Thursday, May 16, 2013
We'd previously blogged about reviews, both positive and negative, of Steven Harper's new book The Lawyer Bubble. Mr. Harper, a former BigLaw partner and a current adjunct professor of law at Northwestern, is also author of the blog The Belly of the Beast which covers issues related to the fundamental changes overtaking the legal profession as well as the so-called "law school scam" movement. Now the PBS NewsHour has interviewed with Mr. Harper on the topic of legal education. Interestingly, despite the fact that Mr. Harper has been such an outspoken critic of the current state of legal education, he says that if he were graduating from college today, he would go to law school all over again. For him and others like him, it still represents the right choice. Here's an excerpt of his interview with PBS:
NewsHour: Knowing what you know now, and writing this book, say it was 2008 and you just graduated college, would you go into law school?
Steven Harper: Yes I would. As I mentioned, I really had a great career. It was for me something that seemed like the right thing to do. What I would've done coming out of law school is less clear to me although frankly when I went into law school as I was going in, I wasn't sure what I was going to do coming out anyways. So I'm not sure where any of that would ultimately land now. But I certainly would be a lawyer if I had to do it over again, no question about it.
NewsHour: What do you say to those graduated and who are in school now reading this book?
Steven Harper: Well, first of all that would depend where you're in school because there is a dramatic difference between, for example, employment rates for those who are graduating from say the top 10 or 15 or 20 law schools compared to those who are graduating from way further down the food chain. But what I would say to them is if you really want to be a lawyer and it looks like it's the right fit for you, then by all means be a lawyer, go for it. Figure out a way to make it work for you and do the best you can and just persevere through it. On the other hand, if you're someone who's kind of gotten yourself into it and you're looking around saying 'What am I doing here? I don't even enjoy any of this,' then don't be afraid to admit a mistake. We all make mistakes. And find whatever it is you can do with your life that you're passionate about.
Read the entire interview here.