Sir, I challenge you to a duel!
July 10, 2011
Andrew Spillane, I slap you with my white glove and throw it down at your feet – you have been challenged to a duel!
Spillane’s article came out a few days ago. This was his “Hello world” article, having never posted before on the anonymous, public walls of the blogosphere, and by his own account, he seems to have things pretty well figured out. Presumably, he’s being paid to write this, which, I gather, is the source of his apparent confidence, evidenced by his commands and orders to the rest of the blogging community, with which he has not once previously interacted.
Both sides of this debate admit that law schools inflate employment statistics of their alumni networks, by doing things like counting a barista at a cafe as an employed juris doctor. This is standard practice.
Apparently, swear words in the blogosphere are a bigger threat to his precious “professionalism” than things like honesty or fraud prevention.
Spillane thinks the blogging world is a courtroom, where no one swears, where things are civilized, sensible, and professional, and whatever else this clown thinks he’s talking about.
Spillane, if you’re such an expert on blogging, dealing out advice right and left, then why don’t you answer some of this smacktalk with a rebuttal of your own? Come on down and brawl with the rest of us, my friend! Isn’t that what lawyers are best at? Or are you just a cute little lap dog barking from the porch of the establishment at normal people going about their daily activities?
My Main Point in a paragraph: Law school is a microcosm of the overarching trend of the evolving socio-economic workforce in the 3rd Millennium. Our system justifies radical, worstening, crippling wealth imbalances by distributing that wealth based on naked economic performance. Economics, business, and markets all follow one rule – supply and demand. No one controls it – it is as random as the weather. We allow the market to dictate who gets the nice houses and who lives in the ghetto. Does the market also assign moral or ethical right to this wealth? Absolutely not. To say the opposite would be to hang one’s principles on ever changing cloud patterns. The random market forces of today are taking wealth away from one group of people and giving it to another, which is simple robbery, and no one seems to care or notice. People like Spillane argue for the status quo, for whatever psychological reasons (perhaps it’s a desire to conform as the professional world so adamantly demands), but Spillane argues for apathy in the face of dishonesty, and passionate activism in the face of… that’s right – swear words. Spillane, my article knocks you on your ass like Terry Tate – you know you can’t bring that weak ass stuff up in this humpy bumpy! I swear only when it’s classy to do so, and I intermix my cusses with impeccable grammar and syntax so that the professional sensibility of you and your wizardlike bosses won’t be offended. Don’t run away from the fights you start, come on in and participate.
Main point in a sentence: Andrew, I am a better blogger than you, I own this block, and if you want to spit game on this turf, you gotta prove yourself and earn respect – but instead, you stumbled out of the gate and got mud all over the only face the good lord will ever give you, you silly, silly, piñata.
Law students today spend powers of ten more on their education than their parents’ generation. Older lawyers graduated from a legal education industry that was affordable, much like an auto mechanic’s school, or some other type of trade school. It also cost them about a month’s wages to pay for a semester. Today, we’re looking at more like a year’s wages to pay for even a single semester. This shift, like much of what is happening in modern America, is ending the middle class, and replacing it with either the poor or the super-rich.
One thing you won’t learn in law school is the time value of money. Money today is worth far more than money twenty years from now. So when Andrew advises patience, hard work, and discipline for less than livable wages, by necessary implication, he’s advising us to pass on tens of thousands of dollars today, which – based on the time value of money – will likely be be millions at retirement. If you were my financial advisor, I’d fire you and throw things at you on your way out of my office.
“Not everyone is without a job: some classmates of mine have managed get state and federal judicial clerkships and others jobs at large law firms. Others were able to secure employment at the law firms with which they worked throughout their legal education. But these are the lucky ones.” The lucky ones, piñataman? Try the absolute most talented, hardworking, drop dead gorgeous young lawyers on the market. Don’t be bitter because you’re working at your alma mater. Don’t call hardworking, successful people “lucky.” Luck has nothing to do with it.
