Last week’s inbox brought the latest installment of the ABA Weekly Journal Newsletter. Inside are interesting tidbits about “big brother” facial recognition software from Micro$oft, some slightly interesting whining from biglaw associates about the gruntwork they no longer have to do ((I like the one who had to “appear and bail out clients who managed to get arrested late at night.” I thought I could be disbarred for bailing out a client!)), and a Blawg Directory that lists 200 “Criminal Justice” and 12 “Criminal Procedure” blogs. ((Who knew!? A couple of interesting finds from a quick browse include Simple Justice, a NY criminal defense blog w/a slightly academic focus, and the Cook County Public Defenders blog, to which I really should probably pay more attention. There’s also the No Montana Death Penalty Blog; it’s not very active, but good to know it’s there. Michigan Public Defender also looks promising (I love it when cops testilie!, but again, not very active. ))
But the really interesting bit in the newsletter is the story of a law school grad on a campaign to talk people out of law school:
“Iâ€™m on a one-woman mission to talk people out of law school,” she tells Law Blog. “Lots of people go to law school as a default. They donâ€™t know what else to do, like I did. It seems like a good idea. People say a law degree will always be worth something even if you donâ€™t practice. But they donâ€™t consider what that debt is going to look like after law school.
“It affects my life in every way. And the jobs that you think are going to be there wonâ€™t necessarily be there at all. Most people I know that are practicing attorneys donâ€™t make the kind of money they think lawyers make. Theyâ€™re making $40,000 a year, not $160,000.”
Ah yes, so true. I do love my job. I do. What I don’t love is the debt it took to get it and the feeling that I will never escape or retire that debt. Ugh. I don’t even like to think about it.
I haven’t paid up my ABA dues for this year but so far I continue to receive stuff from them as if I had paid. I don’t see much benefit from being a member of the ABA, but, speaking of debt, I do lament being unable to afford NACDL and National Lawyers’ Guild dues. Where do people find the money for these professional organizations? Grr…