why. Wanting to do public interest but not wanting to absolutely martyr yourself in the name of doing the most good doesn't make you a hypocrite.


Bingo.

So what? Why are you going to law school?

It's a complete fallacy that just because people elect to do public interest careers they are required to be more pure of intention than BigLaw associates. The fact that you guys are suggesting otherwise just makes you sound defensive. What's it to you if people want to be able to impress people in a bar by saying they're lawyers, and also to work for indigent criminal defendants? Why is it so threatening? And don't come back with, "Because 'those PI types' are so high and mighty about it," because that's just some stereotype being trotted out as a straw man. Some PI people are self-righteous assholes about it and some quietly go about their business. Just like some BigLaw-bound folks walk around telling people about all the callbacks they got and some don't.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby flem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:51 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:So what? Why are you going to law school?

It's a complete fallacy that just because people elect to do public interest careers they are required to be more pure of intention than BigLaw associates. The fact that you guys are suggesting otherwise just makes you sound defensive. What's it to you if people want to be able to impress people in a bar by saying they're lawyers, and also to work for indigent criminal defendants? Why is it so threatening? And don't come back with, "Because 'those PI types' are so high and mighty about it," because that's just some stereotype being trotted out as a straw man. Some PI people are self-righteous assholes about it and some quietly go about their business. Just like some BigLaw-bound folks walk around telling people about all the callbacks they got and some don't.


The point is that, if people's public interest intentions are as pure as they say they are, they can help people in more significant ways without incurring a bunch of debt to do so.

Most 0L's aren't going to law school because they find the work interesting or rewarding, because to think so suggests you have no fucking idea what the day to day job of a lawyer is like.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:57 pm

flem wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:So what? Why are you going to law school?

It's a complete fallacy that just because people elect to do public interest careers they are required to be more pure of intention than BigLaw associates. The fact that you guys are suggesting otherwise just makes you sound defensive. What's it to you if people want to be able to impress people in a bar by saying they're lawyers, and also to work for indigent criminal defendants? Why is it so threatening? And don't come back with, "Because 'those PI types' are so high and mighty about it," because that's just some stereotype being trotted out as a straw man. Some PI people are self-righteous assholes about it and some quietly go about their business. Just like some BigLaw-bound folks walk around telling people about all the callbacks they got and some don't.


The point is that, if people's public interest intentions are as pure as they say they are, they can help people in more significant ways without incurring a bunch of debt to do so.

Most 0L's aren't going to law school because they find the work interesting or rewarding, because to think so suggests you have no fucking idea what the day to day job of a lawyer is like.

I don't know who these people are that you're talking about, but most of the public interest people I know want to be lawyers who help people. They would never claim they're doing the absolute most good for the world that they could possibly do. Do they really want to be lawyers? Who the hell knows. Do you? It doesn't sound like it. Does anyone? Maybe nobody who has ever gone to law school actually wanted to be a lawyer. Who gives a shit.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:58 pm

I really do think most people go to law school more for the prestige than money: there is a lot more money out there in other stuff from banking to working at an oil / gas mine. There is nothing wrong with pointing out to people that the cost of taking the money too is representing clients that may be objectionable. I for one have no problem representing B.P.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:05 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:It's a complete fallacy that just because people elect to do public interest careers they are required to be more pure of intention than BigLaw associates. The fact that you guys are suggesting otherwise just makes you sound defensive.

Um, hi? Did you not see the insulting Firmly Refuse Tumblr that's been being discussed? THAT is why we're on the defensive. If PI people aren't more "pure of intention" than us biglaw folks, then they should stop acting like they are. It's why I can't stand some of my PI peers. The holier-than-thou arrogance is insufferable.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby kingofspain » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:10 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Ben doesn't speak absolute truth, but he's really onto something. It is fantastic that so many people want to do PI, and I applaud them for it. But why legal PI? Is that really the most effective way to help people? Maybe it is for some, I don't know. But I suspect for many others, it isn't the best way to give back. There are ways to help underserved communities that are often more effective than a law degree, and these avenues don't require the huge amount of time and debt that a law degree involves. And while it's not about money, there has to be at least some degree of financial considerations at play here here.

