Since it's April, and America's law students have nothing else to do (kidding!), I've done a bunch of talks with student groups and classes in recent weeks. One of the most notable things about these events is the extent to which progressive students, faced with a Supreme Court vacancy, a Democratic president, and a Democratic Congress, are bordering on despair.... It's awfully hard to be inspired when your heroes are benched before the game even begins.I understand the feeling. I never recovered from Robert Bork being Borked by a Senator who left a girl to die in a watery ditch at the side of the road and never spent a day in jail, while spending the rest of his life lecturing conservatives about compassion and decency. But that's just me.
I have some alternative views as to why liberal law students are so sad:
- Conservatives are happier than liberals in general. It's the nature of the universe.
- Religious people are happier than non-religious people, and conservatives are more religious than liberals.
- The Big Law model is failing, which means that liberal law students cannot do pro bono work for Gitmo detainees while getting paid $160k a year right out of law school.
- Liberal legal heroes are not that heroic because in a law school almost everyone is liberal; it's about as hard as riding first class on a frequent flyer upgrade. By contrast, being conservative in a law school requires the right stuff, much like test pilots, the Mercury astronauts, and the people who walked on the Moon.
- Far more people self-identify as conservative than liberal, and leaving the liberal law school cocoon sucks.
- Law schools cannot change the first 5 reasons.
There may be other reasons, but these are a good start. I'm open to other suggestions.
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