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April 19, 2003

Best Laid Plans

jd2b links to "some uncharacteristically serious thoughts about pro-bono work" from the dubiously named Mr. Poon.* Mr. Poon is a 2L, looking forward to working with a firm in NYC this summer, and possibly again after he completes his J.D. Yet, he hopes he continue to do the kind of rewarding pro bono work he's doing now as a student. I asked how he plans to avoid becoming the kind of "a-hole" he's been doing battle with recently, and his response is worth a look. Basically he says that, as a lawyer, you've got to try your best to convince your clients to do the right thing, but if they insist on doing the wrong thing, you still have to do your best to represent them. I'm guessing this will be one of the harder things for me to learn or accept as a lawyer. My idea is that, by working in public interest law, I'll be able to avoid working for clients who would ask me to be an a-hole, but as this exchange between st and myself suggests, it's likely things won't be quite that simple. st writes:

I do know one thing, though - the market for full-time public interest legal positions at ANY level of salary and benefits is more cutthroat and competitive than the market for work in the private sector. I suppose the only good advice I can give is the most obvious - do really, really, really well in law school, and many of these issues will become, ahem, academic.

Yet another thing I so don't want to believe, but I'm sure st is correct. I suppose this is why I chose GW; if the public interest market is so competitive, I'll need every advantage I can get. GW's no trinity school, but, well, I'll take what I can get.

Meanwhile, now that the big "where do I go to school?" decision it's over, the anxiety topic du jour is: How much preparation do I need to do before school starts? So Sue Me and her commenters have some thoughts on the matter. Me, I'm still trying to get the house painted and electrified (do not, under any circumstances, ever attempt to rewire your house—trust me). I'll stress over how much I don't know about law school a little later, I'm sure.

UPDATE: Life, Law, Libido also has some good thoughts on the subject of paying for law school w/out working for firms. [Link via Left Coast Expat.]

I'm guessing from the Chevy Chase photo on Mr. Poon's main page that "Mr. Poon" is a movie reference? My cultural ignorance is very deep, w/regard to Chevy Chase; I admit he's one of those funny people I just don' "get." Not to say I never will. Much humor is an acquired taste. I seek enlightenment in all things.

Posted 11:40 AM | Comments (2) | law school


The loss and destruction of the artifacts that were in Iraq's museums is being lamented worldwide as a loss for humanity. Scott Rosenberg has one version of the many comparisons being made between the U.S.'s inability to protect these cultural treasures, even as it seemed perfectly capable of protecting Iraq's oil. As I noted briefly in the comments below, the fact that the U.S. did nothing to stop the destruction of Iraq's cultural history only proves that its real interests in the country and region are economic. This "war" was about freedom, all right, the freedom of western capital to open new markets and make more money. Where's the $ to be made in museums and historical artifacts? Perhaps on the black market, so the looting was really a good thing—it opened a whole new market to trade and commerce as the looters begin to sell what they stole. Not that that was anyone's plan, necessarily, but what's certain is that the U.S. planned deliberately to protect the oil and the oil ministry (which it did), and it also planned deliberately to do nothing to protect Iraq museums, which were consequently destroyed. Now it's easy for Dumbsfeld and Yubbledew to claim they didn't "allow" the looting to happen, but then, lying has always come easily to this administration. Current priority: Let's get those damned sanctions lifted so we can start making some money from our new colony. Bechtel has millions to make, thanks to its, um "connections." Who's next?

Posted 09:25 AM | general politics

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