Crisis and Satisfaction

Maybe I’ll have more to say here about the great law school crisis of the 2010s. (Spoiler: Too many people unproductively conflate supply and demand issues in the legal market with longstanding pedagogical issues. And all the while we ignore the unmet need for legal services among the not so rich.) But for now, I just want to say this: Law comes down to the incredibly interesting question of how we will live together. What rules are needed to elevate us from a chaotic mass of people to a society? People disagree wildly about such questions. It’s complex. It’s consequential. And the doing of law, whether as a lawyer, legislator, judge, or other policymaker, is a cooperative enterprise that is backed by a hell of a lot of power: the power to make people do what they would not do in the law’s absence.

Somehow this extraordinarily powerful and interesting collaborative endeavor is carried out by people who are far too often dissatisfied and isolated. That’s one problem in our discipline that is definitely not a temporary result of the Great Recession. Indeed, it’s one that we actually have the power, but not yet the imagination or understanding, to change.