I get what you guys are getting at, but you're framing it as a false choice. Someone doesn't have to do the absolute most efficiently or effectively helpful thing to do something helpful. Perhaps it would provide more overall utility if they went and became social workers instead or something. But just because someone wants their career to be focused on the public interest doesn't mean they don't get to pursue job functions that they think they will also find interesting or satisfying. Maybe people want to be lawyers instead of social workers because they think the legal issues are interesting, or even just because they want the prestige; it doesn't matter why. Wanting to do public interest but not wanting to absolutely martyr yourself in the name of doing the most good doesn't make you a hypocrite.
Eh, I'm not ready to concede so much. How many other options are there, really, for people who want to be involved in big issues and make a difference on a large scale? Social work, charity, teaching, etc., are all nice, but they don't really amount to structural change. (I sorta see your point with some direct services stuff, but even in those positions there's generally broader advocacy involved.)

So what's left? Philanthropy, policy/politics, community organizing, some types of entrepreneurship, maybe some types of commentary/general advocacy.

For any of those you have to get an advanced degree, get a lot of money, get elected, and/or get famous before you can make a difference. Why is, say, impact litigation such an inefficient way to make a difference?

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:18 pm

kingofspain wrote:]Eh, I'm not ready to concede so much. How many other options are there, really, for people who want to be involved in big issues and make a difference on a large scale? Social work, charity, teaching, etc., are all nice, but they don't really amount to structural change. (I sorta see your point with some direct services stuff, but even in those positions there's generally broader advocacy involved.)

So what's left? Philanthropy, policy/politics, community organizing, some types of entrepreneurship, maybe some types of commentary/general advocacy.

For any of those you have to get an advanced degree, get a lot of money, get elected, and/or get famous before you can make a difference. Why is, say, impact litigation such an inefficient way to make a difference?

This, right here, is EXACTLY the mindset being challenged ITT. The "impact litigation" and "big issues" involvement "on a large scale" are just not available right now to the overwhelming number of people who say they want PI. The job well is dry, man. Yeah, you could be doing some small time, local PI work (which is commendable), but it isn't going to be at all what you described. It's grassroots, low level, low prestige, low pay, and usually thankless. More power to you if you want to do it and can actually get a job in it, but let's be realistic about what options are available.

I think this is a big part of the reason people decide to go the firm route despite being PI-focused initially. When they realize PI is small-town family court dealing with delinquent kids who hate your guts, as opposed to drafting new constitutions in Asscrackistan or saving the whales or stopping genocide in the Sudan, they're like, "Well shit, might as well do biglaw."
Last edited by romothesavior on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:19 pm

romothesavior wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:It's a complete fallacy that just because people elect to do public interest careers they are required to be more pure of intention than BigLaw associates. The fact that you guys are suggesting otherwise just makes you sound defensive.

Um, hi? Did you not see the insulting Firmly Refuse Tumblr that's been being discussed? THAT is why we're on the defensive. If PI people aren't more "pure of intention" than us biglaw folks, then they should stop acting like they are. It's why I can't stand some of my PI peers. The holier-than-thou arrogance is insufferable.

Yeah, I do find that campaign off-putting, though I think it's raising issues that people ought to be considering. Most of them probably already are considering the issues and are still deciding to go to firms; the Firmly Refuse folks seem to think that no good person could make that informed decision, which is what's so grating about it. I honestly don't find that mindset to be prevalent at my school, though, and I think they are mainly doing it as a rhetorical strategy, so it isn't grounds for painting public interest people with broad brush.

Still, I look at it like this. We've got some number of people passing up big money to do something they are interested in and passionate about. I, for one, chose the money because I'm 1) scared of my debt and 2) not that passionate about anything. I certainly feel a bit defensive about that decision and envy, on some level, their dedication. But the mature response is to recognize that for what it is and, you know, admire what there is to admire in other people's professional decisions.

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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:22 pm

romothesavior wrote:
kingofspain wrote:]Eh, I'm not ready to concede so much. How many other options are there, really, for people who want to be involved in big issues and make a difference on a large scale? Social work, charity, teaching, etc., are all nice, but they don't really amount to structural change. (I sorta see your point with some direct services stuff, but even in those positions there's generally broader advocacy involved.)

So what's left? Philanthropy, policy/politics, community organizing, some types of entrepreneurship, maybe some types of commentary/general advocacy.

For any of those you have to get an advanced degree, get a lot of money, get elected, and/or get famous before you can make a difference. Why is, say, impact litigation such an inefficient way to make a difference?

