Singing Loudly: Biglaw Bias

Singing Loudly

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Biglaw Bias

If you want a good example of where libertarian arguments fall apart, you should look no further than this commented discussion at The Volokh Conspiracy. Professor Kerr linked to an article discussing associates leaving some of the mega firms. In the comments someone named "Supremecy Clause" hijacked the discussion to espouse the view that District Attorney offices out to outsource their work to private firms. Apparently because better attorneys will be at the bigger firms since they pay more money.

This is one of those assumptions that might sound good at first blush but is not actually true in practice. I think everyone who is a lawyer or who has been to law school will readily admit that not every attorney at a Biglaw firm is that wonderful. Likewise, not every attorney in a DA's office is that horrible. Furthermore, just because you made good grades in law school doesn't mean you have what it takes to be a DA. Typically the skills required for being a DA are different than the skills required to be a transactional attorney. The skills are even different from those of being a litigator.

The assumption Supremacy Clause makes is nothing but bias that holds up neither on the grade level (people with great grades often go into public interest, government, or other types of work) or the skill level (the most skilled prosecutors won't necessarily be found slaving away for the money at the biglaw office).

Let's start abandoning the mistaken belief that as much money as possible is what every attorney is out to acquire.


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