Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Indentured Servitude (No easements)

Yeah, it's a law joke.

Yeah, it's in the headline.

Yeah...I suck.

Anyway. I'm reading this jackass article in the New York Times. "Lure of Great Wealth Affects Career Choices". The jist of it is that people are leaving law and medecine for careers in investiment banking and consulting, and becoming bajillionaires instead of millionaires. That doesn't bother me. Because I, myself, am an aspiring sell-out. What got me thining, though, is this passage:

Three decades ago, compensation among occupations differed far less than it does today. That growing difference is diverting people from some critical fields, experts say. The American Bar Foundation, a research group, has found in its surveys, for instance, that fewer law school graduates are going into public-interest law or government jobs and filling all the openings is becoming harder.

and this one

What Dr. Glassman represents, along with other very rich people interviewed for this article, is the growing number of Americans who acknowledge that they have accumulated, or soon will, more than enough money to live comfortably, even luxuriously, and also enough so that their children, as adults, will then be free to pursue careers “they have a hunger for,” as Dr. Glassman put it, “and not feel a need to do something just to pay the bills.”

So law school graduates are choosing money over public service. Is this at all surprising? I'll graduate with 200,000 dollars in student loans. Unless the Go-Gettum Abortion Rights Legal Brigade pays 100,000 a year in 2009, I bet I won't end up in public service.

Maybe, someday, I'll become a millionaire legal consultant so some chinese baby I buy in my post-menopausal years to amuse me in the face of encroaching boredom and senility will be able to become a public interest lawyer, or film-maker, or ethnic muralist. Because I certainly won't be able to be any of those things.

Because, essentially, I've sold myself into servitude. Like a drunk English bastard on his way to the new world in 1670, I've signed away my occupational freedom for a period of years, in order to get a chance at a better life. Once I signed for that first loan, I made a commitment to the law. Because there's no other way I'll ever pay it back.

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