The Cream Of The Crop, Harvard Law School

When it comes to Biglaw firms, Skadden Arps is one of the biggest. It hires the best because it pays ridiculous amounts of money to baby lawyers who couldn’t find the courthouse without Google Maps, and their clients are willing to foot the bill for reasons that elude me. Where does a firm like Skadden seek out its new class of lawyers? Elite law schools, like Harvard. And so they held a career day, caught on video.

Skadden Arps does career event at Harvard Law School … students ask questions about how Skadden furthers Palestinian genocide on behalf of an apartheid state. pic.twitter.com/m8WQ3KY4Um

— Andy Grewal (@ProfGrewal) March 1, 2024

Are these the law students Skadden was hoping to hire out of law school, pay over $200,000 despite have no skills, and walk their hallways telling partners of their moral indiscretions? Some wags will say that Skadden ought to withdraw from interviews at Harvard, finding the law school’s students both rude and inappropriate for a gig at the firm. Indeed, while this happens to be a video of career day with Skadden, would the students have been any less offensive and aggressive with any other biglaw firm? They all represent corporations, governments and entities that are engaged in activities the woke find immoral and wrong.

But more to the point, law students who seek gainful employment after three years, opportunity costs and some sum of money are ordinarily expected not to go out of their way to attack their potential future employers. Some students will be obsequious. Others will be official. But few go out of their way to challenge potential employers to change their evil ways. Of course, this really wasn’t intended to question Skadden, but to use the rhetorical gimmick of questioning to tell these Skadden senior lawyers that they’re scum and their firm is scum.

In a few years, they will be practicing lawyers, somewhere if not Skadden. Maybe a decade or two after that, they will hold offices and sit on benches. Bear in mind, these aren’t the ordinary trench lawyers who spend their careers representing individuals and struggling to win cases and eke out a decent living. These are the elite, the Harvard Law School graduates who will carry the mantle of the cream of the crop in perpetuity by virtue of admission to one of the most historically renowned law schools in the country.

And it’s not just a matter of their being childishly radicalized while in school, even though one would hope and expect that they would get their ideological zeal out of their system in undergrad and hunker down for their serious future once they get to law school. Sure, Harvard is no longer in the business of turning minds full of mush into lawyers, as that would make them cry and deprive them of their safe space, but still.

What this reflects even more than silly radicalism is that they feel no sense of restraint in attacking a law firm for not capitulating to their ideology. Would they go into an interview with Skadden and tell the partner they would never work for such a firm? If they were hired, would the first year Skadden associate, the newest lawyers in the room, inform his corporate client that he would rather see their company bankrupt than be complicit in their support of whatever function conflicts with their cause? Can you trust this baby lawyer not believe his personal ideology is more important than the firm or the client? Are you certain they won’t sabotage a client for what they believe to be the greater good?

A decade ago, such arrogance and rudeness would be dismissed as immaturity. “Just wait until they get out into the real world,” we would say, and then chuckle over the rude awakening waiting for them. Except the joke was on us, as we watched the “real world” bend to their whims, capitulate to their demands, reshape itself to conform to their infantile demands.

As Shakespeare’s Dick the Butcher said in Henry VI, the first thing needed to end the rule of law is to “kill all the lawyers.” These Harvard Law Students may have some watered-down form of legal education, but are they lawyers? And if not, then it would be fair to say that the lawyers have been killed, that they have been effectively eliminated and replaced by zealots with Harvard Law degrees. Will they still be considered the best of the best? Will they run law firms, hold high government office, sit on benches in judgment of others who, like Skadden, fail to meet their moral demands?

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