Taken from his article, here is an example of the type of misleading language, industry standard, which is full of rhetorical questions, probing relevant matters as effectively as soggy noodles pick locks: “…some debt figures may reach over $100,000.” Please, sir, you insult us. MANY debt figures DO reach over $100,000. Be direct, lawyers, for once in your lives. So many people, including myself before law school, viewed lawyers as prone to using direct language – statements that are concise (the adjective subject noun verbed the modified noun, for example). Not so. Piñataman’s article ends in gloriously opaque, typical fashion – vague and full of rhetorical questions:
“And when many of the legal profession’s future caretakers can be seen in public on the Internet throwing tantrums about their job prospects and debt, however valid those concerns are in their own right, what does that say about the future of the legal profession as a whole? What of the legal community’s sense of exceptionalism? Of being special? Of being held to a higher standard?
Of being professionals?”
Translation – Aww, come on guys, don’t be so mean in your blogs, what about professionalism?! Professionalism, guys, come on! Don’t swear! Guys!
My Response: Go fuck yourself, you piece of bitchtrash. Blogging, and the internet generally, is making permanent changes to our reality. Get used to it. The internet brings freedom of information like a tsunami brings water, and piñataman is standing alone on a beach with a riot shield because his bosses told him to. I’d rather read a thousand swear words a day than waste a hundred grand for the right to work 70 hours a week and call myself an esteemed, professional, exceptional, special, higher-standard-having lawyer.
What snitchbitch doesn’t understand is that there are ways to use lewd language properly, and outstanding blogs like Third Tier Reality do this every day. At TTR, the extreme nature of the imagery is 10 times less grotesque and cruel than what law schools do to students – which is lie and take money. Any profession that would decry a wave of obscenities before it would damand honesty in its own advertising (not even to mention the fact that, every day, lawyers and legal academics alike step onto a self-constructed pedestal of justice, honor, or whatever other word chosen and therefore made hollow and meaningless), is absolutely deserving of its atroscious, widespread public reputation, somewhere between used car salesmen and politicians.
Apparently, scamblogs “give someone pause to think about how some law schools market themselves to the outside world. Whatever the bloggers’ faults, the message for more truth in advertising among law schools has certainly been heard and raised a few eyebrows.”
This is so laughably typical of lawyers, legal academics, and everyone else in this industry. “Oh yeah, right, that whole lying to perpetuate the profession thing. Uh, we’ll get to that. …Soon’s I finish my paper and my coffee, I will possibly look into this, after asking a few more rhetorical questions. Or will I?…” Piñataman is fine to admit that truth in advertising needs a little, uh, augmentation, you might say. But raised eyebrows is functionally synonymous with apathy – what we need is action. I’m going to come right out and say what piñataman is only brave enough to imply:
The legal profession lies to attract law students. It’s industry standard. First they tell you you’re going to get a job, and later this guarantee morphs into one conditional on grades – around which there is extreme competition, and which leave a mathematical certainty that many will go on far less employed than initially led to believe.
Imagine a footrace between you and an Olympic sprinter. If you lose, you starve, and Andrew Spillane will call you lazy!
Lawyers complicate things for a living, which is why the truth here is so inconveniently simple – the legal industry lies to recruit students. It’s like the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel, covered in candy: “We’ll pay you lots, you’ll have financial security, life will be great!” so you walk inside, and oops! They throw you in the oven and cook your ass for dinner.
In Andrew Spillane’s article, he places more importance on professionalism and avoiding cuss words than he does on things like honesty. Because he’s writing for his employer’s blog, he shows restraint to do anything more than imply that there might be some false advertising in the law school industry, but… oh well.
This article is a shining, glistening, perfect example of the type of conformity forced upon people when they enter into a “profession.” The author here is so desperate to conform to what he obviously thinks his editors will want to read that he’s willing to sacrifice his own image, his own name, going out on a limb, functionally arguing for dishonesty.
Any lawyer on the inside of the legal profession has a moral obligation to speak out against this dishonest advertising that is industry standard in the legal field. Disagree? Then you disagree with John Stuart Mill:
“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”
Lawyers on the inside, with power and esteem, are the only ones with the ability to make these changes. If you’re not up out of your chair yet, maybe you need a visit from the good doctor:
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – MLK Jr.