The blame game

This morning I sat down for my morning coffee and began reading the ABA Journal magazine that I get monthly. ABA is American Bar Association. By virtue of my membership and $25/year dues, I'm automatically subscribed to the ABA Journal and its student partner. Most of the time I don't really read them. Terrible, I know. However, last Friday I broke up with my old cable & internet provider. After much wrangling, however, I've actually managed to get better service from them for about half what I was paying before. Turns out if you want something done right, cancel your service.

Back to the ABA Journal.

Instead of just flipping idly through the various pages, this morning I actually began reading the entire content, starting with the letters to the editor. One of the letters made a wonderful point about law school and people's attitude in general. Apparently in last month's issue there was an article that basically consisted, at least in part,  of law students bemoaning the job market & lamenting ever getting a JD. One reader, far more diligent in their reading than myself, wrote in to counter the views expressed in the article. Just for you non-legal folks, soloing is going into practice on your own sans law firm. Here's what he had to say:
"As a recent law graduate soloing without complaints, married to an 'employed' attorney, I am close to the action recounted in 'Law School? Bag It, Bloggers Say.' I specifically refer to the statement made by the Boston College Law School 3L that he was 'resentful at the thought that I was convinced to go to law school by empty promises of a fulfilling and remunerative career.' Really? What a ridiculous statement. In the law of contracts, even if you get a bum deal, with conisderation, bargain and a 'meeting of the minds' you still get a contract. So if this 3L listened in Contracts, he'd know that he will be responsible for making the decision--for making the contract. Also does he think his three years of money was for paper? That he wasted his money? He has after all gained three years of legal knowledge. He, as Kingsfield said in the Paper Chase, has had his brain turned from mush and now thinks like a lawyer. And what empty promises? The promise was to receive a law degree, which he will. No school ever promises that you'll change the world making $200,000 per year. Do law schools really need a 'These results not typical' disclaimer when promoting their alumni? Mark Twain aptly said 'Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.' Really, if you're an attorney, you're never unemployed. There is always a market for honest, compassionate attorneys who call their clients back and care about the person. Make a reputation for yourself and the money will handle itself."
While Mr. McDowell, the author, makes a variety of good points I particularly like the Mark Twain quote. This statement is true not just in the legal world, but in life in general. It's unfortunate that so often  people believe the world owes them something. As McDowell aptly points out, the world owes you nothing and the decision is ultimately yours. If you sit back and whine about how you're being mistreated, your situation will never change. But if you take proactive steps and adjust your attitude, something will work out. It may not be exactly what you originally envisioned, but something will come around. This attitude of entitlement permeates so many different aspects of human society around the globe. I'm beginning to wonder if it's just a part of human nature. That in no way makes it excusable. So enough whining. Yes the job market's not the greatest. No one has done you a disservice but you. Instead of casting blame, let's take action and make things better. We all have that ability.

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