This, right here, is EXACTLY the mindset being challenged ITT. The "impact litigation" and "big issues" involvement "on a large scale" are just not available right now to the overwhelming number of people who say they want PI. The job well is dry, man. Yeah, you could be doing some small time, local PI work (which is commendable), but it isn't going to be at all what you described. It's grassroots, low level, low prestige, low pay, and usually thankless. More power to you if you want to do it and can actually get a job in it, but let's be realistic about what options are available.

I think this is a big part of the reason people decide to go the firm route despite being PI-focused initially. When they realize PI is small-town family court dealing with delinquent kids who hate your guts, as opposed to drafting new constitutions in Asscrackistan or saving the whales or stopping genocide in the Sudan, they're like, "Well shit, might as well do biglaw."

I agree. I am mainly defending the sizable minority of people who have realistic expectations, come in with eyes open, and stick to their goals.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby TIKITEMBO » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:25 pm

There are ways to help underserved communities that are often more effective than a law degree, and these avenues don't require the huge amount of time and debt that a law degree involves.


This is true. However, underserved groups still (often desperately) need good lawyers as well. Social workers can help to some extent, but I generally found in my work experience with those groups that social work was somewhat limited because the scope is generally smaller. For example, a social worker might know a lot about the law for a particular program a client could use, but they don't know the big picture. Likewise, the probably won't have a way to represent that person (although they could refer them to a lawyer!). I definitely see what you're saying and I agree that if you're not really committed and are just flying into it with some vague idea of "doing good work" and "helping people" you should be checked on it. But, I get a bit squirmish when I hear the "there are much better things you could do for the poor" argument. Granted, if you can't find a job, you're not helping anyone.

We're not even talking "big issue" work. Just needing day to day representation and advice can be a horrible burden when you can't afford it.

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flem
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby flem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:26 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I agree. I am mainly defending the sizable minority of people who have realistic expectations, come in with eyes open, and stick to their goals.


I don't think they're being hated on.

It's people who are all "well I don't want biglaw I'm PI focused so I can go to Brooklyn Law at sticker and rely on LRAP now justify my shitty decision" who this is directed at.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:28 pm

flem wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:I agree. I am mainly defending the sizable minority of people who have realistic expectations, come in with eyes open, and stick to their goals.


I don't think they're being hated on.

It's people who are all "well I don't want biglaw I'm PI focused so I can go to Brooklyn Law at sticker and rely on LRAP now justify my shitty decision" who this is directed at.

Eh, things like this:
Yup. Probably the most helpful thing you can do for poor people is get a job somewhere like Jenner or Paul Weiss, do a ton of pro bono, sit on nonprofit boards, live like a student, and donate all your money to organizations you have carefully researched. But I guess the most helpful thing you could do would be "unfulfilling" for some people.

are dismissive of such people at the very least.

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flem
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby flem » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:30 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:are dismissive of such people at the very least.


To be fair, that doesn't make it less true though.

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romothesavior
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Re: Proposal: We stop accepting the flame that 0Ls will do PI

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:31 pm

TIKITEMBO wrote:
There are ways to help underserved communities that are often more effective than a law degree, and these avenues don't require the huge amount of time and debt that a law degree involves.


This is true. However, underserved groups still (often desperately) need good lawyers as well. Social workers can help to some extent, but I generally found in my work experience with those groups that social work was somewhat limited because the scope is generally smaller. For example, a social worker might know a lot about the law for a particular program a client could use, but they don't know the big picture. Likewise, the probably won't have a way to represent that person (although they could refer them to a lawyer!). I definitely see what you're saying and I agree that if you're not really committed and are just flying into it with some vague idea of "doing good work" and "helping people" you should be checked on it. But, I get a bit squirmish when I hear the "there are much better things you could do for the poor" argument. Granted, if you can't find a job, you're not helping anyone.

We're not even talking "big issue" work. Just needing day to day representation and advice can be a horrible burden when you can't afford it.

Yep, and I just said that above. I agree with you. There is obviously a huge number of people who desperately need legal work and lack access to it. But they don't lack access to lawyers because there aren't lawyers willing to do it, they lack access because these organizations have no money to bring on more lawyers. The very low-level PI organizations here in STL (like Legal Services) aren't even hiring because they don't have the cash. What should the PI people do, volunteer for free? Default on their loans? PI folks are generally willing to work for cheap, but they still have debts to service and bills to pay. We don't need more people who want to be PI lawyers. We need more funding to pay for the people who want to be PI lawyers.

And you know who has money to pay for people to do pro bono work? Biglaw firms.




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